A true renaissance man, Dometi Pongo {pronounced doe-muh-TEE} is the host of the new MTV series True Life Crime and MTV News’ “Need to Know,” a Twitter and Instagram TV show providing context to the day’s pop culture news. Dometi previously served as reporter and fill-in host for Chicago’s WGN Radio and voiceover talent for WGN-TV while giving his . The award-winning journalist also works as a speaker and multimedia consultant through his firm, Pongo Strategy Group, which helps organizations tell better stories through multimedia. In partnership with Sankofa Ventures, Dometi’s annual group tours of Ghana, West Africa to give an opportunity for the African diaspora to explore their ancestral lineage.

Extended Bio {by Melissa Kimble of #blkcreatives}

There’s an intentionality in Dometi Pongo’s life work and mission that will be recorded among this generation’s league of history makers and observers. He is an MTV News host and award-winning journalist who purposely builds at the intersection of news, hip-hop, art & culture. Dometi {pronounced doe-muh-TEE} is a Chicago native, proud son of Ghanaian immigrants, and a champion of the underserved, an amplifier of the stories of marginalized communities. Similar to the underestimated connections he creates in his work, Dometi originally started on a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration specializing in Economics from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville before he entered into media. Always taking heed to wisdom, he followed the advice of his Pastor Charles Antwi at Faith Victory International who pointed him in  the direction of pursuing a career in the media.

Taking this leap would lead him to the legendary Chicago urban talk radio station WVON 1690AM. As the News Director of the station, he wrote and produced radio features on social, political and economic issues relevant to under-served communities. It would be the first of many, that would prove this strategic storyteller’s commitment to his culture, the dedication to do the necessary political on the ground reporting, and his fearless drive to always improve his skills and craft. 

Dometi’s unstoppable work ethic, relatable approach, and passion for highlighting stories that show the Black community in a complex and dynamic manner has helped him to carve out his path, shaping him into one of the most impactful voices in the heart of the city’s voice. Post WVON, Dometi IMG_4228joined Chicago’s WGN Radio 720AM as a news anchor and reporter, anchoring newscasts, filling in as a host for multiple time slots, and writing and producing multiple award nominated and award-winning news series. Always grounded in the pursuit of perfecting his craft, Dometi wrote for the renowned Chicago SunTimes while writing, editing and producing a three part series for WGN Radio on the 50th commemoration of Dr. King’s assassination with Ryan Burrow. The piece, From the Mountaintop: The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. which won second place for ‘Best Radio Feature Or Documentary from the Illinois Associated Press.

This Renaissance Man’s magic doesn’t only rest in his natural ability to lead conversations towards solutions, his thoughtful and committed voice has also allowed Dometi to create his own ecosystem of work, revolving around truth, justice, and authenticity. 

“Bring everything you are to everything you do,” he affirms, a daily mantra that has surely contributed to his his ability to articulate and inform on a personable level. That same energy has fueled some of the most important discussions in the Midwest. 

dometi pongo wgn radio candid.pngDometi’s 2015 radio feature, which chronicled the coverage of the Laquan McDonald shooting, received finalist recognition from the National Association of Black Journalists’ ‘Salute to Excellence Award for Best Radio Feature.’ He served as a key contributor to Roland Martin’s daily digital show, “Unfiltered,” covering the Jason Van Dyke trial.

Whether he’s interviewing prominent cultural influencers such as Nick Kroll, Sasheer Zamata, DJ Khaled, Megan Thee Stallion, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, and Wyclef Jean, Dometi is most at home at the intersection of Hip-hop & social justice. His affirming and direct investigative interview style is where he’s able to flex his hosting capabilities as the face of MTV News’, “Need to Know,” a twitter live show that broadcasts newscasts, interviews, and topical roundtables twice daily on weekdays.

dometi pongo portrati by rj el

Arguably one of the biggest music platforms ever created, Dometi’s cultural awareness and insightful criticism has positioned him as a host at MTV’s marquee red carpet events like the VMA’s and the MTV Movie and TV Awards. For MTV Digital, he lends his voice to digital viral shows like How Far Is Tattoo Far? And Ghosted. Dometi takes the lead again as host of MTV’s True Life: Crime, a show that explores eight real life cases in attempts to uncover the truth behind what really happened. Always an advocate for the underserved, most of the victims highlighted – like Kenneka Jenkins – come from marginalized communities. The show will do the work of uncovering whether or not the issues are given the attention they deserve. 

Leveraging the influence and power of social media as a political vehicle, Dometi is constantly engaging with technology to help businesses increase their reach. He also spearheads Pongo Strategy Group, a consulting firm that works with forward-focused companies and brands to own their messaging and tailor their use of digital platforms, including voice over acting, podcasting, production of engaging video content, and web design. Client activations included partnerships with WNBA Chicago Sky, AARP Illinois, Chicago Urban League, MTV, Champs Sports, The Digital Diversity Network and Blk & Bold Specialty Beverages.

Joining forces with Bishop Lance Davis, the executive Director of BOOC and Pastor of New Zion Covenant Church in Dolton, IL, each year Dometi returns to his family’s home country to co-host ‘The Sankofa Tour of Ghana’ experience. Since 2016, the duo has been curating impactful trips in West Africa, connecting Ghana’s heritage, history, heart and culture to help others’ expand their community perspectives. 

Awards and honors:

  • NAPA Ambassador Award, 2019 (Nigerian American Professionals Association)
  • IL Associated Press Broadcasters Association Award for Best Series or Documentary Winner (2nd), 2018
  • Peter Lisagor Award Nominee for Best In-Depth Radio News Story (Chicago Headline Club), 2018
  • 40 Gamechangers Under 40 (Ariel Investments & WVON Radio), 2018
  • Excellence in Media Award (Northeastern Illinois University), 2018
  • Distinguished Alumni Award (Illinois Media School), 2018
  • Catalyst of Hope Award (Village Leadership Academy), 2018
  • Peter Lisagor Award Nominee for Best In-Depth Radio News Story (Chicago Headline Club), 2017
  • Salute to Excellence Award Finalist for Best Radio Feature (National Assoc. of Black Journalists), 2016
  • Community Leadership Award (Mayor Harold Washington Legacy Committee), 2016


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Coleman j Ranahan says:

    seems youve had a varied career experience which has enabled you to see alot of things in your life thus far. i am especially a fan of the true crime series where you really lend a humanity to these stories. keep up your amazing work.

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