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Agya Koo - Ghanaian films (movies) are back!

Posted by abocco on Mon, 01/22/2007 - 10:57 GhanaThink Managing Executive

...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins

When I first heard about the 'Ka wo nan to so' movie, the first thing that came to my mind was Okomfour Kwaadee's song of the same name. It warmed my heart to think that the work of hiplife artistes was making its way into the film and movie industry. Once I got to Ghana and saw the many flyers and posters for Ghanaian movies, I had to watch 'Ka wo nan to so' to satisfy my curiosity. The soundtrack was not Kwaadee's 2006 hit and I discovered something else - Agya Koo. He's not exactly the one Praye sings about in their Agya Koo song either. Meet Kofi Adu, the guy leading the surge of Ghanaian films getting back on the market.

Agya Koo is a song from Praye's Nfitiase album about a man who owes people money but still seems to be enjoying life by wearing the latest jeans, etc. It's a funny song and talks about debt, trust, deceit, etc. This blog would discuss another Agya Koo, a popular actor in Ghana who could possibly play that same role in a movie (Eureka!). His real name is Kofi Adu, a one-time Keysoap concerty party stalwart who won comedian of the year after Nkomode and Bob Okalla had disappeared from the scene. He has resurfaced with a big bang as Miracle Films, AA Productions, Venus Films, etc are making movies month in month out (or more).

'Ka wo nan to so' is a movie about a girl who turns to prostitution to support her nuclear family and happens to be picked up by a devout Christian who dedicates his life to win her for Christ because he has been ordered to do so by God. The girl character is played by a beautiful young lady called Nadia Buari (daughter of MUSIGA president, Sidiku Buari) and this Christian character is played by David Dontoh. Agya Koo is the girl's father who supports his daughter to do prostitution since it puts food and more on the table. 'Ka wo nan to so' means you should put your leg on the other connotating you (girl) should sit well, not show your whole geography to the world, etc. The songs for the soundtrack were all made for the movie, which is good, except for the few American songs played in some long scenes where nothing much happens. Talking about 'Ka wo nan to so', does anyone know where Kwaadee is?

I was intrigued by the many movies that were out, saw a good number of them and brought some back to the US as souvenirs. Some include Matricki wo, Wo Nyame som mpo ni, Old school boys, Koti Academy, Asoreba, Otan ne Ahooyaa, Mummy's Daughter, Beyonce, etc. Yes, Ghanaians made a movie called Beyonce and another character in the film is called Ciara. Other popular actors include Koofori, Nana Ama MacBrown, Jackie Appiah, Abusuapanyin Judas, Kofi Adjorlolo, Omar Sherif Captan, Emmanuel Armah, Van Vicker, Kalsoum Sinare, Mavis Adjei, etc. Most of the movies are in Twi. From the examples of Tsotsi and Yesterday, I feel African movies in the languages people are most fluent in are better than say, those in English. Some of the Ghanaian movies had subtitles, which was exciting, but the spelling mistakes are glaring and very bad. I also feel that the language in the scripts is very rich so a lot of work must be done on the subtitles to celebrate the beauty and richness of our languages.

The acting in the movies is okay, but could be better. A lot of these roles are played by those who have been in Akan Dramas, Efie wuras or Concert parties, with no real tuition in acting. What happened to NAFTI? We need to churn out actors from such institutions to improve the quality of the movies. The settings for a lot of the movies are nothing special, local movies = local settings. The times of having one person be the main actor, director, executive producer, score person, props director must be done away with, too. I think the storylines need a lot of improvement to make them attractive to Ghanaians and the rest of the world. We haven't let go of the Part 1, part 2 phenomenon though. The joke around is that if the movie ends and 'To God be the glory' is not shown, then it means the movie has not ended. I'll like to see the industry (if it exists) make excellent movies that are not in parts. Just like Nigeria, we make movies with sequels already in mind. The picture and sound quality must also improve. Our music videos are making strides and our movies should follow suit. Maybe our film houses can partner with the likes of Phamous People, King Luu, Felix Dakat,Abraham Ohene Djan, and Q de Lust to make some good movies, and who knows, maybe some musicals.

I would also like to see the movie theatres revived (Rex Cinema, etc), so that this entertainment would not be limited to homes. When I was in Ghana in early 2006, Ghanaian movies had been sent into hiding by the Nigerian counterparts. The story is different now, and if we invest in promoting them, we may even trump Nollywood.

Full Agya Koo lyrics.

Buy some Ghanaian movies (watch this space)


Ghanaian movies or Concert Parties?

I watched Wo Nyame som mpo ni and Asoreba and I was very disappointed. It was like watching the worst Akan drama or concert party. I liked the fact that it was in Twi but the storyline was terrible and it was so fake. The acting needs alot of improvement. I would rather watch TV Theater, Mr Mensah's Ga drama group, Kuntu's drama group and OBRA than these so called movies. I must,however,commend Agya Koo and Co. for taking the initiative but they need to improve the quality of these 'movies'.


you've touched on a critical

you've touched on a critical point--fakeness! It's not to say that if we tried really hard we couldn't come across as more natural, but the matter is that

1. film is not a medium that we developed, so consequently, standards are very low (that they even bothered to package and sell such work seems unthinkable to someone like you with exposure to better films).

As usual, my favorite example is Reggie Rockstone. He took the "fake" genre of hip-hop as practiced by our aspiring youth, and naturalized it. Reggie's standards are very high, so we all paid attention, and by so doing he lifted the general standard of hip-hop to world-class levels. Of course, now there have been many improvements like Lord Kenya's staccato style, and then Ɔbrafoɔ's paced lyricism, and more recently Kwaadɛɛ's free style strategies.

All we need is a film Reggie--someone who can put such class into the Ghanaian movie that everyone who makes something of lower quality will be ashamed to release it. The quality such that when you're watching it, you'll not realize it's a local language movie. Only later will you realize that's it's brilliance does in fact depend on the local language. I remember when I first heard Reggie Rockstone--it was on JoyFM's breakfast show. The song was "YÉ› bawnse wo visa a ne ya". When the beat rolled in, I wasn't paying attention, and even after the first few lyrics I didn't notice. But then all of a sudden my mind clicked and I thought, wait, that's not a hip-hop song (i.e. I was expecting English), that's Twi straight out! It was like an epiphany! The brilliance of it just floored me straight out! I could go on and on...

If you ask me, the kind of "acting" that is locally cultivated is the "concert party" play where we know the players are not really "acting" but instead simulating a story. The difference I see is that, the primary focus is not on the acting skills, but on how humorously they can tell the story (just try to imagine a concert party play that was "serious" and didn't provoke the audience to laughter--most ppl just up and leave, or otherwise fall asleep in front of the TV). That would be a natural start for local video(with good subtitles :) )...

Hey, if anyone gets some millions to set up an arts fund, we could start with some ideas like this:)

Ghanaian films

I still remember old films like ''I TOLD YOU SO'' and though they are dated, they were jolly good. I think the trouble with production these days apart from all that has been mentioned is that they operate on low budgets. Scenes are crammed into each other and locations are sparse, to help save the Cast from the cost of changing costume too many times, props, travel costs and pay cheques.
As for romantic moments in Ghanaian films...ewwww. So-so sloppy shenanigans which make you want to cringe!


GhanaThink Managing Executive

I saw a fairly good Ghanaian movie again

Called Darkness of Sorrow.
It is kind of interesting with Nadia Buari playing a blind village girl.
It's like she is one of the few actresses out there, she did okay in her role but it was not for her.

Anyway, that Beyonce movie kinda frustrated me but it's not bad.
Venus Films is doing well, they've come far since their Ripples, A stab in the back days.
You can watch them here

That said, we really need a saviour for our movies like a Reggie Rockstone (in reference to what Paa Kwesi said above).

Some one who can reconcile these Agya Koo-concerty party movies into stirring films that all Ghanaians (the educated, the illiterate and those comfortable with the concerty party scene) would enjoy.
U know, like a Ghanaian movie to rival Tsotsi.
Any takers?


All we need is a film Reggie--someone who can put such class into the Ghanaian movie that everyone who makes something of lower quality will be ashamed to release it. The quality such that when you're watching it, you'll not realize it's a local language movie. Only later will you realize that's it's brilliance does in fact depend on the local language. I remember when I first heard Reggie Rockstone--it was on JoyFM's breakfast show. The song was "YÉ› bawnse wo visa a ne ya".

Good idea

its a real good

Excellent performance in Ghanaian movies

Adu Kofi, otherwise known as Agya Koo, has said that his excellent performance in Ghanaian movies, which has attracted many admirers to him, is a gift from God.

Despite the normal procedure of reading thoroughly a script before acting in films, he told Joy FM`s Kojo Oppong Nkrumah that actors and actresses are given their scripts two weeks ahead of time before they go on location (where the film is supposed to be shot), but due to his God-given talent, when given a role to play he does so perfectly without going by any script.

Although he originally arrived in Accra to sing, Agya Koo has been featured in over 90 Ghanaian movies, 15 of which remain his favorite, since his introduction to the Ghanaian film industry.