I grew up in an era where foreign movies were easily accessible and were in abundance than locally produced movies. The likes of Jean Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Jet Lee, Jackie Chan just to mention few had already taken over the movie market in Ghana and they were arguably the most purchased category of movies.
Aside from foreign movies, Nigerian movies had also flooded in Ghana. Ramsey Nouah, Pete Edochie, Sam Loco Efe, Desmond Elliot, Gentle Jack and a host of other fine Nollywood film actors also made a section of Ghanaians fall in love with Nigerian movies too.
As a matter of fact, Ghanaian movies were unpopular at that time even though some few actors were doing fairly well in the industry. In spite of their enormous efforts, Ghanaian movies were not making enough waves as expected.
However, there were some few actors and actresses who out of passion carried the acting cross on their shoulders to make sure Ghanaians fall in love with the local movies.
These abled men and women did enough to make sure foreign movies especially Nigerian movies were suppressed to the barest minimum. We take a look at five of them.
John Evans Bosompim Santo could be described as the major driving force of Akan movies in Ghana.
The comic actor before his demise in 2002 was the face of Kumawood movies and made people love local movies. Even though people still had an extreme love for foreign movies at the time, Santo together with his best friend and colleague, Abusuapaniyin Judas did tremendously well to make sure Ghanaians patronised local movies.
Bob Santo was very funny and was filled with humour.
In fact, I personally never regretted watching any of his movies which include 419, Okukuseku, Abawa Mary etc.
Lots of Ghanaians will forever remember Santo as one of Ghana’s greatest entertainers who made us love locally produced movies.
2. Agya Koo
Undoubtedly, Agya Koo is the brain behind the resurrection of a dead Kumawood movie after Bob Santo passed on. Agya Koo in his prime was the funniest screen actor during those days and won the hearts of many.
His background in Stand Up comedy from Concert part days made him a very great comedian and that made a lot of Ghanaian movie lovers fall in love with his style and personality.
Born Adu Kofi, Agya Koo claims to have starred in over three Hundred Ghanaian movies by estimation and reveals to have lost count of the number movies starred in.
Agya Koo Gbegbentus, Three Desperate Friends, House of Commotion, Evil Plot To Break My Home
Kumasi Yonko, Obi nnim Awieye, Ka wonan toso, Asew 419, Nsem Pii, Sure banker, Agya Koo Mechanic, Abutokyire Abrabo
Agya Koo Bank Manager and many more are some of his hit movies.
He was loved by film producers and due to his ability to improvise and act without scripts to their admiration.
Though he has been ff the screens for quite a long time, He will be forever be remembered for making Ghanaians love Kumawood movies.
3. Majid Michel
The rise of Ghallywood in 2008 till date was mainly because of this young man and his casting partner, John Dumelo.
Majid broke into the scene on full time with his romantic and violent acting style and instantly became Ghanaians ‘darling boy’.
Although Majid Miched had already starred in Things we do for love, a television series and was quite known by a few Ghanaians, he grabbed so much attention for himself and after venturing into full time acting after the release of Heart of Men.
Some of the movie he has starred in include The Game, Crime to Christ, Somewhere In Africa, Who loves Me.
His commitment to acting and massive hard work had him nominated for Best Actor in Leading Role at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017. After being unsuccessful in his first three attempts he finally won the award in 2017.
Majid Michel disappeared off the movie screens in 2016 due to his commitment as a pastor though he has said on several platforms that he has not quit acting.
He will always be remembered as one of those guys who hoisted our interest in Ghanaian movies.
Akrobeto is noted for the seriousness he attaches to his craft when speaking in movies and his comic English speaking style. Akrobeto has arguably made the most appearances in movies than any Ghanaian actor.
He has appeared in over 500 movies and has been one of the backbones of Kumawood.
His versatility is next to none; An Akrobeto movie will get you excited to the fullest.
Back in the early 2000s, local cinemas became full when an Akrobeto movie is on schedule.
The actor has on so many platforms acknowledged his success in acting to his inability to get a formal education and his big nose.
5. Jackie Appiah
The Canadian born Ghanaian actress could be described as one of the lady actresses who sparked our interest in Ghanaian movies. The 37-year-old actress debuted on the TV screens in a TV series dubbed Things We Do For Love before appearing in her major movie Divine Love in 2004.
Her ability to perform so well in romantic scenes made Ghanaians fall in love with her style. It was during her time that Ghanaians ditched Nollywood favourites such as Omotola, Ini Edo, Genevieve Nnaji and other top Nollywood actresses.
She stands out as arguably Ghana’s most outstanding and most respected actresses and has won many awards in her acting career including Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards and Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2007
6. John Dumelo
His partnership with Majid Michel will make you forget your problems. John Dumelo’s presence on the Ghanaian screens changed Ghanaian’s perception of local movies. Gentle, Romantic and handsome Dumelo was the ladies man during his vibrant acting days.
Dumelo has been cast in popular movies including Men In Love, The Game, Chelsea, Mirror of Life, One Night in Vegas etc.
So much love for John Dumelo propelled him the first Ghanaian citizen to reach a million likes on Facebook
Awards won include Most Outstanding Actor 2011 at the Afro Australian Movies and Music Awards in Dec 2011 in Australia. He also won the Best African Actor Award at the African Entertainment Awards in April 2012 in Malaysia
Dumelo has been recently involved in politics and has therefore been off the movie screens lately, However, He is undoubtedly one of those actors who made Ghanaians fall in love with locally produced movies.