Actress | Philanthropist | Entrepreneur
In acting, preparation is key and in order to get the most out of your acting career, there are also some traits that can help you along the way. Confidence, charisma and socializing with your co-workers is another aspect of acting. I have always wanted to be an actress, since I was very little. My passion is to act. I am not a career advice expert, having stumbled along myself grasping opportunities where it presented itself.
My name is Akofa Edjeani, I am Ghanaian veteran film actress, producer and entrepreneur. I had my secondary school education at Mawuli School where I started acting as a member of the school's drama club. I hold a bachelor's degree in Arts from the University of Ghana Performing Arts and a certificate in PR, Marketing and Advertising from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (1995). I started my acting career in 1987 and made my debut in Annette and Jagger Pee TV series. I also starred in Ultimate Paradise in the 1990s. I was on the semi-finals judges panel for the 2009 International Emmy Awards (Asia/Africa/Middle East). In 1995, I acted in For Better For Worse, 2015 I featured in the British-Ghanaian award winning movie, The Cursed Ones. I was a member of the Interim Governing Council of the Ghana Culture Forum. My short film, Not My Daughter (a film about female genital mutilation), won Best Short Film award at the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in 2008, and I Sing of a Well, the movie I starred in and co-produced, won three awards and the Best Jury Award from African Movie Academy Awards in 2010. I am blessed to recently receive a citation of honor by Helping Hands International (H2i) for my contribution towards influencing lives positively through my gift, craft or movies.
Being one of the pioneers in the Ghana Movie Industry to have sought a breakthrough in the 90s. I have been in the movie industry for about 3 decades. One advice, I would give to my 15 years self, “do not let your poor background discourage you”. I have seen people who attended village or remote schools and outclassed students from big or private schools in Accra or big cities. Why? Because they were determined to make a change in their lives and that of their communities. I was inspired by my own difficult childhood, where my sister and I had to hawk bread to help my parents cater for us.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them? I am a firm believer of women’s empowerment. When I started acting, although women were guaranteed political participation and leadership rights; under the 1992 Ghana Constitution we still lacked female representation or changemakers in government or leadership.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
In my opinion there’s no such thing as a job for life nowadays, so be open-minded about your career choices.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
If the foundation of your building is weak, the building will certainly collapse in no time. My advice is that beauty can be achieved in good dressing without body exposure or body shaming.
Preparation is key, so stay in theater class, learn, rehearse and memorize at least three 1 minute monologues that show your range. Read as much as you can about the business, learn to accept rejection; always enjoy the opportunity to show your talent; even if you're not selected this time, they may want you for a future role, so keep a positive attitude. If you submit online video auditions and get called, be financially prepared to travel and stay humble.
When you go to college, you want to make sure that you are taking the appropriate classes, which will help you to pursue the career of your dreams. When you want to become an actor or an actress, there are certain degrees that make the most sense. Although not all actors or actresses receive formal college education, there are certain programs that will enhance your career in this field. Many times, studying various aspects of the entertainment industry will open hidden doors of interest that will lead to future success.