They make us laugh, they make us cry, they entertain us and we love them. They are the real Ghanaian sweethearts
Being a celebrity in Ghana is not an easy thing; in fact often I find myself answering the question 'do we have celebrities in Ghana?'But with my 9 years in the industry and my self-confessed title as a celebrity blogger, I believe we have celebrities in Ghana, and I have been able to gauge also how people respond to the various stars.
In the past, it has been rare to find Ghanaians trying to connect with most of these stars or even cheering for them when they see them in town. Very often, most Ghanaians cannot be bothered. With the growth of social media, there has been some growth in celebrity culture, with 'fans' looking for photo opportunities with the stars, and sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. While social media may be credited with some positive growth in celebrity culture, the insults and unsavory comments people make about the stars on blogs and social media cannot be overlooked either.
I have observed throughout my work as a celebrity reporter that in spite of these adversities, some Ghanaian celebrities do get love and respect from the public. These people enjoy good press and you hardly find people who genuinely have something bad to say about them. These people have a good following which is often evident in their online presence. They are likeable, they are ‘loved’, they are admired, and they made my list of ‘Real Ghanaian Sweethearts’.
Singer, Becca first came into the spotlight when she made it into the Top 12 finalists of the maiden edition of the TV3 Mentor music reality TV show, only to pull out from the competition. Since then she has remained a permanent fixture in the music industry as one of the most recognized female singers in Ghana. Although her vocal abilities have been doubted by some, her talent has been apparent and she has proven to have the staying power record after record! She has a well managed public image, there is hardly bad press around her and she often knows what to say and when to talk. She isn’t seen anywhere and everywhere. She projects an image of class and sophistication; a lady in the eyes of many but doesn’t try too hard to appear pompous.
Actor, Adjetey Anang gained cross-country fame as the bad boy people loved to hate on the hit TV series, ‘Things We Do for Love’. His character ‘Pusher’ was the bad boy of the series and he played it so well although in real life, Adjetey is nothing like Pusher. The often introvert actor has since graduated from being a youth TV star to a consummate actor playing a variety of characters. His dynamism as an actor puts him much ahead of most of his contemporaries. His demeanor has endeared him to many and I am one of the many people who list him as their favourite actor in Ghana.
Actor, John Dumelo is a ladies’ man and when you have the women liking you, you have the world behind you; and well a few guys will hate you. John is one of the few Ghanaian celebrities that I have watched young ladies in public and on TV go ‘Oh My God’ for. For me, it is not so clear why the ladies love him so much because he isn’t quite the standard hunk/heartthrob that is glorified as the object of every lady’s desire throughout the world; no muscles, no abs just chubbiness. What I like most about John is the fact that in an era that most of the popular actors in Ghana were of a certain colour and look, he managed to have cross-over success almost from nowhere. John is funny, likeable and often down to earth.
Stephen Appiah, former captain of the Ghana national football team, the Black Stars, is one of the most loved footballers in recent times. He draws the affection of the nation from a sport that most Ghanaians are passionate about and his subtle charisma places him above most of his colleagues. I can’t pretend to know too much about Ghanaian football but surely from what I often hear; Stephen is a great inspiration to his teammates - almost to talismanic proportions. He is loved and respected not only by his teammates but the nation at large. When topless photos of the footballer were published on the internet, it became clear that Stephen was loved for more than his skills on the pitch via the comments that popped up.
Jackie Appiah first gained popularity on the youth TV series, ‘Things We Do for Love’ where she captivated viewers with her beauty and infectious smile. Her character, Enyonam Blagogee was not just pretty but sweat, soft and innocent, endearing her to most viewers – both male and female. Once her acting career took off, she continued to play the ‘sweat girl’ in several movie roles and perhaps that forms the basis for her admiration by most Ghanaians. She also enjoys a lot of good press, and her image has been well managed as ‘the good girl’. With several brand endorsements under her belt, Jackie’s face is on several billboards along the streets of Ghana and constantly she is in the face and minds of people. She isn’t just popular but truly a Ghanaian Sweetheart.
Ghanaians are a cheerful bunch, they love to laugh and no one makes them laugh quite as much as comedian and actor, Kwadwo Nkansah popularly known as Lilwin. Although he often shares tales of how he struggled in life, for most fans, his new found celebrity status largely happened over night. Although the quality of production of the movies he stars are questionable, it cannot be taken from him Ghanaians home and abroad yearn to watch his movies. He is funny and he pulls the crowd wherever he goes. He is hardly taken seriously and can literally get away with murder.
Kalybos and Ahuofe Patri
Their stardom happened overnight and they have become Ghana's original YouTube superstars. Kalybos and Ahuofe Patri have warmed their way into the hearts of Ghanaians with their confusing love affair and the humour that comes with it. Will, Ahuofe Patri finally give Kalybos a chance with her heart? The answer for that is not known but one thing I know is the fact that Ghanaians love the couple. It was therefore not surprising that thousands turned out for the premiere of their movie, 'Kalybos In China'
Certainly this list is not exhaustive of all the many great Ghanaian talents that we love and appreciate, but a selection of the few that stand out for me for the reasons stated above. It is not an issue of fan base or social media following but the reaction I get from the public when issues about these stars pop up. Share your views!