When she abandoned her job as a presenter on BBC’s youth show, “Pass da Mic” in the UK in 2009, never did it cross the mind of Ama Konadu Abebrese that three years down the line she would be earning cheers and recognition from all over Africa as an accomplished actress.
Although becoming an actress was a dream she had been nursing since her childhood, the desire remained a dream until she met Leila Djansi of Turning Point Productiona few years ago at a film festival back in the UK.
Ama, who never gave up after being turned down at several auditions had to convince Leila to earn her the first role in the movie Sinking Sands.
Today, the outcome of her pursuing her dream has resulted in various high flyer awards and recognition beginning with the Best Actress in leading role at the African Movie Academy Awards in 2010.
Since then, the talented actress has not looked back.
For one whose name, Abebrese, translates as agony and anguish, it is quite interesting to note that she has been successful and continues winning awards in her relatively short career.
The awards include Best Actress at the Zimbabwe Film Festival, and several nominations including Best Actress at the Ghana Movie Awards , Favourite West African Actress at Screen Nation Awards -UK and Best Pan African Actress at Nigerian Entertainment Awards.
So what could have accounted for such a feat within this short period after spending most of her growing years in the United Kingdom where she built successful career in broadcasting only to return to her homeland country to pursue her long cherished dream?
The talented actress told Showbiz last Friday that it is a known fact that many Ghanaian artistes living in the Diaspora find it difficult to break through back home because of identity problems, accent and the exposure to different cultures which tends to be a major challenge but she ignored that as a hindrance and came down to Ghana.
Probably for individuals like Ama, combination of hard work, dedication, and a resolve to have her fair share of fame in a land she comes from, worked the magic.
“I have heard several people argue that I don’t deserve the awards that I receive but I want it to be noted that receiving an award has got nothing to do with the number of movies you have featured in and this is where I think that people get it wrong. It is quality that people look for not quantity as some people think. It is a wrong conception that needs to be erased” she said.
The actress said that she feels fascinated when people perceive her to be a “newcomer” in the industry remarking that “ You see, most people think that I am new in the industry but they have no idea how I have hustle to get to where I am now. Even now, some people still see me as an outsider when it comes to Ghana Movie Industry but I know what I stand for and what I hope to achieve as well”.
Currently, she has three movies to her credit namely “Sinking Sands”, “Ties that Bind” by Leila Djansi’s Turning Point Production and “Elmina” from the staples of Revele Production but Ama believes that she needs more challenging roles to reveal the other side of her.
“Everybody knows that I am not a quiet person but I have always played ‘softer’ roles. I go all out to have fun and get what I want but as an actress, I have to interpret my role so I put in my best to bring the best out of me. Maybe, playing a block buster movie with all the shootings all over will show the other side of me. I am looking forward to play such a role, what do you think?” she said amidst laughter.
Ama said that her ultimate dream of influencing the society positively has been a major factor in the selection of the scripts and productions she wants to be part of.
“I don’t believe in quantity but I believe in quality so even if in my career span of twenty years as an actress, I do just ten movies which have an impact on society, I will not be bothered. I want the projects I am involved in to affect the society positively and not just for the fame.
“I quite remember in a conversation with a colleague actress of mine, she could not remember the titles of some of the movies she has been in involved in. She could only remember four out of the about fifty movies she has starred in. That, I think should not be the case at all. I should value what I do.
“Personally, I love the acting craft so I take a particular interest in it and just don’t do it for fun. Again, I believe that whatever I do, I can do better or best so I don’t settle for anything”.
When asked if she would want to feature in a movie by Shirleyy Frimpong Manso’s Sparrow Production, this is what she had to say “Why not? If it is a good project, I won’t mind at all. I don’t want to select productions based on names but the quality and I must admit that I will love to work with Kwaw Ansah who I have idolised since infancy because he is a great movie maker not only in Ghana but globally”.
She said that even though she receives offers from producers outside the country, she is yet to receive a script from a Ghanaian producer and jokingly said “Maybe, their budget cannot accommodate me. Anyway, I know that some of my people are really making good money”.
She believes that her influence as an actress should not end in Ghana and Nigeria as has been the lot of most Ghanaian actresses but they must endeavour to extend their influence globally. “I will very much love to be on a South African, Kenya and Tanzania productions. I don’t think that we have to limit ourselves to Nigeria because we can go beyond that and I am looking forward to capture the hearts of Africa”.
The 20-something year-old lady who professes to be a staunch Christian says that she is still praying to God to grant her the man of her dreams to settle down soon and hopes that in the next five years, she would be happily married with kids while enjoying her award of her an Oscar prize which she is working towards.
She holds a B.A in Media Arts and Drama from St, Mary’s University College and in order to keep fit, she boxes at the gym to release stress. “I release my tension, stress and frustration on the boxing material every morning and I love to eat good because I love to eat”
Currently, the Head of productions at VIASAT 1, Ama Konadu Abebrese has had the privilege of interviewing international artistes like Akon and Ziggy Marley. “ I believe that I am growing into a better person so my admirers should be on the watch for the new Ama Konadu Abebrese”.