Ama K. Abebrese

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Ama K. Abebrese was born May 3, 1980. She  is an award-winning British Ghanaian actress, television presenter and producer. She was born in Ghana and raised in West London in the United Kingdom. She won the 2011 Best Actress in a Leading Role at the AMAA Awards for her stellar performance in Sinking Sands. Her film credits includes the Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation directed by Cary Fukunaga and stars Idris Elba. She plays the mother to lead young actor Abraham Attah who plays Agu. Abebrese is listed among Africa’s Top 20 Actors and Actresses by FilmContacts.com. She was named among C Hub magazine’s 100 most influential  African Women Influencers’ of the era 2014/15. She was ranked the Number 1 Most Influential TV and Radio Host 2015 on the Ghana Social Media Rankings List.

She is an accomplished television presenter, having started hosting TV shows in her teens on YCTV in London, she has presented on BBC2, OBE TV, Viasat 1, TV3, Ebonylife TV and many more.

Abebrese started her training at YCTV (Youth Culture Television) in London, an organization started by Sabrina Guinness on the TV show Challenge Anneka. She was a presenter on BBC2 youth show Pass da Mic and a guest presenter on the English File educational series. She developed a love for acting after joining the Lyric Theatre (Hammersmith) Summer Company as a youth. Abebrese was a regular TV presenter on the now defunct OBE TV in London, hosting and producing on a number of shows including One Touch, and the entertainment chat show On The Sofa, where guests she has interviewed range from Akon to Ziggy Marley. She has interviewed the likes of Harrison Ford, Ne-Yo, Rihanna, and Star Wars director George Lucas among notable others.

Her film credits include the international multiple award-winning film Sinking Sands, directed by 2011 BAFTA LA and Pan African Film Festival prize winner Leila Djansi. The film received 12 nominations at the 2010 Ghana Movie Awards, including “Best Actress in a Leading Role”, the film won four awards, including “Best Film”. Others film credits are Revele film’s Elmina and London Get Problem. She starred and co-produced the movie Double-Cross, which won two awards for “Best Cinematography” and “Best Hair and Make Up” at the 2015 Ghana Movie Awards.

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She is the former Head of Own Productions at Viasat 1 television station in Ghana.She was the host of A Day in the Life TV show which aired on Viasat 1; she co hosted New Day on TV3 weekday mornings.In 2013, Abebrese alongside Nollywood actress Dakore and comedian Ayo Makun hosted the 2013 edition of the AMAA Awards.

 

Comic Book films-Black Heroes,White Wealth(Part 1 of 2)

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There’s been a lot of hype about the upcoming Black Panther film. The film is set to be released worldwide on February 16,2018. Which is convenient since February is Black History Month right?  Anyone who follows my blog knows I have mentioned I grew up reading comic books as a child.  I read a lot of DC and Marvel comic books.  I used to read Spider Man,Batman,Superman,The Hulk,X Men and The Fantastic Four. Over the years I have collected hundreds of comic books.  But I was always fascinated by the black comic book characters.  Some of my favorites were Storm,Black Lightning,Steel,Misty Knight and Luke Cage.  But my favorite was probably Black Panther. Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four issue #52 back in 1966.  That issue of Fantastic Four is selling for $400-$800 on the internet.  Although after the Panther film comes out I’m sure the price will skyrocket.  I always thought Black Panther was a cool character.  Panther’s birth name is T’Challa. T’Challa’s senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to superhuman levels by the heart-shaped herb.  T’Challa is a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, tracker and a master of all forms of unarmed combat whose unique hybrid fighting style incorporates acrobatics and aspects of animal mimicry. T’Challa being a royal descendent of a warrior race is also a master of armed combat, able to use a variety of weapons but prefers unarmed combat. He is a master planner who always thinks several steps ahead and will go to extreme measures to achieve his goals and protect the fictional kingdom of Wakanda.  Wakanda is not a real African country.  But it could just as well be Kenya,Nigeria,Tanzania or Ghana.  And this is one of my conerns about the film.  I have covered great African civilizations on this blog many times. Most of us know about The Mali empire as well as ancient Kemet(Egypt),Ghana and Kingdom of Kush. So why is Hollywood making films about fictional African empires when real ones exist?  Of course you know why right?

 

I will admit that the trailer looks really good.  The visuals are nice and it looks to be action packed.  I have watched the reaction from many black film goers on the internet.  I would say that 85% of the reaction has been positive.  And I can see why.  Talented actor Chadwick Boseman  plays the title character.  The cast has some pretty big names. The cast includes Angela Bassett,Forest Whitaker,Danai Gurira,Michael B. Jordan,Lupita Nyongo(my favorite),Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. It’s a majority black cast.  Even the director Ryan Coogler is a black man.  So is this a black film? It seems like it.  But of course the film is being made by Marvel Studios.  Marvel Studios was bought by the Walt Disney Company back in 2009 for 4.24 billion dollars. I did a post in the past about the wicked and racist Disney company.  The Disney president and CEO is a white man named Robert Iger.  So the Black Panther film is basically a Disney film with a black cast.

Black Superheroes..

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I have done many posts on racist Hollywood and their negative stereotypes. Many black people are excited about this film.  And it’s because we want to see ourselves in a positive light.  We want to see ourselves looking glorious and majestic.  We want to see black people as kings and queens on the big screen. Hollywood has given the masses films about Roman empires for years.  Films like Ben Hur,Julius Caesar,Spartacus and Gladiator.  Not to mention fictional films/tv shows like Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones.  They give us hundreds of films showing them as powerful kings and queens.  Then when they want to show African royalty…we get a fictional country??  That is white supremacy at it’s best.  The film looks good but I know how Hollywood operates.  I will be looking for any type of anti-blackness in this film.  And I’m sure there will be some type of black degradation in it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some interracial love going on . Maybe they’ll slip in some lesbian/homosexual scene.  Or possibly showing African traitors in which to instill black people to not trust each other.  I could be wrong…but I doubt it.

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Wakanda is fictional but the Kingdom of Kush was real. Don’t get me wrong,I have nothing against fictional stories.  I grew up enjoying films and television shows like Star Trek and Star Wars.  I think they can be fun and entertaining.  I just think we have to be mindful who is getting our money when we pay for these films.  Black Panther looks like it will be a big blockbuster.  And I’m glad the mostly black cast is getting paid.  But the white owned Disney/Marvel company will be getting the majority of the money. We will be giving our money right back  to racist Hollywood.  They are just doing this film to throw black people a bone! But there are many black comic book artists and writers that could use our support.  That’s what I’ll address in part two.

 

Nana Mensah

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is a Ghanaian-American actress, director, writer, singer and all around renaissance woman who we first got to know as the fiery Sade on the web series An African CityOver the last thirty months, Mensah has been hard at work on her first feature film, a dark comedy called Queen of Glory, which she wrote, directed and stars in. In the film, Mensah plays Sarah Obeng, a young PhD. candidate who is also a “weirdo, adulteress, binge-eating, grieving-but-not-dealing, Ghanaian-American genius who is slaying at academia, but failing at life.” For Mensah, a self-professed weirdo, her latest role is an opportunity to tell the story of a black woman from an African immigrant community who finds herself pulled in different directions as she tries to develop and honor each aspect of her identities.

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MaameYaa Boafo

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MaameYaa Boafo was born in Pakistan and hails from Ghana, West Africa and currently lives in New York. Coming to the United States to obtain a double Bachelor degree in Journalism and French at Hood College, Ms. Boafo was then awarded the Levin Scholarship from Rutgers University where she received her MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts.  She has since gone on to play roles such as Ophelia in Hamlet, the Courtesan in Comedy of Errors and made her off-Broadway debut as Walter Mosley’s leading lady in his play LIFT.

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Since making her on-screen acting debut in 2012, in the award winning indie film Asa as the title role, MaameYaa has gone on to star in other indies and short films ( Bus Nut. Directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu as well as TV: Madam Secretary, Blacklist & Mysteries of Laura to name a few. Ms. Boafo also leads the cast of An African City, the international hit web series that is “Africa’s answer to Sex & the City” (CNN). Commercial appearances include Nickolodeon and Movicel starring Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes and Dove Chocolate among others.

Hamamat Montia

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This beautiful sista is Hamamat Montia.  She is a beautiful African model.  This is an interview she did with  Debonair magazine.

To begin with, Hamamat is fully Ghanaian. Her dad is Sisala from Kandia Upper West Region and her mum is from Bongo in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Now this is what you probably did not know. Hamamat was born in Bolgatanga but moved to Accra in her tot stages. Her early days were characterized by happy memories shared with her extended family with lots of kids while in the northern part of Ghana before moving to Accra. Her mum Aisha Taimoko is everything to her. She is a naturalist, a cook, owned restaurants, sold Shea butter and an organic freak who has continuously influenced her existence to this very day.
The Hamamat we know and have come to love is not a recent development.  Before Malaika she did have a life; she was your typical teenager who would do everything every teenager her age would do. Growing up, visions changed and dreams changed. Miss Malaika came at the stage where she was on the heights of the need to discover herself. It was a life changing experience which greatly impacted her life. The Hamamat brand was bound to succeed and Malaika was just the perfect springboard for this leap which has pushed her into the limelight.

Just like the misconceptions people have of her that have to be cleared, she seeks to clear the misconceptions that exist about her people in the northern part of Ghana. Most dominant of which is that people in the north are afraid of getting rich because they think it will change their life. “Yes my people are mostly poor but it doesn’t translate they are deprived of the zeal for success. Just like everybody they have dreams and aspirations and yearn to be heard. Although contentment is settling they are a happy people in spite of their circumstances. So this is why I do what do I what I do to tell their story with fashion.

Lately, you’ll see a lot of Hamamat on social media in something African. The direction of that is to showcase Africa in every sense; be it in terms of fashion or its places particularly the northern part of Ghana.
Hamamat is a proud African brand because Hamamat is an African woman showcasing Africa everywhere. On the other hand, Hamamat is not associated with any particular brand house. She wears what she feels reflects her identity. “You would mostly see me wear Kakaa though and that is because she understands my style preference and knows very well I like to represent myself in what I wear. But aside her, if I feel any other particular designer suits what I represent, I will wear their work. For instance Suzzy in Osu. I feel happy wearing her designs because my business supports her livelihood and that puts a smile on my face. It doesn’t matter the size of the designer I will wear their works so far it suits my brand.”

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Hamamat is a creative person and she likes to express that by contributing to the designing of what she wears. She actually has a say in what she wears. Also, Hamamat does everything African. That is the trademark. Some may think it’s limiting but Africa is the origination of many styles we see around us. The influence of African fashion is ever reaching into almost every other culture you may think about and this is not surprising because Africa is the hub of civilization and fashion is one the few remnants of this influence we have on the world. So in a few words, she does a variety of African-influenced styles from ranging from vintage, modern, contemporary, and simplistic to hip. She doesn’t put herself into one box of style because that to her is limiting.

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She has two beautiful girls; Zuri and Safari who are both 4 years and 15 months respectively. But at heart, she insists she is a mother to any child who loves to teach others just as she would teach her own. “It wasn’t hard. It was more like an innate part of my being so I just embraced what was truly within and it took my kids to bring in that changed in my life. “
According to her, she doesn’t need a specific day such as mother’s day because she treasures each day and shows her love accordingly. Parenting to her is about making long-lasting indelible memories with your kids so she tries to create as many memories each day with them just as her mum shared with her because life is too short to lose even a second of it, she believes.

Life is unpredictable and so is Hamamat so expecting one thing in particular from Hamamat will get you disappointed. But one thing that is definite is that whatever that is going to come from her in the future will be impactful and amazing. As she travels all over Africa and her own country she will continually draw inspiration which will spiral her into doing and achieving more. So all I can say is that the future is bright with a daring mama bear who draws inspiration to change the world from her baby cubs.