September to remember: Ghana mourns three legendary entertainers
Ghana’s Creative Art industry mourns three legendary stakeholders in the music and movie scenes who for the past years have contributed immensely in its development.
The industry, lost Legendary highlife musician, Nana Kwame Ampadu who died at the early hours of Tuesday, September 28 at the age of 76 years.
The “Obra” hitmaker was reported to have died at the Legon Hospital where he was receiving treatment since last year for an ailment of a sort. The cause of death is not yet known.
Nana Kwame Ampadu was a household name in Ghana and beyond with his style of music loved by both children and adults.
His musical career spanning over decades of more than 800 accreditation of numerous popular highlife tracks in the country and beyond.
Since the news of his death broke, tributes have been pouring in from the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other musicians.
President Akufo-Addo described him as an idol whose efforts ensured his victory in the 2016 general elections and expressed his regret for his demise.
“I have learnt, with great sadness, of the death of one of Ghana’s musical icons, the legendary high-life artiste, Nana Ampadu.
The outpouring of grief by many Ghanaians, following the news of his death, is an appreciation of the impact his music had on successive generations of Ghanaians.
Nana Ampadu believed in my vision for the transformation of Ghana, and assisted me tremendously on the campaign trail in the run-up to my victory in the elections of 2016, for which I remain eternally grateful.
His was a life well-lived, and he will be sorely missed. My deep condolences to his widow, children and family,” he said
A number of Highlife artistes described Nana Ampadu as a formidable force and a pillar of influence to the generation.
Dada Hafco bemoaned that “there is only one Nana Ampadu and for me I can only say that the biggest of all the trees has fallen.”
He said his music was greatly influenced by Anna Ampadu’s style of using proverbs and storytelling in his song thus always looked up to him.
Describing her bond with Nana Ampadu as one of a “father and daughter” relationship, Akosua Adjepong indicated that her music and skills were honed by the late musician.
“My dad died when I was young so I took Nana Ampadu as my father and he shaped me in so many ways. My songwriting skills became better because of him. He took me to my first TV interview at GTV and was my guide and counsellor. I have known him for the past 35 years and the best description of him is that he was a father to all,” she said.
Sharing his fond memories of Nana Ampadu, the Acting President of the Musicians Union of Ghana(MUSIGA), Bessa Simons stated that Nana Ampadu was a selfless man who always loved to share.
“I have known him for more than two decades and I can say that he was one of the best songwriters and composers. He loved Ghana and used every least opportunity to promote the motherland. We have lost more than a legend who always advised us through his songs,” he said.
For Quarmy Zaggy, “Highlife music is in grief” following the death of the legendary singer.
“It’s unfortunate that we are losing our Highlife gems and now Nana Kwame Ampadu has departed. He touched millions with his talent and was happy to chart a good cause for young artistes like myself,” he stated.
However, Rex Omar commended Nana Ampadu for paving the way for his successors.
“You paved the way for us and really paid your dues. Damirifa due Odwontofohene Nana Kwame Ampadu, Live in power,” he said.
The founder of Lovers of Highlife Ghana (LOHGHA), Edward Owusu Banahene, also acknowledged the contributions of Nana Kwame Ampadu and other prominent Ghanaian Highlife musicians.
“Nana Kwame Ampadu’s legacy remains a measuring rod for the quality of sound and lyrical contents of Highlife music being composed and played today. For us members of Lovers of Highlife Ghana, the demise of Nana Kwame Ampadu leaves a vacuum in the music industry,” he added.
Born Patrick Kwame Ampadu, he was the former General Secretary of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and was the founder of the famous African Brothers Band, and rose to national prominence in 1967 with his song “Ebi Te Yie.”
The veteran musician was admired as a master lyricist for great compositions including Getty, Oman Bo Adwo, Kofi Nkrabea, Yaw Berko, Obra, Agartha, Obi Benya Wo and Kwaata.
Ampadu’s career saw him travel around the world and in 2015, the he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards. In 2017, he was among five Highlife artistes honoured at the MUSIGA Grand Ball where he received a plaque and a cash prize.
Nana Ampadu was a mentor to several musicians including Sam Derchie, Teacher Boateng, Nanaba Amoako, Senior Eddie Donkor and Prince Osei Kofi. More recently, he worked with top artistes including rapper Sarkodie.
Born at Adiemmra in the Affram Plains in the Eastern Region on March 31, 1945, Nana Kwame composed and recorded songs about money, love and marriage, good citizenship, greed, drunkenness, death, road manners for commercial drivers, effective parenting, social stratification and virtually every aspect of our being in this country.
Meanwhile Veteran Ghanaian Kumawood actor King Aboagye Brenya on Thursday September 30, passed away.
The news of his death was announced by a family member on social media and was later confirmed by colleague actor, Kwadwo Nkasah Lilwin.
According to reports, King Aboagye Brenya died at the County Hospital at Abrepo in Kumasi after an emergency hospital visit.
Before the unfortunate incident, the 82-year-old kumawood actor had been notably absent from the movie scene due to being bedridden from illness. At the moment, the cause of death is unknown.
He is mourned by a widow and nine children while starring in over 100 Kumawood Movies.
The ace actor featured in movies with the likes of Agya Koo, Lilwin, Kwaku Manu, Mercy Aseidu among others.
Meanwhile, some personalities in the movie industry including ‘Lilwin’ have expressed their condolence and well wishes to the bereaved family.
Taking to Instagram with emojis that depict pain and sorrow, the popular Ghanaian actor stated “Ooo papa. Rest in peace and God be with you.”
In related development, legendary comic actor, Kofi Laing, who became popular through a national drama series with a name Kohwe, also died at the age of 75.
The actor who passed away on Thursday, September 16 is believed to have died from stroke.
Confirming his death to the media, his daughter, Comfort Laing, indicated that her father had been suffering from a rare disease for the past years.
She stated that the family joined resources together to help the ace actor gain the necessary medical attention but things went worse each day.
A few weeks ago, it was reported that he had suffered a stroke and was undergoing treatment at a health facility.
Kohwe is known for his sterling roles in the Akan Drama series and the popular District Colonial Court.