10 Celebrities Who Have Passed Away But Works Still Making Waves
Death they say is inevitable but the things people do whiles on earth may still live on. As Marcus, Tullius Cicero will say, “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living”. The dead are most often remembered for the legacy they left behind for posterity.
Some time ago, there were some entertainers within the Ghanaian Showbiz industry whose works were enjoyed by Ghanaians and those in the diaspora. Some of these legends were musicians, actors and actresses. Their inexistence have caused so much vacuum in the hearts of Ghanaians but the flashback of their works still brings joy to the faces of people all the time.
Like Elisabeth Kubler-Ross will say “It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live whilst we are alive – to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a facade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are”. As a living celebrity or great personality today, what do you think you will be remembered for when you say goodbye to the world one day?
In the quest to agree with the statement that although people die and their physical presence no more, their works might still be adored. The Ghana Report identified ten great, motivational and hilarious celebrities who left footprints on succeeding generations.
- Patrick Nana Kwame Ampadu (Nana Kwame Ampadu)
The Highlife Legend, Patrick Nana Kwame Ampadu popularly known as Nana Kwame Ampadu was born on 31st March 1945 to Samuel Kofie & Madam Mary Angamah at Adiemmra in Obo Kwahu in the eastern region of Ghana. He joined his ancestors on Tuesday 28th September, 2021 at age 76. Although the legend is old, the news about his death was a shock and painful to Ghanaians.
The late Nana Kwame Ampadu is recognised within the Ghanaian music industry as the pillar or father of Highlife music.
In 1963 at the Park Cinema in Accra, Nana Ampadu formed the ‘African Brothers Band’ with his immediate senior brother, Rover Amo Ampadu who incidentally became the manager of the band.
He is noted to have composed 800 highlife songs before his death. You will never turn on your radio set on Saturdays without hearing Nana Kwame Ampadu’s songs between the hours of 2:00pm – 4:00pm.
Most Trotro drivers like to tune in to stations playing Nana Kwame Ampadu’s song during sun set or on weekends. On Fridays and Saturdays at funeral grounds, most DJs play Nana Kwame Ampadu’s songs to entertain the mourners. How can I forget about Live Bands? The most selected songs played by Live Band Groups on funeral grounds are by Nana Kwame Ampadu.
Nana Kwame Ampadu composed interesting Highlife music like, Ebi Te Yie 1969, Otaa Hunu Ara Kwa, Gye Mani, Ankonam Mobro, Me Bisa, Mepe No Bi, Wompe Masem, Oko Nye, Akosua Dompo (1976), Kofi Nkrabea (Remix) and many more.
Awards Won By Nana Kwame Ampadu
Nana Kwame Amapadu had several awards to his credit. He won the ever-1st National Dance Band Competition in 1972(S.M.C GOVT.) in Accra, he was crowned NNWONTOFOHEHE by the Arts Council of Ghana in 1973 with the National stool name of “Nnwontofohene Nana Kwame Ampadu 1”.
He received several awards between 1981 and 1998 at Legon Hall, University of Ghana; Rex Image Associates, ECRAG, COSGA & ACRAG. He won the State Grand Medal Award in 1997 by the President of Ghana, his Excellency FLT. LT. J.J. RAWLINGS.
He composed the signature and theme song for Operation Feed Yourself in 1974(N.L.C). Some of the indelible achievements of Nana Kwame Ampadu 1 & his African Brothers Band are that, in 1973, the group stopped playing copyright music and concentrated on their own.
In the same year, Nana Ampadu introduced the AFRO HILIFE BEAT. Nana Kwame Ampadu with his African Brothers Band were also the first band to record on 45 R.P.M with a duration that exceeded the maximum 2.55 minutes in those times. They were also the first to introduce title track that consisted of, Part 1 & Part 2. Nana Ampadu was the youngest to have leadership in a band at the age of nineteen in 1963.
There are other awards that time may not permit to be mentioned but in fact Nana Kwame Ampadu is indeed a legend and no wonder he remains the strongest pillar of Highlife music in Ghana. He will forever be remembered.
Short Highlife teaser from the legend Nana Kwame Ampadu
- Mama Comfort Annor
- Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng (Ebony Reigns)
The late Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng popularly known in the showbiz industry as Ebony Reigns was one of the greatest young dancehall/afrobeat musicians whose pre-mature death brought great sadness to Ghanaians. She was born on 16th February, 1997 to Nana Poku Kwarteng and Beatrice Oppong.
She was raised in the urban areas of Accra but hailed from the Brong-Ahafo Region. Ebony Reigns was also known as Nana Heemaa (Oheema) by her close relatives, in Dansoman, a suburb of Accra. The dancehall/afrobeat artiste met her untimely death in a motor accident on the Nyamebekyere-Mankranso road on 8th February, 2018.
The late dancehall/afrobeat artiste before her demise composed songs like “Maame Hw3”, Poison, Hustle, Bad Gyal Army, Scream, Turn on the Light, Sponsor, Twerk, Be your driver and many more.
Awards won by Ebony Reigns
Ebony won several awards due to her hardwork and creativity in the music industry. Some of the awards she won were, Most Influential Artiste at 2017 Merit Awards, Bass Awards 2017, Artiste of the Year, People’s Celebrity Awards 2017 Favourite Female Musician, 2016 4syte Music Video Awards Best Female Video and New Discovery, Bass Awards Best Dancehall Video for his song Dance Floor and others.
Sponsor was one of Ebony’s hit songs in Ghana
- Alfred Benjamin Crenstil (A.B Crenstil)
Alfred Benjamin Jr known as A.B Crentsil was also one of the greatest Highlife legends Ghana has ever had. The songwriter, singer and guitarist was born in Prestea, Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), to the late Alfred Benjamin Crentsil Sr and Esi Yaaba in 1943 and passed away on July, 13th, 2022.
The contemporary Ghanaian vocalist when he was alive composed many songs like Moses, Atia, Ayen, Ye wo adze a oye, I go pay you tomorrow, Obi baa wiase, Juliana, Angelina and many more.
These songs are often played currently although the composer is dead. This shows how beautiful and important it is to be a legend.
A.B Crentsil won several awards such as the Fontomfrom Evergreen Award, and that is a honor bestowed upon a musician with 15–20 years of continuous music experience. His insightful songs always make Ghanaians remember him although he is no more.
- Bernard Nyarko
Bernard Nyarko, commonly known in show business as Bishop Bernard Nyarko, was an actor whose hilarious movies always brought a nostalgia. The actor who became a full-time preacher passed away on May 2, 2020 at the Greater Accra Regional (Ridge) Hospital in Accra.
He featured in loads of movies alongside the likes of Nana Ama McBrown, Lil Win, Mercy Asiedu, Christiana Awuni, Agya Koo, Akrobeto, among others. Some of the movies that the late Bernard Nyarko featured were “Wanted, Aban Bo sia, Boyz Abre, Sunsum Police, John and John” and others. Currently, movies featuring Bernard Nyarko are always shown on our television channels and that makes local movie fans always remember Bernard Nyarko.
- John Evans Kwadwo Bosompem (Santo)
John Evans Kwadwo Bosompem popularly known in the entertainment and movie industry as Bob Santo was a Ghanaian actor and comedian whose movies entertained most people in the early 19th Century. Santo was born in 1940 and passed away in 2002. Although this comedian is dead, his funny videos continuous to trend on social media.
He was loved by everyone. Surprisingly, young people who did not get the opportunity to see Santo performing when he was alive still enjoy his hilarious short videos trending on Tik tok, facebook, and other social media platforms. Santo and Judas in a comedy is something you cannot watch without laughing. His works are actually amazing. He will forever be remembered and in fact his works will continue to make Ghanaians miss him always.
Funny video featuring Santo
- Zephyr Ephraim Psalm Adjeteyfio (T.T/ Taxi Driver)
Veteran Ghanaian actor, Zephyr Ephraim Psalm Adjeteyfio popularly known in the entertainment industry as T.T or Taxi Driver because of the popular TV series ” Taxi Driver” which he was the protagonist or main character. He was born in 1954 and died on 8th April, 2022 in Accra. Mr. Psalm Adjeteyfio is loved by all because of the passion he attached to his profession. He was always serious when acting.
The death of the Veteran actor came as a great loss to the entertainment industry. He was also advertising for companies like Best Point Pension Trust.
Mr. Psalm Adjeteyfio was featured in movies like Love, Taxi Driver, Lies and Murder, Papa Lasisi, American Boy, The Scent of Danger and The Chosen one.
He lived a reserved life and he will always be remembered for his great contribution in the movie industry.
- Mac Jordan Amartey (Sugar Daddy)
Mac Jordan Amartey commonly known as ”Sugar Daddy” was born in 1936 and joined his ancestors in 2018. Mr. Amartey acted as a philanderer who chased young girls in movies and that made his colleagues tag him Sugar Daddy.
He was a very lovely and hilarious actor whom most Ghanaians enjoyed his movies when he was acting. Although Sugar Daddy is no more, Ghanaians always remember him for the masterful role he played in movies such as Black Star 2 (2006), Victim of Love 2 (1998) and The Returnee (1995). He was part of the entertaining and educative TV THEATRE SERIES on Ghana Television in the nineties.
Most television channels still broadcast movies featuring Mr. Mac Jordan Amartey, a.k.a Sugar Daddy. He will forever be remembered.
- Prince Yawson (Waakye)
Rev. Prince Yawson popularly known in the movie industry as “Waakye” passed away on 2nd August, 2022 at the 37 Military Hospital. Waakye became famous in the local TV series known as “Chorkor Trotro” on TV3. Again, waakye was featured in movies like “Diabolo” and “Babina”.
Prince Yawson later on went into a full-time ministry and was ordained a Reverend Minister on Sunday, April 25, 2021, at the Word Impact Centre in Accra. His church members together with all Ghanaians will never forget about his rich talent in the entertainment industry.
- Ebenezer Donkor (Katawere)
Ebenezer Donkor also known as Katawere in the entertainment industry but notably ”Yaw Donkor” in Kohwe Showcase Drama on GBC Television in the 80’s, also became very popular in the TV series “Efiewuara”. Mr. Donkor was born in 1938 and died on November 12, 2016. Katawere is well known for his mature acting in movies.
In most of his movies, you will hear him advising audience indirectly. The death of the veteran actor made Ghanaians very sad. He featured in movies such as “The Code of Money and Death, Efiewura, Black Star, Kaba Church” and others.
There are currently Kumawood movies shown on Tv stations featuring Mr. Ebenezer Donkor alias Katawere. May his soul continue to rest in perfect peace.