The Political Breeze Around Creative Industry Personalities
It’s almost a straight path when one decides to read medicine, law, finance, architecture, or even journalism.
And oftentimes, when you tow this line of education your career path is set till sometime later you decide to switch to another field.
But the same cannot be said for entertainers, actors, and musicians, who appear to have lived through every profession because of their craft.
Acting for one creates an avenue for you to be a doctor, lawyer, banker, architect, or even a journalist.
It, therefore, comes as no surprise that lately many celebrities have resorted to carving a niche for themselves in politics.
Gone are the days when Ghanaian politics was only for full-time politicians, ex-military generals, and businessmen.
Today, a plethora of creative industry personalities are vying for membership in the country’s law making-body.
The past few weeks in the political sphere have seen some surprise announcements to this effect toward the 2023 parliamentary primaries.
In this piece, theghanareport.com political desk takes a look at the various Ghanaian showbiz personalities who have declared interest in contesting the election.
This piece will also take you down memory lane to bring you the showbiz personalities who were at some point appointed for ministerial or ambassadorial roles by successive governments.
John Setor Dumelo
The award-winning actor is gradually becoming a household name on the political terrain.
In 2020, he was neck and neck with the NPP’s Lydia Alhassan and garnered 37,778 votes, offering him a glimmer of hope for a fortuity in the constituency that has continually sent the NPP to the precipice of losing stranglehold.
This time, his campaign for the NDC primaries in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency has been headlined ‘the second coming’.
Born on February 3, 1984, John is a Ghanaian actor, farmer, and politician. He had his basic education at Christ the King School and secondary education at Achimota School.
He was part of the Drama Club. He also won the Fliers Guy in Mo-TOWN prize. He then pursued Civil Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, in Kumasi.
Mr. Dumelo contested in “Mr. University” and won at KNUST. Later, he enrolled in GIMPA’s School of Public Service and Governance.
He started acting in the early 1990s, first in a 1991 movie called Baby Thief while he was attending Christ the King School at the age of 7. He has starred in a number of movies since then.
It can be said that John Dumelo’s grand entry into the political space gave an indication that others in the entertainment industry also had a shot. It reaffirmed the notion that politics is not the preserve of just a few people in the country.
Fred Nuamah, is a Ghanaian actor, film director and producer best known for his role in the movie The Game. He is the founder and CEO of Ghana Movie Awards & Ghana TV series Awards, an annual award show that recognizes excellence in the Ghanaian film industry.
He recently declared his intention to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat, the same seat his friend of many years, John, is contesting.
Fred will be the second movie icon to contest the seat after John Dumelo failed to beat Lydia Alhassan of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 elections.
Although it appears to be a tough competition, Mr. Nuamah is confident he will emerge victorious in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries.
Mark Okraku Mantey
The Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Mark Okraku-Mantey, declared his intentions of contesting the Ayensuano parliamentary seat in the Eastern Region on the ticket of governing NPP.
The Ayensuano parliamentary seat was snatched from the ruling NPP, by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Teddy Safori Addi.
The current NDC MP defeated then-incumbent, Samuel Ayeh Paye in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
Mark has been active in politics after publicly showing his support for the NPP prior to the 2016 Ghana Presidential Elections. He was a member of the team that drafted the creative arts section of the NPP manifesto for the 2016 and 2020 elections.
The Slip Mark Entertainment CEO is hopeful he will win the seat back for the ruling party.
He has worked with several Ghanaian musicians including Lord Kenya, Kumi Guitar, Oheneba Kissi, Daasebre Gyamenah, Akyeame, and Adane Best. He started as a disc jockey in the 1990s at Joy FM till he rose to the position of Programmes Director for Hitz FM both under the Multi-Media Group Limited.
He is best known for the Mentor reality show.
Baba Sadiq Abdulai Abu
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is steadily becoming a youthful party as many ‘fresh blood’ have publicly expressed interest in joining the party.
Baba Sadiq Abdulai Abu, the CEO of 3 Music Network, August 2022, announced intentions to contest for the Okaikoi Central seat in the general elections come 2024.
If successful, he will be battling it out with Patrick Yaw Boamah, the current MP for Okaikoi Central under the wings of NPP.
Sadiq is not new to politics. He has been heavily involved in affairs of the party, prominent among which was his contribution to the drafting of the creative arts manifesto for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) prior to the 2020 elections.
Ahead of the 2020 general elections, Ghanaian musician Kaakyire Kwame Fosu known in showbiz as KK Fosu also announced his intention to contest the Akuapem North Parliamentary seat as an independent candidate.
According to him, it was the right time to give back to the youth of Akuapem by empowering and inspiring them to attain greater heights.
Born on February 14, 1981, KK Fosu started music at a tender age with a junior school choir back in Secondary School.
He joined a live band group named “Soundz Unlimited” where he played for two years. He was later signed by DKB Productions.
In September 2020, KK Fosu led a demonstration together with the Mangoase Youth Association over the bad state of roads in Mangoase, Adawso, and Tinkong roads. In 2023, he announced he was going to form a political movement.
He is yet to officially declare his intention for the 2024 general elections.
Dzifa Abla Gomashie
Dzifa Gomashie, who is one of Ghana’s talented and experienced actresses, made her acting debut in 1985 with Talents Theatre Company formed by Kofi Portuphy.
She did not run for political office, but in 2013, former President Mahama appointed her as the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts.
In July 2019, the renowned actress declared her intention to contest the National Democratic Congress’ Parliamentary primaries in the Ketu- south constituency of the Volta Region and picked her nomination form.
Dzifa is a Ghanaian veteran actress, producer, scriptwriter, and politician. Born on July 25, 1965, she had her secondary level education at St. Louis Senior High School in Kumasi and then furthered at the University of Ghana, where she acquired a diploma in Theatre Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Theatre Management.
She then secured an MPhil in African Studies from the Institute of African Studies. She will be contesting in the Ketu South NDC Primaries.
Her campaign launch has been scheduled for Saturday, April 15, at Denu in the Volta Region.
Seth Kwame Dzokoto
Dzokoto gained a lot of audiences after he started hosting ‘Edziban’, a cooking TV show. In 2014 he was elected the NDC Deputy Propaganda Secretary of the Tarkwa Nsuem constituency in the Western Region.
The comedian who was banned recently from advertising alcoholic beverages was vetted, approved, and voted for to lead the governing NDC in the Tarkwa Nsuem Constituency as a parliamentary candidate in 2016.
He contested but lost to Mireku Duker of the New Patriotic Party.
He has been out of the political sphere for some time now.
Many call him the formidable one. Others think he is controversial. Some people seem to think he has data (In local parlance, filla) on everyone in the country.
Born, Kwame Asare Obeng (A Plus) is a hiplife artist with a keen interest in politics and social issues. He first made a name for himself singing about events leading to and after Ghana’s 2000 general elections.
Politics is indeed a dirty game, and anyone who chooses to play it must be ready to enjoy the dirt. Kwame has mastered the art of this controversial game and has been receiving love and hatred in almost equal measures.
It was his love for politics that birthed The People’s Project (TPP). TPP is basically a formidable, Non-partisan, and Non-violent Ghanaian third force cum social movement established to demand social goals and constitutional reforms that serves the best interest of the good people of Ghana.
It is not yet clear if TPP will soon rub shoulders with the two main political parties in the country.
Bice Osei Kuffour
Born on November 17, 1981, Bice Osei Kuffour is a Ghanaian hiplife musician, best known as Obour, which means “stone” in the Akan language.
He is the immediate past president of the Musicians Union of Ghana, an umbrella group that unites all musicians in Ghana irrespective of genre.
It will be recalled that Obour contested the NPP primaries elections in the Asante Akyem South constituency as a parliamentary candidate. He lost to the incumbent MP, Kwaku Asante Boateng, by 66 votes in that contest in 2020.
He was later appointed as secretary to the NPP 2020 Campaign Ashanti Region Advertising Committee. He has been appointed Managing Director of Ghana Post by President Akufo Addo.
Fritz Baffour (born 11 March 1952) is a Ghanaian journalist, politician, and communications consultant.
He was a producer with Ghana Television, the TV channel of the state-owned Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as a producer and director.
He has also worked with Liberian Television, Nigerian Television, Tyne Tees TV UK, Diverse Production in the UK, and Back to Back Productions USA. His acting roles in major Ghanaian movies gave them high profiles. He usually played the role of a father or a potentate.
Baffour was involved with the National Democratic Congress from its inception in 1991. He became a member of parliament in January 2009 after winning the Ablekuma South seat in the Ghanaian parliamentary election in 2008. He was appointed Minister for Information by late President John Atta Mills in 2012.
Many of you may recall the White Elephant Star, Abi Adatsi who was a prominent member of the TV Theatre series on Ghana Television in the 1980s and Ghanaian movies in the early 90s.
The veteran actress was appointed Ghana’s deputy high commissioner to Canada in 2015.
She is a member of the National Democratic Congress and a member of the professionals’ forum of the NDC.