Who Takes Over From Jackie Appiah? | Christabel Ekeh, Joselyn Dumas, Kafui Danku or WHO?

5 min


Jackie Appiah and Director-Shirley Frimpong Manso

I was sent a link to a Hollywood Reporter article which looked at how Hollywood is struggling to find the next Denzel Washington (a major black movie star), now that Denzel is being faded out as a result of old age.

I couldn’t miss the connection and the fact that the Ghanaian Movie Industry is somewhat in the same pickle, although caused by a different element. While Denzel Washington, 59 is at the edge of dropping from the big roles as the only standing black actor due to old age, Will Smith, 45 and Eddie Murphy, 53 cannot be said to be perfect stand-in candidates considering their ages too, the article noted.

Jackie Appiah and Denzel Washington may not have anything in common, except that they can both call themselves actors—even with that, one acts for a third world movie industry which struggles to sell its movies to its own people, while the other is a box office champion with an undisputed international status.

The truth is; Jackie Appiah has held the Ghanaian Movie Industry together with her face and acting (even if we find her acting substandard) for many years—and calling her the true face of the contemporary Ghana Movie Industry would not be a far-fetched rank. Perhaps, she is the most bankable Ghanaian actress—even as of today.

I do not have the exact total number of awards she has to her name but I am yet to meet anyone who will disagree with me that she holds more awards than that of any two of her colleagues put together. She has done it all—-from the strict VCD days to the booming era of movie premieres that took over the capital cities, Jackie Appiah was the poster girl.

There was a time most film-makers couldn’t imagine taking the risk of shooting a movie without having her as their lead—not simply because she was exceptionally good but because, she brought in the sales and having her face on your movie guaranteed a smile to the bank.

Though she could not score any great point with her brand, she remains the strongest, well-kept and untainted Ghanaian Movie star brand we’ve seen in recent times—and she has enjoyed the spark of glamour more than even those who rejuvenated the industry she later became part of…

The Jackie Appiah “charm” at one point was at its best; she took over the headlines, discussions and was the dream of every little girl who wanted to become a movie star in Ghana. She took on strong neighbouring brands like Genevieve Nnaji and Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, stealing a good proportion of their work and glory.

Some of us hoped Jackie Appiah could have broken the Ghanaian curse and go beyond Nigeria, to be part of the global talk and live to say; a girl from the Western part of Africa can also steal the shine—just as Lupita Nyong’o has recently done.

But her glorious days seem to be gradually fading out and the probabilities on which the above hope was founded keep getting slimmer. It has not completely disappeared but we don’t sleep hoping to wake up to that anymore.

Jackie Appiah has lived the Ghanaian movie star life, has claimed more than some people predicted. However, she is slowly fading out of the game—not as a result of old age but as a result of having stood in the queue for far too long. If there is anything reasonably possible for her to achieve, she should by now have achieved it…

She lives close to the hearts of many African movie lovers—but the hearts of these same people desire to give a chance to the next determined, focused, outstanding and charismatic actress. Denzel cannot secure certain roles anymore because of age and Jackie Appiah can’t create that electrifying movie shocks anymore, because she has made good use of all the “charm” and her name.

Whatever the reason is; there is a gap waiting to be filled. A clear indication that the Jackie Appiah charisma and pull factor is fading out can be seen in the ease with which film-makers today bypass her with their great scripts—totally confident that their stories can be perfectly told without the once upon a time screen goddess.

Interestingly, the Ghanaian top spot can only be occupied by one person at a time—and the likes of Nadia Buari, Yvonne Nelson and Martha Ankomah who were active within the Jackie Appiah’s period of influence have already lost the battle to Jackie. Therefore, they cannot in anyway take the mantle away from her at this time.

A new face can do the magic, a fresh personality can easily steal the game, the fans—and be able to place well with the critics. But do we have anyone well positioned, prepared and ready to step in the Jackie Appiah shoes?

I do not want to think the Jackie Appiah crown is too big to fit the head of any of our new crop of actresses, though it seems so when you consider those we have on the drawing board.

The fact is; we need the next Jackie Appiah and the question is; who can take over from Jackie Appiah? Some are born to rule, others are born to be ruled! Only a few can move from the latter to become the former…

 



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Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, Founding Editor
Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri is the Founding Editor of GhanaCelebrities.Com , a Film Critic and a Human Rights Advocate; he holds 2 masters degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School--and also a degree in Law (LL.B) from University of East London. He's a Professional Truth Sayer and he is the author of the popular eBook “Success is a Right, Not A Privilege.” He currently works at Adukus Solicitors in London--where he uses his legal brains to kick real ass, for the good of clients and humanity. Contact: [email protected]

39 Comments

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  1. Jackie seems to be the icon, i think it will be hard to compete. Christabel aint that bad but needs to step her game more.

  2. Someone like dumas should try and invest some of the money she spends on those tight clothes to show her ginormous hips on getting professional training or taking courses in acting. Even start small with NAFTI but don’t rely on ur body for popularity becos the next person with bigger hips will overtake u if thts all u’ve got. All the rest shd do the same and eventually we will have a seasoned crop but unfortunately all we have now are a group of attention seekers who will do, say or try anything for fame, including the 2 by 4 acting we are subjected to in this country. Some of the acting is soo fake, it’s embarrassing.

    1. Thts 100% true. All of them focus on attention seeking rather than improving the art of acting. I doubt if they even know of NAFTI smh!!! All they want it fame by any means possible. It’s such a shame.

    2. But Jones ,Chris also said many people find Jackie Appiah’s acting to be sub-standard. Which is 100% true. Her acting IS substandard and has always been. So WHAT STANDARD exactly are we using to compare the others to her? Who can be most sub-sub standard? The writer has agreed that Jackie Appiah IS A MEDIOCRE actress. SO WHY are we even holding her up as something or someone whose craftsmanship is to be emulated. I have said and I will always say that Jackee Appiah is an Actor For the Akan People of Ghana. Nothing more. You think she can pull off a performance in “Northern Affair” or “Love or Something Like That” like Dumas, Jocelyn did??? ARE U FRIGGIN KIDDIN me ?? At least we agree she is sub-standard. So the rest of the article can burn as far as I am concerned. Give/Show me ONE interview where Jackie’s personality like shone through. Where viewers from all over Africa have been drawn to her. I will give that readily to Yvonne Nelson. Jackie Appiah is YOUR actor. An actor for the Akan tribe. Someone to soothe your egos and make you think you are on top of the English acting sector. And as long as she remains Akan, which she forever will, she can count on your support. Lets not get that and the craft of acting twisted. At all. It is surprising that as much as some of her tribes people HATE Nigerians, it is the same Nigerians who opened their industry up for her to participate in, even at the expense of their own people. So go on Jackie, we all know you are sub standard and MEDIORCE but you are Akan aren’t you? And your people own majority media. And we live in a Ghana where people JUST CANNOT FACE THE TRUTH. So enjoy the attention. But do not think for a moment that we are all fooled. No wonder Nigerians grumbled years ago when her name called for best actor.

      1. Jocelyn cannot act one bit, Jackie would have pulled it off if she acted in those movies, the director of the movie even said Jackie is an incredible actress in an interview

        1. Of course Paua. You would say that. You are so accustomed to bad acting from your idol Jackie that you have will not recognize good acting if you saw it. Jocelyn was phenomenal in Northern Affair.She has been a bit stiff in the past but Northern Affair was very good. The evidence is there for all to see. On the other hand, your Jackie’s WORKS speak for itself: mediocre. THAT is what she puts out. I could care less what any director has to say.

      2. How can u even begin to compare Jocelyn to Jackie? Jocelyn is not popular in this country for northern affair or for any outstanding performance. You think she can survive an award show in a female lead actress category? HELL NO! Even as supporting actress, the organizers will have to make sure there are no strong candidates for her to win. She is ONLY popular for hips and tht is evidently where she is milking her attention from. Every time she is in public, she will dress to emphasize her hips cos the girl already knows thts all she’s got. When u see Jackie and realise she has a better body yet popular for ACTING then u will understand. What an abomination to compare a rat to a tiger. Kwasiasem and to add tribalism because you are struggling to find points ( which don’t exist) to defend a rat? I feel sorry for your mentality.

        1. Jones I am not talking about popularity. That is Jackie’s forte. I am talking about ability to act and do so convincingly. To be able to interpret a character believably. Even Chris admits Jackie is sub-standard as much as he prompts her at every turn. I am not talking about hips, tigers or rats. You are. You are the one getting emotional and lacking points to back an argument so you fall back on hips, popularity, rats and company. Jackie Appiah is a sub-standard actor. Has always been and will always be. Full stop.

          1. You need a blend of both popularity and skill to stay on top or u don’t know? If you insist on calling Jackie sub-standard then as for ur Jocelyn she is absolutely no-standard. She’s not got the skill and she’s popular for an entirely wrong reason thts why I used the comparison of a rat to a tiger. You are the one tht delivered the lowest and inappropriate blow of tribalism becos u were desperate to find an excuse so don’t come here talking abt emotional and ish!Jackie is popular for the right reason (acting) and her skill is far far better. Jocelyn was even lucky to get supporting actress, which would not have gone to her if kafui, christabel or Juliet were in tht same group. You think we are blind in Ghana?Again Kwasiasem

            1. Once again Jones your response just proves that you are tribal not me. You are the one hurling the insults. Jackie has Akan media behind her, hence her popularity. That is explainable. Let us forget about Jocelyn for a moment. She does not factor into the issue. The issue is Jackie cannot act. She has proved that over and over and over again especially when she went to encroach on the Nigerian film industry. Omotola and Genevieve, Ini Edo and even C rate actors from Nigeria slayed her in front of the camera time and time again. She could not hold her own. She was an embarrassment. She still cannot hold her own. Now I know you and her are tribesmen/women hence your radical support. That is understandable. That doesn’t however erase the fact that she has zero personality (I am still waiting for an interview from her in her 14 years!!! in the industry where she carried herself like a consummate professional. Where her personality was seen. Where she drew people in. Omotola, Genevieve, even Yvonne Nelson have such interviews. Where is Jackie’s own?) She is YOUR world actor. Nobody else’s broda Jones. Or is it sister?

              1. Where in my response do I show tribalism? Who brought discrimination of tribes unto this platform? Was it not you. Now ure soo ashamed u want to shift blame. With such a blockheaded and tribalistic perception of Jackie,how will u appreciate any of her interviews? She is ranked with the omotola’s and Genevive’s. They are classified as lead actresses. If you cant find any sensible mode of defense for your talentless hip-girl then leave this platform. When people are pushing to be known for their hard work, u want to shove only a physical attributes in our face. It will only work for u, not the larger crowd becos we can see who has put in the effort and how they did it.

              2. And who are the so called akan media behind her? Now I understand why these celebs go to spiritualists for protection, the jealousy is real. Smh

            2. Jackie for me has always been a terrible and fake actress, fake hair, fake make-ups, fake accent and she cant even act to save her life, i will never go to the mall to watch her movie…no way, she even wants to look like flowers when acting the role of a maid and you call such a good actress? what a JOKE….no wonder the Nigerians call her Jackie colors colors Appiah, and to think that people see her as good is pathetic….read about acting well, then you will know what to say next time…..

      3. If Jackie’s acting is substandard then wha about the others? No standard. Does not come on the scale

  3. Jackie will go but no single person can be like her or take her position. She is iconic and most of these people are like toilet papers which have no value. Joselyn is too old to play some roles so she can never be like Jackie when she was in her prime. Christabel is too fake and her emotions are not well expressed. Juliet Ibrahim cannot act. Kafui I have not seen her act before so don’t know what to say. The industry needs another Jackie as you say but there is no one there yet

  4. Appiah is a very good actress she is always different in all her movies she acts in. Watch her in in Cheaters, you would pee in your pants, she is awesome and none of the girls above have got her talent

  5. none whatsoever every single one is useless and have mediocre acting skills. but ofcourse the enkruasi fuour with mediocre taste see different. Absolutely useless bunch, all they are are some pretty make ups and weaves. I have hope for martha ankomah but she needs a good director to bring the best out of her. jackie is one of the worst, shes just pretty thats all.

  6. Chris also said many people find Jackie Appiah’s acting to be sub-standard. Which is 100% true. Her acting IS substandard and has always been. So WHAT STANDARD exactly are we using to compare the others to her? Who can be most sub-sub standard? The writer has agreed that Jackie Appiah IS A MEDIOCRE actress. SO WHY are we even holding her up as something or someone whose craftsmanship is to be emulated. I have said and I will always say that Jackee Appiah is an Actor For the Akan People of Ghana. Nothing more. You think she can pull off a performance in “Northern Affair” or “Love or Something Like That” like Dumas, Jocelyn did??? ARE U FRIGGIN KIDDIN me ?? At least we agree she is sub-standard. So the rest of the article can burn as far as I am concerned. Give/Show me ONE interview where Jackie’s personality has shone through. Where viewers from all over Africa have been drawn to her.Can she even interview? I will give that readily to Yvonne Nelson. Jackie Appiah is YOUR actor. An actor for the Akan tribe. Someone to soothe your egos and make you think you are on top of the English acting sector. And as long as she remains Akan, which she forever will, she can count on your support. Lets not get that and the craft of acting twisted. At all. It is surprising that as much as some of her tribes people HATE Nigerians, it is the same Nigerians who opened their industry up for her to participate in, even at the expense of their own people. So go on Jackie, we all know you are sub standard and MEDIORCE but you are Akan aren’t you? And your people own majority media. And we live in a Ghana where people JUST CANNOT FACE THE TRUTH. So enjoy the attention. But do not think for a moment that we are all fooled. No wonder Nigerians grumbled years ago when her name called for best actor.

    1. How can u even begin to compare Jocelyn to Jackie? Jocelyn is not popular in this country for northern affair or for any outstanding performance. You think she can survive an award show in a female lead actress category? HELL NO! Even as supporting actress, the organizers will have to make sure there are no strong candidates for her to win. She is ONLY popular for hips and tht is evidently where she is milking her attention from. Every time she is in public, she will dress to emphasize her hips cos the girl already knows thts all she’s got. When u see Jackie and realise she has a better body yet popular for ACTING then u will understand. What an abomination to compare a rat to a tiger. Kwasiasem and to add tribalism because you are struggling to find points ( which don’t exist) to defend a rat? I feel sorry for your mentality. Tribalism paa, ahhh why? what a low blow to use just to defend someone. I think u are Jocelyn, if you are, kindly go and improve your acting and stop using tribal sentiments for someone’s success! Shame on u!!

      1. Herh NSA, you fool oo. Majid no be Lebanese? Dumelo no be ayigbe? E be demma tribes wey dem use for their success too? Jocelyn shaa pass but she get body tht be why she dey get attention if she no get hips like we all go dog am becos she’s nothing special. Jackie get body wey she dey act well. The 2 girls have different ranks so NSA make u no fool kraa den deceive urself.

        1. Dont waste your time on NSA. A drowning man (or in this case woman) will clutch at a straw. How many Ghanaians care tht Jackie is Akan? What a stupid and irresponsible comment to make just like the stupid and irresponsible comments Jocelyn has been making on air lately thts why I believe NSA is Jocelyn. Kwasiasem.

    2. Jackie is an actor for the akan people? Wtf is that? You Ghanaians and your stupid tribalism, that’s why we are stuck in the same place, we’ll never move forward. Damn

  7. I think majority of the actors (both men and women) need some form of training and rehearsals before they shoot any movie. my first time of seeing Jocelyn acting was in the Adams apple movies. she was quiet okay with her role although I believe she needs a lot of training to master her craft cuz i think shez got sumthing up her sleeves. I have been watching her on Lekki’s wife playing the role of a lesbian married woman and shez trying her best. overall she can improve on her acting instead of focusing on the fake British accent. with some training Jocelyn will be on top of her game. Jocelyn if u r reading this plz this is a constructive criticism.

  8. NOBODY!!!!Jackie is and always will be the best!..the rest of em shd learn from her rather thn displaying mmoasem..and I REPEAT!jackie´s ethnicity has nain to do with her acting so the person sayn just cos shes akan thats why shes popular should tk several seats!or better yet,kor n3 kor shi po..adwin ni wo tri mu,the hell has tht got to do with tribes or anything?naaaaaaanseenseeee..chale jackie keep doing ur thang!n watch nobody else..ain nobody got time for haters or their stupidity.

  9. As much as I love Jackie, she is such a sweet personality
    but truth be told, she just isnt a great actress
    Joselyn Dumas at her peak is better than Jackie at her peak if we are being very honest
    People just like to witch hunt on this site, but although Joselyn is more known for her figure, lets not act like Jackie, despite her awards, is really popular because of her acting
    She and Nadia and many others are largely popular cos of their looks and personna
    None of you here will be hyping Jackie if she was acting at the same standard but looked like Diana Asamoah

    1. If you are more known for your figure than your acting then do u think you are considered a serious actress? why shd u even be counted as an actress? better go into fashion or something figure related becos tht is ur forte. This is dumas peak and not many movies have come our of it. At her age how much longer do u think she will last? Jackie at her peak was in high demand, every single director wanted to work with her so wat are you talking abt? When u people don’t like the facts you call it witch hunting. It’s such a shame

    2. It is a big shame. Either it’s witch hunting or tribalism. Have u read the article abt Jackie in her peak? She was overwhelmed with jobs. You have admitted tht dumas is better known for her figure. Well noted. This is her peak, if she is not recognized more for acting now then when will she be? Her last movie abt Aids played at silverbird for only a few days. nobody was interested after tht. The hall was EMPTY. Tht is not a sign of outstanding acting. there’s a new crop of actors coming up. Berla Mundi, James Gardiner etc so we shd not tolerate substandard or mediocre. Ofcourse in entertainment it helps to have a great persona and looks but it must blend with the talent of acting. If it’s just figure u’ve got then it’s only a matter of time before u become irrelevant since most of these ladies also have good bodies.

  10. This is a relevant question with no answer yet. None of those on the scene today can take over from Jackie. Jackie is too good in all aspect compared to all them. When Jackie finally leaves the scene, we will have pockets of stars not one big super star like Jackie. Most of them have a lot of work to do on themselves