The Ghana entertainment industry was rocked with many controversies last year with one being the Obour-Obrafour-Okyeame Kwame saga. The other was the Leila -Akofa burst up. The latter could be on the lips of many because of the AMAA nominations.
The burst up came when the director of the movie ‘I Sing Of A Well’ Leila Djansi regretted for using ace Ghanaian actress Akorfa Ejeani Asiedu as the lead character. Akorfa also produced the movie.Leila was reported to have said that, Akorfa deprived the movie of star power and that the movie needed somebody like Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku to compete with the market.
Leila also stated emphatically that Akorfa forced herself on to play the lead character because she wanted to compete with the likes of Nadia Buari and Jackie Appiah who are the current screen goddess in Ghana.
Though the burst up might have affected their relationship, the movie topped the nominations for the 2010 edition of the African Movie Academy Awards which was hosted in Ghana last week.
‘I Sing Of A Well’ leads the Ghanaian contingent to the awards ceremony to be held in Bayelsa State, Nigeria on April 10 with 11 nominations in the following category.
‘AMAA Achievement In Sound’, ‘AMAA Achievement In Art Direction’, ‘AMAA Achievement In Make-Up’, ‘AMAA Achievement In Costume’, ‘Best Screenplay’, ‘AMAA Achievement In Cinematography’, ‘Best Picture’.
The rest are Godwin Kotey in the ‘Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role’. John Osei Tutu Agyeman is also nominated in the ‘Best Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role’.
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu was nominated in the ‘Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role’ and Leila Jewel Djansi in the ‘Best Director’ category.
GhanaCelebrities.Com caught up with Akorfa for a chit chat her and the excitement in her voice brought up intermittent break in her answers but she managed to praise Leila regardless of the burst up.
Talking to GhanaCelebrities.com after the nomination night, Akorfa refuted the allegation by Leila that she wanted to be like Nadia Buari and Jackie Appiah. She is really humble by her nomination and happy for ‘I Sing Of A Well’. Below are excerpts of the interview
GhanaCelebrities.com: Your movie made a lot of noise because of the burst up with Leila. So what do you think about your nomination?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: I am humble by the nominations, because I do what I do not because I want to get an award for it. So if it gets nominated or is award then I am humble about it and I think that it just vindicates me because I am always talking about high quality,I am talking about standards, raising the bar.
I hope that other people would be inspired to do better so that they can get nominated too but I think everybody that was nominated is already a winner so it that doesn’t matter the final winner.
I am just happy that it’s nominated, I thank God because HE brought some of his blessing upon us, that is what he promises us, we get glory, favour, grace and that is what has happened today.
GhanaCelebrities.com: What are your chances of winning in your category?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: Well as I said, everybody that is nominated is already a winner because if you are looking at 500 movies and it was cut down to 280 and just a few of us nominated for these categories. I think whoever made the list is already a winner, we’ve been nominated in few categories, so am hopeful at least two or three will come to us.
GhanaCelebrities.com: Do you have any message for Leila?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: Leila is a brilliant writer, she writes well and I think she did a good job because for best director, her name was there, so I think she really did well.
GhanaCelebrities.com: She said a lot about you, such as trying to be like Nadia Buari and Jackie Appiah.
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: Those are the things I don’t want to comment about because anyone who knows me will surely know that, that was not me, I do not want to go there.
I want to look at the actual work, Leila writes well, true or false, true, she directed, it was good, so all the things she has been saying about are untrue and I have not responded because I don’t think those are necessary, we are looking at forging ahead and moving forward and doing greater collaborations and raising the standards in the Ghanaian film industry. Please don’t ask me those questions, I don’t want to go there.
GhanaCelebrities.com: In respect to what came up after the released of the movie, that is the Leila issue, do you feel vindicated?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: When you say vindicated,I am but not from Leila’s side. I am vindicated because am such a loud mouth in this industry, always talking about raising standards for us to try to move higher, so in that case am vindicated.
Of course we put in a lot of hard work, so this nomination is not just for me is for the crew, we have to burn the candle at both ends to make this movie happen, so its not all just about me, its about everybody that contributed to making this film possible.
GhanaCelebrities.com: If you look at this particular nomination that you have gotten, Its Leila’s movie, she wrote it and you got the nominations. Are you looking to working with Leila in the nearby future?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: (intermittent breaks) Am not too sure about that, I don’t think I see that in the future. It’s not just her movie, it’s collaboration, we decided to make this movie and she wrote it purposely with me in mind. We were talking for three years. There was a movie we wanted to do, I couldn’t raise the funds, so we decided to do a movie that was less costly.
Its not like Leila wrote it and I just did the acting. I funded the preproduction and production, its something we’ve been talking about. It is not like Leila wrote it and dumped it on me. It’s was partnership, anybody else can write a script, I can decide not to produce but just act in it.
Anybody at all can write a script that I can act in it and still get nominated.This is not the first time I am being nominated. I have about 8 awards, am not even sure if I will win any of this, two years ago, the same AMA Awards, I won the best short film category and Leila didn’t write that, I produced it, someone else directed it. So it’s not about Leila or me, it’s about raising the standard of film making in Ghana and how Africa as a whole will benefit it.
GhanaCelebrities.com: So does it mean on the final day you and Leila will go together for the awards or what?
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: I don’t know, she is not here, she doesn’t live here, I don’t have a problem with Leila.
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: Of course I know she will hear about it, I don’t have a problem with that at all.
GhanaCelebrities.com: Thank you and GhanaCelebrities.com wishes you well.
Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu: (smile) Thank you GhanaCelebrities.
Akorfa was full of praises and wished at least ‘I Sing Of A Well’ will manage to win some of the award come April 10 in Bayelsa, Nigeria.
By Ebenezer Anangfio Jnr/GhanaCelebrities.Com/Ghana