Yes – people in showbiz or the creative arts, make this world a delight to be in. They are those who make us rejuvenate, recreate, dance, laugh, and thrill our emotions. Unfortunately, though these characters gain fame and become richer in society, some actually end up as beggars after their selfless service and fame.
Today, Presspeep.com takes a highlight on some Ghanaian legendary entertainers who suffered financial ordeals and had to sadly beg for alms before they finally bowed out of the cosmic:
The veteran actress who served the entertainment industry for 60 good years was said to be living in a dejected kiosk before her demise. Six decades of service and she had nothing to show for it – she couldn’t even boast of a single room apartment.
Her breakthrough movie ”I Told You So” gained her a loss of recognition and exposure, the popular Araba Stamp dropped out of primary school to pursue her passion for acting at a very tender age, she joined Brigade Drama Group at Nungua, together with other stars when she was very little.
She featured in numerous movies and concert party performances but unfortunately, like some actors in Ghana, she left nothing tangible behind to match up her achievements. News came out on a number of times whilst she was on sick bed that she needed money to save her life.
“If I die in Accra here, don’t bother to incur any expenses by sending my body to my hometown. Just bury me at Osu”, she had said in a pre-recorded episode of the Efiewura comedy series on GTV. “I dont have anybody, no brothers or sisters-so dont take me far. Bury me and observe my funeral rites here in Accra”, the actress said.
Bishop Michael Osei Bonsu
Prior to his demise, lots of controversies emerged. Pastor Love Hammond, the ex-husband of gospel musician Christiana Love now Obaapa Christy, and Bishop Osei Bonsu, weren’t the best of friends when the latter died. The two were feuding over a financial disagreement and Pastor Love was alleged to have verbally threatened to kill Osei Bonsu.
This feud started when a contract was breached between the two, the Bishop was said to be owing the pastor seventy million Cedis (now 7,000 GhC). The Bishop who clearly didn’t have the said amount to settle his debt, fell severely ill few months after he was threatened by the Pastor.
According to family relations, he had blood come out of his nose and mouth – accompanied with unpleasant smell which was diagnosed as a brain tumor. The condition left the musician in a deplorable state, fingers pointed at Pastor Love for being responsible for his sickness and later his demise.
The “Enompe” hitmaker, who started singing in the 70s, died at a point he could not pay for his hospital bills and children’s school fees. He appealed to the public for financial succor on a number of times but, the Bishop died (in July 2007). Obaapa Christy confirmed allegations against her husband in 2011, which the Pastor still denied.
He was the keyboardist for the legendary Osibisa band – arguably, the one music group that has sold the image of Ghana and Ghana music to the globe more than any other music group or musician. At a young age, Kiki was rated the 8th keyboardist in the whole world. Kiki was worth thousands of pounds at age 16.
After pulling out of the group, he went to the States where he associated himself with some bad gangs who introduced him to drug addiction and that was the beginning of his crisis and downfall. In fact he started using the money he had in purchasing hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, etc.
Kiki spent almost all the money he had on drugs till he went broke and came back to Ghana for his money from some people who owed him but no one mind him. Kiki was literally seen by many on the streets of Accra begging for money. He had to use the little money he had on him for drugs until he was one day found dead in a bath house of a church – the mighty oak, fell sadly.
Prior to his death, Omanhene Pozo was admitted at the 37 Military Hospital, awaiting money to undergo surgery. He was reported to be having neurological issues probably due to a brain infection (tumor). He needed £5000 (GHC 24,846) to undergo a brain surgery, unfortunately, only 8% of the amount was raised (£250) – too bad!
According to his wife, she had to sell the musician’s car and other belongings to keep the family running and also take care of his medical expenses. The musician behind great works like ”Kyenkyen Bi Adi Meawu”, Wasei, Jolomy, Medofo Adaada Me, and a couple of great tunes, couldn’t cough up an amount artistes like Shatta Wale charge per a show after his long service and toil.
He passed away on September 21, 2016, it still baffles the minds of many his bosom friend from Nananom days, Barima Sydney, also couldn’t produce the amount to save his friend – everyone make hot anyway!
Nii Odoi Mensah
The late president of the Ghana Actors Guild GAG, was no exception in this begging galore. He had to beg for alms to sustain his dear life. He needed a whopping sum of $26,000 to undergo a chronic kidney treatment. He was on dialysis in Ghana which demanded GHC 200, later shot up to GHC 260 weekly till he heard of a Chinese facility that can help him.
He was sent to China for medical attention, but lost his body. The financial instances surrounding his demise was not only frustrating but also embarrassing, as his remains were held in China awaiting full payment of his medical bills before his body could be returned home (Ghana). The government, Bola Ray, CEO of EIB Network, actress Juliet Ibrahim, and filmmaker Socrate Safo were notable donors who supported Mr. Odoi financially.
The soothing and unique voice behind big hits like ”Abraham Sarah”, ”Mewo Agyapade3”,”Hena Na W’ay3” and others, died pleading the kindness of the entire citizenry to attend to her financially. The singer disclosed that she spent her entire life savings on the strange disease that struck her few weeks after her stay in USA.
This led her to many renowned health facilities but still proved futile, as her condition deteriorated day in and day out. It took several tests to finally diagnose that her kidney and liver were swelling which at the point, she had no money left on her. She died at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital on February 2015 after wrestling with sickness since October 2014.
“For these seven months that I have been sick, there is no actor who has come to visit me. The only person who takes care of me is Akrobeto. I can always boast of Akrobeto for what he has been doing for me. He has been taking care of me every day.
“Tema doctors asked me to use pampers after injection because I was going to urinate a lot after every injection. I can urinate about 15 times a day. When I called Akrobeto, he bought all the pampers for me.” Those were the emotion laden words of the late comedian – as he pleaded for financial support whilst on bed.
Battling with kidney and liver infections, he couldn’t even afford pampers. This was a man who was crowned the Best Comedian on three occasions consecutively in the 90’s, ahead of Bob Okala and Agya Koo. Some of us grew up watching this dude do his things on Concert Party and he was the star at the time – he cracked ribs and repaired with humour!
Even at his peak, Nkomode suffered financial difficulties which directed him to develop a habit of drinking which eventually led to his liver, kidney and bladder malfunctioning. He blamed the hardships of life for his drunkenness, naming the frustration of his wife for seizing his house as an example. He passed away on 5th February this year.
Rev Kusi Berkoe
From dealing with pneumonia, stroke recovery and having a kiss from diabetes can make a king become a pauper. After all his hits, news flew about that Rev Kusi needed financial support to get his health back – that was the ordeal of the legendary ‘Ofata’ singer. He died in scummy conditions.
|Story by:||Nana Kwame Buabeng|
We are not by this publication attempting to mock the subjects involved or their relatives. To us, it should be taken or seen as a serious wake-up call to the current artists and even all in general, to make hay whilst the sun shine in our prime ages – we mean now, before the hard times come.