One of the things we admire most about Ama K Abebrese is how grounded she is. Not only that, she is a clear definition of success. The British-Ghanaian actress who starred alongside Idris Elba in the war drama film “Beast of No Nation” , constantly radiates a sense of excitement and satisfaction that definitely points to the fact that all the hard work is really paying off.
Also a TV presenter and producer, she has been given the title “Ghana Queen of Talks” as she has over time hosted a string of successful shows.
Perhaps the moment we fell in love with her was when she launched a public health campaign called Love Your Natural Skin Tone. A campaign where she enlisted the help of actress Nana Ama McBrown, model Hamamat Montia and singer Pauline Oduro to dissuade people towards Skin Bleaching.
We are delighted to have her as GLAM AFRICA’s celebrity feature for Day 5 of #12daysof glam, our 12 days of Christmas giveaway contest courtesy of Oshunluxe. In this short interview, she narrates her journey to becoming one of Ghana’s premier TV personalities, the pressures of being in the public eye and of course, her plans for 2018.
You started out as a TV presenter and media personality before delving into the Ghana Movie Industry. When did you feel like you could act—like ‘I can do this’?”
I was acting before I came to Ghana. I was mostly involved in amateur dramatics before I went to Ghana and entered the Ghanaian Film Industry. From as young as 3 years old, I knew I liked acting and performing, but didn’t start acting until I was 11. I was cast in school plays in London. I went on to study Drama and Media. I did Drama and Media at GCSE, A-Levels and degree level. I have always had the passion for it, so I wanted to further learn the craft and be educated in it. I initially did Theatre in London, and was involved in a few local productions. The presenting always came natural to me, and I started presenting on TV in London when I was 17. It’s now my 20th year in Media and Creative Arts.
What was it like moving back to Ghana?
It was quite daunting moving to Ghana at first, especially because my parents were still in the UK. I, however, felt I wouldn’t lose anything by trying it for a year. It was really challenging at first but by the grace of God it turned out well. I think it’s one of the best decisions I made.
Being a TV presenter and actress at the same time, How do you combine both careers?
I have been combining both for the majority of my career; I usually concentrate one at a time. When I am hosting a show and get cast to do a film, I take time off to go and do the film and return once It’s wrapped up. I think it’s important to balance your time well, so that you are able to give ample time and dedication to both. There are times though. I have had to turn down jobs because the schedule would not allow me do both.
Do you feel pressured with cameras in your face almost all the time, or does it not matter to you?
I don’t have cameras on me as much as people will think. I also do not allow myself to feel pressured by anyone. There were times when I did feel the pressure, but after a while I just decided to ‘happy myself’ as the saying goes. Once I’m comfortable, that’s what matters. There are days when I want to dress up and go all out. Others days, I dress down and keep things casual, depending on how I feel and where I have to go. I don’t wear makeup often if I am not on camera. I pretty much like to be comfortable. It’s fun though to dress up and do the red carpet every now and then.
What are your tips for aspiring presenters? You’re great with social media, boosting your profile – is that a top tip?
Tip for the aspiring presenter: get as much practice and experience as possible. You could start really simple by practicing in front of the mirror or getting friends to record you on a phone, so that you can see where you need to improve. Again, it is very competitive now in that field, so always strive to improve. Social media is a great tool to market yourself, take advantage of it. When I started presenting many years ago, there was no social media but now it’s here I’m utilizing it as much as I can. Ensure you use it wisely in-terms of what you choose to put out there though.
What is the hardest part about being in the public eye? How do you deal with it?
Hardest part… I don’t think there is one I can think of at the moment. I’m blessed to be living my dream and doing what I love. Is it challenging, yeah. However, it’s rewarding in so many ways. Do I have bad days? Yes. But so does everyone one else. Luckily though, the good far outweighs anything bad I can think of.
What movie projects are you presently working on?
I am Currently working on a film that I co-produced called ‘The Burial of Kojo’ due for release in Spring 2018. It is a film that deals with illegal mining in Ghana.
What were your two biggest achievements this year and why do you consider them as such?
I won ‘Best Actress’ at the 2017 Newark International Film Festival for my role in the feature film ‘Sink or Swim. The Perilous Journey’. It’s s about a group of African migrants who make the often deadly journey in the hopes of making it Europe. As so many Africans have lost their lives making this journey, this was very poignant and the film also won ‘Best Film’ at the awards.
HOW TO WIN
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