Today, we celebrate a living legend, Mr Kwaw Ansah whose impact in the Ghanaian creative arts industry is unmatched. His passion for Ghana and Africa has defined his artistic career as a Film maker, Writer, Director, Producer, Designer, and now a Museum Creator.
He was brought up in a strict home and taught to be strong and artistic. From this creative milieu, he went on to become a textile designer. Kwaw studied theater design in London, and then after graduated from the American academy of dramatic arts in the U.S. He returned home to contribute to the film and creative arts industry in Ghana.
His first film, Love Brewed in the African Pot, earned an immediate popular and critical acclaim throughout English-speaking Africa. Despite all the awards and the success, it would be nearly 10 years before Ansah could complete his next major film project, the ambitious Heritage Africa (1989). Yet again, the film was widely acclaimed and awarded.
Besides working in various fields such as textile design, set designer for films such as (I told you so), and later making a career as a private film maker which has earned him many awards over the decades, he has been a strong advocate for African arts especially working to improve funding and distribution of films within Africa.
Even on the 8th floor, Kwaw Ansah’s passion for his country, the African continent and his belief in the black race has inspired him to create his latest baby; BISA ABERWA MUSEUM. The museum, situated at Nkotum-mpo, Sekondi in the Western Region of Ghana, is his contribution to preserving African history, heritage and values. The museum also sheds light on Africa’s illustrious heroes whose struggle and ingenuity contributed to world civilization both on the continent and in the diaspora. The museum enlightens, inspires and embolden our young generation to rise up and do better.
It is important that we celebrate our legends and heroes whiles they are alive. We choose to celebrate legends in the Western Region as the best comes from the WEST!
Happy birthday to you UNCLE KWAW ANSAH! We wish you long life in good health…
As we celebrate a real Legend in the Western Region, whiles he is alive, lets enjoy a weekend of ‘’Love brewed in the African pot” his first film.
Showing soon at the Sekondi youth center.
Dates 3rd – 7th August 2022
Also showing at Bisa Aberwa Museum
Dates 3rd – 7th August 2022
Works of Mr. Kwaw Ansah
Love Brewed in the African Pot
Ansah founded his film production company, Film Africa Limited, in 1977, and began work on the project that would become Love Brewed in the African Pot (1980). It was an immediate popular success throughout English-speaking Africa, beating all previous attendance records for a film by an African director, while at the same time earning critical acclaim and respect. The film earned awards worldwide, including the prestigious Omarou Ganda Prize, for “most remarkable direction and production in line with African realities” at the seventh Pan-African Film Festival (FESPACO), the first to be awarded a film from an Anglophone country; the UNESCO Film Award in France, and the Jury’s Special Silver Peacock Award, “For a Genuine and Talented Attempt to Find a National and Cultural Identity” at the 8th International Film Festival of India.
Despite all the awards and the success, it would be nearly ten years before Ansah could complete his next major film project, the ambitious Heritage Africa (1989). Ansah faced the enormous challenges that are the bane of filmmakers in Africa. Making the film was one long struggle to find the money and corral the necessary resources. As was the case with Love Brewed, he had his hand in nearly all aspects of the film’s production—even writing the theme music for the two films, along with directing, writing, and producing. However, it was the logistical challenges that were most overwhelming. It was an exhausting, even debilitating process. He emerged from the experience with his health seriously compromised, but with an impressive, widely acclaimed film. Heritage Africa won the grand prize at FESPACO in 1989 (again, the first from an Anglophone country), the Organization for African Unity‘s Best Film Award, Outstanding Film Award at the 1989 London Film Festival, and numerous others.
Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade
Ansah’s documentary Crossroads of Trade, Crossroads of People, made for the Ghana Museum and Monuments Board and sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, now runs continuously in Cape Coast Castle, as part of a rather controversial effort to rehabilitate/renovate the slave forts and castles.
He has received several national, international and professional awards including The Order of the Nation of Burkina Faso (March 1995) for Arts & Culture; Best Documentary and TV Production Award for Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade (FESPACO-1995); The Grand Prix Award for Heritage Africa at FESPACO, Ouagadougou,1989, which was the first from Anglophone Africa.
Ansah made a comeback after a while from active filmmaking in 2010 with the release of Good Old Days: The Love of AA (2010). Since then, he has made films like The Good Old Days: Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle (2011), The Good Old Days: Suffering to Lose (2012) and Praising The Lord Plus One (2013). At the first NAFTI Film Lectures in 2011 on the Ghanaian Motion Picture Industry, Ansah was honoured for his immense contribution to cinema. During that same event, he was also given the Osagyefo Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA).
In October 2014, Ansah launched a comic book based on his critical acclaimed 1980 film Love Brewed in the African Pot, the first film to be adapted into a comic book in Ghana. Ansah is a founding member of the Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts.