The Sonnie Badu success story

sonnie-baduIn an ever changing world of increasing needs and economic recession, it no longer seems enough to have ‘a job’. In fact, the very saying of ‘get a job’ seems to be fading out as it gradually gives way to that of ‘get a life’, which must definitely include a line of businesses if not two or three jobs for an individual. One set of people in society who seems to understand these newly required principles for ruling the world are Celebrities, most of whom have chosen other lines of business aside what they are celebrated for.

It is thus no longer news if a celebrity opens a new line of business as they all seem to be rapidly registering their names in the annals of entrepreneurs. However, they must be commended for their efforts considering the pressures of juggling economic responsibilities together with entertaining the world so to speak.

In Ghana a few “determined and focused” celebrities seem to have resolved despite all the media attention to leave a legacy behind with the understanding that having one profession is never enough, more especially if you want to impact the lives of others.

This piece looks at six celebrities in Ghana who are hell bent on creating opportunity, business and becoming expert professionals in the various professions they have chosen.

The International Multiple Award Winning Gospel Singer Sonnie Agyemang Badu is first on the list. The second born of four children was born on to Mr. and Mrs. Badu, who he describes as strict Christian parents.

According to Sonnie, the discipline of both parents is what has established his long passion of service to the Lord. At age 18 at Ghana Secondary Technical School (GSTS), Sonnie was struck by a serious illness that almost claimed his life. It was then he resolved to win souls for the Lord if He would heal him.

The “Worshipper” got well and his love for God and winning souls for the kingdom heightened since that encounter.

After GSTS, Sonnie moved to London to pursue his promise to God; which is to serve God all the days of his life. This love was to be exhibited through music, so he schooled in music at Lewisham College.

Little did he know that Lewisham College would pave a way for his music career some years on. After releasing his first album “Lost in his glory” in December 2007, Minister Sonnie Badu has since chalked up many successes for himself aside performing with other international acts like Juanita Bynum, Lionel Peterson, Alvin Slaughter, Donnie McClurkin, Noel Robinson, Muyiwa, Sammy Okposu, Mike Aremu,Ron Kenoly, Bebe and Cece Winans.

Professionally, the “General” as he has come to be known is the CEO of a range of businesses both in Ghana and the United Kingdom. Of all the tall list of businesses, Sonnie set up his K and O Estate Agency that is responsible for selling houses. He is also responsible for the Sonnie Badu Ministries (SBM), a Christian ministry with focus on winning souls for the Kingdom.

The “General” is the brain behind the SB.UK(inspired by you) clothing line that consists of shoes, royal empire, gold and silver crest cufflinks, pen, logo-polos, Jesus boy/girl shirts, logo-jumpers, logo-vests, and the royal empire crest shirts. As though these two are easy to maintain , Sonnie came up with the Sonnie Badu homes, which is a real estate home building homes for Ghanaians. According to Sonnie studying building construction in GSTS increased the passion of creating homes for people.

Sonnie is also a private Jet consultant for the many airline operators who seek his services in the United Kingdom. Having loved football right from childhood and nursing the ambition to pursue it further was a dream Sonnie cherished while growing up, so even when he could not turn out as a footballer, he established the Eagle Eye football Agency that has so far worked with few footballers. Not only does he oversee these companies, he also makes time to write and so far has nine amazing books that are listed among the New York Times Bestselling books. Now what an achievement!

Sonnie discloses in an interview that he believes that “as a minister God gives you the brain and empowers you to create wealth”   When asked by this reporter if he had to take up some university course papers to manage all these businesses; his response “I did not go to the University for special tuition; all I have is by grace and favour from God”. To help broaden his ministry Sonnie founded the worship radio, an online radio station and the I magazine, which are both tools for promoting his ministry, philanthropic activities and perhaps a reason for the name the “Worshipper”.

As though he never gets tired of creating businesses and employment opportunities, Sonnie recently opened the Dizney Day Care Centre in London to cater for toddlers and children from five years and below. According to Sonnie his love for children made him   invest in a Day Care Centre.

“I have great passion for children; they are our future leaders, so I believe giving them a great foundation is a good fundamental for their future and also nursery in London is big business”, he further explained. Now if this is not wealth creation, favour from God and cashing in on the right opportunity, how would you further describe this?

For the “Worshipper”, being a Ghanaian living in the United Kingdom and excelling is just the favour of God. Moreso “being a gospel musician does not mean you have to be poor, but you actually stand the place and chance of receiving ideas to help change your generation”.

Well so there you have it, but if you have thought of how he juggles all these businesses and his core profession-,music , Sonnie says “I make time, It’s therapeutic for me and also because I am a multi- tasking person and I love what I do. That’s some lesson to take home for all.

 Second on my list is handsome actor, MatthewJohn Setor Dumelo, known as the media friendly actor in Ghana and also the ladies’ man . Not yet married though, but this man has enjoyed negative publicity from the media especially on dating, cheating and gay rumours, but he never seems perturbed.

For John he is determined to create wealth, businesses, employment opportunities and he believes “ my career as a reknown actor would pass at a point, so now I am cashing in on the opportunity it brings.” How interesting of Mr. John Dumelo.

The ever smiling and approachable John was born on February 3, 1984 to Mr John Dumelo and Mrs Antionette Dumelo. He is the last and only boy of three children. John had his primary education at Christ the King International School in Accra, Ghana, where he was selected by GAMA Film Company to play the role as a pupil in the movie “Baby Thief”. He had his secondary education at Achimota School and further studied at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he read Civil Engineering.

He runs his own real estate company that is into construction and building. His company put together his hotel in airport city known as MASELO court. He is also a Fashion designer and the manufacturer for the Jmelo hair label and brand respectively. The down to earth actor who recently got vilified by Facebook and hit 1,000 likes on the same site is known to be the brain behind some renowned real estates in Ghana. For a fact, he is the brain behind co-actor Yvonne Nelson’s house that is being built.

John Dumelo is also into music and has his music studio known as the Jmelo studio with musicians like Creal being beneficiaries. He was recently rumoured to have put a song together with BET award winner Sarkodie. John tells this reporter “I love to create wealth and I aspire to own a chain of businesses. My greatest aspiration is to own my own airline.”

John Dumelo has also written his name in the humanitarian books due to his kind gesture. He loves to give and support the needy. Apart from Ghana, West African countries like Liberia, Gambia, Nigeria and Dr. Congo have benefitted from his humanitarian gestures. He admonishes his fellow actors to also give back to society. “ The reason why we are blessed with what we have is to help the poor and needy in society”, John explains.

The humble and pretty face actor who is a partner an IT firm advises that “you know some people can get carried away when fame and fortune knocks on their door, making them lose focus of who they are and where they are coming from. I want to work hard to avoid that.”

The modest actor cum entrepreneur dreams of becoming the first gentleman of the land one day.That is a big dream if you ask me, but perhaps it could come true since the greateast clue to become a President of Ghana fall on him; his name John makes it possible, if almost all Ghana’s past presidents had the name John.

Dream on John Dumelo! Dreams certainly come true my professional engineer

Pretty, elegant and intelligence is what defines the third celebrity on this list. A budding Journalist, presenter turned actress, Naa Ashorkor is a second child of four girls and hails from Teshie in the Greater Accra Region.Naa was born on November 24 1988 to Mr Paul Mensah-Doku and Sarah Mensah-Doku. She attended the Daras School from nursery to JSS and continued at the Benkum Secondary School in Larteh Akropong.

Nisirine Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku went into presenting when she was invited on several occasions as a guest on a Youth program dubbed “New Generation”, on TV Africa. She later presented “Day Break Entertainment”, She went to host “Day Break” and became a co-host to Okyeame Quophi on TV Africa’s variety show “Sounds Splash!”. While with sound splash, she got featured in her first movie role in “Scorned” by Shirley Frimpong Manso and as they say the rest is history.

Though she has not enjoyed a lot of negative press, she has no doubt worked hard on becoming a celebrity with a profession. Naa as she is affectionately called by many still pursued her journalism profession. She made a move from TV Africa to Ghone, where she presented and produced several shows including “Guess who is coming for dinner”, Miss Malaika Beauty pageant and then to her own show “Tales from the powder room”.

While juggling both celebrity status and her professional career Naa enrolled in the University of Ghana to read Law, after which she further made a move to the new Accra based radio station Starr FM as a presenter. In her own words “It is not easy but it can be done” and Indeed this is evident in how far she has come with her love for her profession growing each day and enjoying celebrity status. You always meet Naa greeting you with a smile. She loves acting but is not yet ready to part with Journalism. Keep on keeping on girl.. More mountains to reach!

The “Asor” man who started off as a draftsman cum architect accidentally got introduced to the music industry through a friend “Kontihene”. He immediately became an instant hit with his first song “Asor”. The media loves him and the ladies; they did what they do best-drooling all over him.

His negative publicity started off when he got married and there were hitches of divorce rumours. It crashed him but he made the best out of it and came out stronger than before.

George Kwabena Adu also known as Kwabena Kwabena was born in Accra on 17th October 1978.He attended Datus Complex in Bubuashie and continued when they relocated to Achimota at Green Hill School and Aggrey Junior Secondary School for his basic education and completed St. Peters secondary school in Nkwatia Kwahu in eastern region some years back.

He was in Accra polytechnic for his tertiary education while he was still doing his music thing. Anyway, he is willing to go back. Being a draftsman by profession and combining it with his music is his big privilege he said.

BET award winner and rapper Sarkodie is the fifth on this list. He has passion for music and aspires for higher heights in his profession. So far he is recognised as the only BET winner in Ghana, some big achievement if you ask me. Known as the originator of the Azonto dance, the “Obidi” man attributes his awards to his mum, signifying how supportive she has been of his career.

Born Michael Owusu Addo on July 10, 1985, the Team based singer is ranked 8 on Forbes and Channel O’s 2013 list of the top 10 richest/bankable African artistes.The man who has chalked up many successes in terms of awards has a business to his credit.The Sark clothing is doing quite well and so is his music. Though many of his followers, mainly the youth complain of the expensive nature of his clothing brand, he is still making money.

Young actor cum graphic designer , Kweku Elliott is the last of the five celebrities who are excelling in their professions. With several years of schooling in the United Kingdom, he graduated as a professional graphic designer who is crazy about coming up with advertising concepts. His decision to become an actor was through encouragement and support from friends, family and cousins after his return from London to Ghana in 2006. After he nailed the Vodafone TV commercial “The Chase”, he realized there is no turning back; especially when people told him he is cut for acting. For someone who used to be a model and could have made his name and built his brand easily with is 6.4 height, he decided to pick up acting after he landed his first movie role in “Single & Married” as Raymond.

Known and called by many as Kay, he was born in Takoradi in the Western Region. He later moved with the family to Tema in the Greater Accra Region at age 6. He and his sister, Essie, attended SOS Herman Gmeiner International School where his mother, Henrietta, was a teacher. His father Kojo Elliott was a lawyer who passed away when Elliott was only six.

From SOS, he attended Akosombo International School for his Junior Secondary School and later went to Mfantisipim School and then moved to the UK where he attended the Arts Institute of Bournemouth to pursue a degree course in graphic design.

In two years of acting with seven movies to his credit, Kay still owns and manages his business, Media-k Solutions, a desktop publishing company that is responsible for several concepts of adverts running on both TV and Radio. When not on set, he is in his office located at Roman Ridge, developing concepts.

“I have a big plan for my profession and acting” is his answer to how long he aspires to be in the movie Industry. For Kay he has a lot to offer and he is looking at using graphic designing and acting to come out with something big, especially when he aims at getting to Hollywood with his career.

This ends the list of the top five celebrities in Ghana excelling in different professions, but their life stories teaches all to aspire and aim high. They achieved all with God, education and pursuing their talents and passion. Pursue what you love to do and who knows it might take you to the highest office in the land. Desire to create the change you want to see and be the best at it.

A feature by Esther Doe @ ameyawdebrah.com

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