Lawrencia Thompson Duah is a household name and needs no introduction to any enthusiast of Ghanaian showbiz expect for those who only touched base just last night.
Lawrencia has come a long way, successfully carving a niche for herself in an industry purported to be unfriendly to women. Winning for herself a general’s strip, she is an authority when it comes to the area of show business.
Naa as her buddies prefer to call her hasn’t always been that famous until the latter part of the year 2003 after a planned relocation to Ghana. In her element and with people she feels comfy, expect her to continually jest and nothing else. The ever-smiling pretty faced lady isn’t just full of witty jokes but deep as well. These she easily revealed as I engaged her in an interview.
To her growing up was quite intriguing under the watchful eyes of her grandmother, a disciplinarian and principled woman. “I was with my grandmother who made sure we did things right else you risk your vacation in Switzerland or London. It was her way of keeping us focused and on track. That was the beauty of life at that age as a regular family. I was a humble beginning for me and my siblings.”
From the Ridge Church School, she enrolled at the Ebenezer Secondary school and later moved to Accra High for her sixth form education. With her passion and curious nature, Lawrencia settled on journalism and gained admission into the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Cushioned by her exploits in athletics during secondary school, she graduated with a Diploma in Communications with her major in Sports Journalism.
According to Naa, her entry into showbiz was merely by chance- an opportunity that came along. She got her media career flying with station Joy FM. She moved to Kumasi to become the assistant news editor of LUV FM and a member of the Multimedia group. The chief objective was to build Luv fm into a formidable brand.
After two years of a successful stewardship which came with numerous challenging according to Naa, she shifted base to Portugal where she pursued other interests. Also at the time, she studied for a Diploma in Interior Décor from ICS and broadened her horizon with courses in Public Relations.
On one of her trips to Ghana, she received an invitation to the second edition of JOY FM’s Night with The Stars event. That reignited her interest in local music, serving as a major influence for her entry into showbiz. An unusual performer, Terry Bonchaka, stole the night, giving Naa a reason to consider the Hiplife movement and its prospects.
“By 2004, I had finally settled in Ghana and planned a few projects to embark on. I heard works of Samini and I was convinced he had talent. He became the first artist I worked with. I was concerned about branding my artist to become marketable. We worked on his identity and his name went from Batman to Samini.
“The next thing was to give him an image. He was to reflect an icon with that sexy flavour and that was what we achieved. There was someone who took care of his hair every time and clothing deals arranged. Working as his publicist was easier with his quest for success and understanding of the basics of the trade. He was ready to listen to me.”
What excites Lawrencia most about the Samini’s project was her ability to impact on his career and eventually his life. Aside laying the foundation for him becoming an MTN icon, the she worked tirelessly to ensure her artist won the ultimate after being nominated for a MOBO award in 2006. She describes Samini as a great talent and a creative mind to work with.
She was everywhere and commanded a following. She was a regular on copious television shows and discussions on radio. Appearing week after week on then effervescent entertainment show on TV3, called Spotlight, her submissions were very discerning. Also as a guest judge on the Mentor show, her comments remained insightful and critical.
Soon, Lawrencia moved into the world of events usually on the forefront of promotions. Aside the local concerts, Lawrencia has worked on other gigs hosting international superstars including Wyclef, Eve, Omarion, Fat Joe and arguably American finest rapper Jay Z.
“Working on these projects weren’t difficult but rather challenging. Handling protocol and hospitality, I was to get them from the airport. Their schedules, movement and food were also inclusive. I remember Eve requested to be in a space filled with scented candles before going on stage for Zain’s 026 Experience at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium and nothing else. That was her way of psyching up for her performance.”.
Currently the host of a cookery programme on TV3, the bubbly presenter appears to have more under her sleeve. She promises to roll a reality show the first quarter of 2011 to precede the series of projects planned for the year. Lawrencia is confident her wholly structured production will get Ghanaians captivated and also present us with stars of the next generation.
One thing is certain, re-invention is Lawrencia’s middle name.
Source: B&FT LifestyleNo tags for this post.