Adjetey Anang, one of Ghana’s most established movie icons, highlights his journey through life on another intriguing episode of the Y Leaderboard Series on your no.1 urban radio station, YFM.
The award-winning actor and lecturer at the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), in an interview with Rev. Erskine, narrated his life experiences through childhood, education, his career, and ultimately some pieces of advice, among other things to inspire the younger generation.
Being a product of the Baptist Church School, growing up in Tema and living at the heart of varying family systems in ‘Community 10’, Adjetey Anang described his formative years as a cocktail of experiences and lessons.
“We’re a family of four so I had a sister, and the position we found ourselves in was very interesting. To our right we had the ideal family, thus the nuclear family scenario; and to our left, we were sandwiched between the ideal and the compound house setting. It was the house where the smoke never died.
“There’s always something being cooked, and it had a lot of families, relatives and the fun was there. But of course, we were supposed to relate more to that of the ideal family setting. We had our challenges with that because all the fun was to our left so I picked up bits and pieces of both households,” he shared.
He eventually furthered his studies at Labone Senior High School, and proceeded to the University of Ghana, where he studied Fine Arts. In between those years, he spent most years with relatives since his ambitious father mostly spent time travelling and was overly dedicated to work.
“Then, we had a daddy who was very ambitious and mostly not at home, travelling here and there. We had to move to Accra after my Tema years. I eventually picked up bits and pieces from uncles and aunties because I didn’t directly have a father figure since he was mostly away. They also had their own opinions and perspectives on life, belief systems and other aspects to life. Some were to my advantages but others were obviously not, and basically that was me growing in the midst of everything,” he added.
For him, his best interest was watching movies, and what excited him was how effortlessly people could bring to life characters they ordinarily are not in real life.
Surprisingly to many, Adjetey Anang reiterated that it never crossed him he could appear before cameras and on the screens of thousands of people. “Growing up, I certainly had a thing for movies but I never saw myself as being in front of the camera. I just loved it and was excited about how people transformed characters that they’re not even in real life into reality; and that was it,” he said.
“I knew that Dad would drop hints of me towing the line of the sciences because he was a biochemist; and I looked at his life and I thought that look, I don’t want to position myself in that situation. Unfortunately, I was exposed to father and fatherhood on the screen. I look at my dad and he wants me to follow the sciences and I’m like that’s boring because this is work-home-work-home,” he stressed.
Affectionately called ‘Pusher’ after his illustrious role in ‘Things we Do for Love’, Adjetey Anang recounted that at the time, not many shows were on the screens of Ghanaians. Hence, the team was motivated to produce something memorable and educative to heighten the interest of Ghanaians in films.
Reacting to what made his debut TV drama series successful and gaining the level of prominence that every one of all ages relates to, he opined: “I think one of the things that really made it successful was the fact that there wasn’t anything that was speaking to the youth and parents relationship directly. That was how come a lot of people focused on that, and it also brought to light some of the things parents did not know about their children. They had no idea about the content of their conversations when they are away from home or in their own space, and we were bringing these out through the stories we were telling”.
According to him, playing the role of ‘Pusher’ intensified his presence in the movie space.
Pusher further advised the youth to hone their skills and talents. He believes it is important to blend talent and the right training to become perfect or the best in one’s field.
Programmes Manager of YFM, Eddy Blay reiterated that this time with the legendary ‘Pusher’ was one of the eye-opening sessions on radio. “There are very few people who could best relate to the youth, and the man for the job today was Pusher. He is a huge example and a symbol of consistency, dignity and humility.”