The Ghana entertainment industry has been blessed with some wonderful talents over the past few decades, with artistes like Ofori Amponsah and Papa Shee mesmerizing us with their wonderful and soul-touching voices whenever they hit the studio.
Somehow, some of these talented singers, actors etc decide to leave behind the fame, money and glory to take up the bible and become preachers to the surprise of Ghanaians.
In the last couple of years, this has become even more rampant, with these celebrities giving the excuse ‘I was touched by the Lord’ as their reason for abandoning the craft that so made them famous and adored.
We take a trip down memory lane to remember some of these celebrities who surprised everyone by leaving the limelight to take up the daunting task of preaching the word.
Born Abraham Akpor Kojo, Lord Kenya is still regarded by many as arguably the finest rapper Ghana has ever seen and the best hiplife artist the country has ever produced. Lord Kenya rose to fame in the late 90s under the label Slip Music. In 1998, he released his first album titled Sika Card and from there he never looked back again.
Lord Kenya dominated the hiplife scene for close to a decade, with unrivaled success in the industry. This culminated into him being crowned Artiste of the Year and four other awards at the 2002 Ghana Music Awards.
However, in 2010, the hiplife icon claimed he was touched by the holy ghost to do the work of the Lord and as such he had to leave behind his past life, which according to him was filled with drugs and women.
Since then Lord Kenya has never looked back again as he attends conferences and preaches the gospel.
Remember Papa Shee? The legendary silky voice highlife artiste who took the country by storm in 2006 with his hit single Koyon So. After enjoying so much success and fame in the music industry in the mid-2000s, ‘the ladies’ man’ as he was popularly called due to how ladies loved his music, relocated to the US and not much was heard of him again until a report surfaced online in 2011 that Papa Shee was now an evangelist.
He later came out to confirm the reports and explained that he had now found a new calling in the work of the Lord while living in the States.
Today Papa Shee is better known for his evangelism rather than music as was the case a decade ago.
Isaac Okai better known by his stage name Yaw Siki rose to fame in 2011 with the hit song, Wo P3 Dodo. He instantly became music fans’ favourite because of the funny nature of his lyrics and popularity in the Tema neighbourhood.
Music lovers and entertainment pundits believed he was destined for greatness in the music industry considering how young he was when he broke through and had his first hit.
That was not to be the case however, as the young artiste suffered a life threatening accident in 2013 which sent him into a coma for days and almost ended his life. After regaining consciousness, Yaw Siki said he had been saved by the Lord to do His work and this was communicated to him while he was in coma.
True to his word, Yaw Siki embarked on evangelism after being treated and released from the hospital and was been spotted several times in trotro buses preaching to commuters.
Five years after his calling, Yaw Siki continues to do evangelism on the streets, churches, social media and anywhere he could preach the gospel of the Lord.
The Mark Wahlberg of the Ghana movie industry, Majid Michel, wowed movie lovers across Africa with his ingenuity and talent as an actor, staring in some of the biggest blockbuster movies produced on the continent such as ‘Somewhere In Africa’ and ‘Boko Haram’.
He had onto himself a massive fan base who loved how he always played the bad boy in most movies he stared in. But in 2016 news circulated on the internet that Majid Michel has become a born again Christian who now preaches the gospel.
The rumours turned out to be true as the famous actor confirmed in several interviews that he was now a staunch Christian. He even went ahead to reveal that he was no longer going to accept movie roles that requires him to act nude or play very intense sexual roles.
Unlike other born again celebrities, Majid Michel continues to act movies, but now chooses carefully which roles to accept and which not to while at the same time attending gospel conferences to preach to and advise the youth.
The case of Ofori Amponsah is a curious one as we struggle to tell where exactly he stands now. After enjoying so much success in the music industry in the early 2000s, Ofori Amponsah shocked music lovers when he announced that he was now a born again Christian who would be doing only gospel songs.
This was perhaps the biggest convert news in Ghana music at the time, largely because of the massive success Ofori Amponsah was enjoying.
He was by far the biggest music act in the country, raking in millions of Cedis through hits and performances and there were hardly any big events without him on the bill.
He kept true to his words and ventured into gospel music and preaching. Things however took a surprise turn in 2015 when Ofori Amponsah made a surprise come back on to the secular music scene.
He later revealed that he was no more going to preach the gospel in a bid to focus on his comeback as a highlife artist which he is still struggling to continue from where he left.
The charismatic of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGHA) is another celebrity who seems to have found a new calling in the word of the Lord. Obour rose to prominence in the early 2000s with his unique style of music and branding which had never been seen in the industry.
He was artistic and unique with his style. For over a decade, he was mentioned among the elite artistes in the country, releasing hits after hits each year without any signs of slowing down until he became MUSIGHA president in 2011.
However, Obour has recently been spotted preaching the gospel in churches and from all indication, it looks like the ‘Menwu Biom’ hitmaker has abandoned the spotlight and fame to become a minister of the gospel and it is only a matter of time before he packs his luggage and leaves the entertainment business altogether.
Just like his compatriot Majid Michel, actor Timothy Bentum has decided to partially shed off the spotlight and become a preacher of the gospel. Bentum who is a well-known face in the Ghana movie industry in 2016 declared himself a born again Christian with a new focus and mission in life; which was to bring people closer to the Lord through preaching his gospel.
In a rather revealing media interview, Timothy Bentum revealed how he had struggled with hard drugs such as Cocaine at a point in his life, even though he always appeared happy and healthy on the screens.
According to him, his ability to quit drugs was by the strength of the Lord as he thought he was doomed for life due to his drug addiction.
Timothy beside acting movies, also attend crusades and other Christian events to preach the gospel and use his past life as an example for others.
Azigiza Jnr was the face of the entertainment industry in the 90s. In 1991, he rose to stardom as a renowned Disc Jockey who manned all the big concerts and events in Ghana.
In 1994, he added music to his disc jockeying profession and released his first album ‘Me Do Wo Abena’ which became an instant hit and a national favourite. Azigiza did not stop there, he went further to release several hits in the following years to cement his name as the finest entertainer in the Ghana who could sing, rap, DJ and dance.
All that however came to a halt in 1998, when the famous and glorious Azigiza Jnr announced to the whole of Ghana that he had been touched by the Lord and was now a born again Christian.
After his declaration of faith, he quit music, and enrolled in a pastoral school to become a preacher of the gospel. Today Azigiza Jnr is one of the most respected preachers in the country and a pastor at Jesus Power Church.
Whether it is by a divine calling, or just a change of career path, one can hardly tell, but these celebs took that bold decision to go into the gospel business in order to help spread the word of the Lord. While some have fallen back on their pledge, others have held on to it and continue to preach the gospel to the masses.