Veteran Ghanaian actress Adjoa Pee says that though she is 52, young men still chase her, thinking she is still in her 30s.
Adjoa Pee currently lives a comfortable life with her six children in her own house and says she now spends most of her time at the gym and has great interest for sports.
In the following interview, she tells News One’s Francis Addo that the Ghanaian movie industry now is about money and fame but not about celebrating Ghana’s beautiful culture and history.
You have been in the industry for over 20 years. Give us a glimpse of the nature of the industry back then.
I’ve been in this industry for 27 years. When we started it was fun, sweet and natural talent at its best. Money was not the issue. Even though there was very little, it was the love for the industry. We ‘killed’ ourselves for it because we loved it. Compared to now it’s for the money. Those days, we used to care so much about our fans so what we gave to them meant a lot for us. And thank God I still receive that kind of warmth from my fans.
Do you think there is less dedication and discipline now?
Yes, very much so. Everyone wants to be a star. They want to be popular, so there is no discipline. They have thrown away our beautiful culture and are copying blindly. Producers are getting tired of using artistes for a long time; the same people they used to build the industry.
What do you think may have caused this?
Hmmm! Money! Money! Some producers will not take their time to do a good work. They only think more of the money involved and how many movies they can do within a short time. We must refrain from that and take it one at time and get a good story told. Actors Guild has not been of good help to the industry at all. I know they will not like it but that’s a fact. They’ve been there themselves and not the industry as a whole. I was not surprised when Kumasi came up with Kumawood. Now they are doing much better than we in Accra in terms of movies. Even now Accra artists have to go and seek roles in Kumasi. I am personally happy for them because in all the regions my biggest fans come from Kumasi. I am proud of them.
Please refresh our memories about Adjoa Pee and how she started acting.
This year will actually mark 28 years since Afro Moses the musician featured me in his music video. It made the producer for the Weekend Rendezvous programme at GBC, the late Adjoa Abankwah Duodu, to take an interest in me and ask me to be visiting her office. Through That, I had my script for my very first role on TV Theatre. Then I had a role in Osofo Dadzie series and that was my breakthrough.
What have you been up to lately?
Now I am still in the acting business. I am also working on my own production but lack of funds has slowed me down. This year, I am going back to it because I don’t want to kill a good story.
Do you envy the current crop of hot actresses?
(Laughs) I don’t at all because it is also their time. I have been there and I know how it feels. Whatever fame they have now, I had it 10 times in our days. Because in our time, you had no other choice but to watch Adjoa Pee on the only TV station in the country. My goodness! I really enjoyed my time and I am still, so there is nothing like envy.
They rather show respect when they meet me. I have come very far and still counting. Let me say this: one morning I was going to drop my kids at school and while stuck in traffic jam on the motorway roundabout, I saw on my left a school bus loaded with school kids. They started shouting and making all kinds of noise on seeing me. I waved at them and it was like Christmas for them. I asked my kids, ‘so how do you feel when you are with me and you witness this?’ And they said “proud” I told them that to me it’s a huge responsibility. It makes me check myself. In our days there was a cloth named after me at Makola.
Are you still married?
No, I am still happily divorced (laughs).
Was he an actor too?
Yes, Kojo Demanya.
Did you meet him through acting?
Yes and no, but I don’t want to talk about that.
How many children so far?
I have six boys.
You still look young and sexy. Are you likely to marry again?
A million dollar question, but a very simple answer—no comment. But no doubt I am still hot and wanted.
How old are you now and how do you maintain your looks?
I have no peace at all with the young guys. Age means nothing to them. I am 52 years and they think I should go to Osu cemetery and ask my mum again about my age (laughs). I am always considered to be in my late 30s or early 40s. I simply take good care of myself. I love the gym.
How often do you stay at the gym?
I go from Mondays to Saturdays.
Having acted for so many years, will you say it is profitable to act?
Personally, whatever I have achieved in life is not through acting, but my own means. But it has paved a way for my goals. So in a way it’s been profitable.
Will you consider yourself one of the richest veteran actresses around?
Of course and I am proud of myself.
I hear you are a proud owner of a lot of houses in town.
(Laughed) I only have a four-bedroom house built from my hard work. It was always my dream.
Is Adjoa Pee dating?
Mmm I am dating.
Who is he?
I will hold it close to my chest for now! Haahaha
But is he one of the young men?
Hahahaha! No comment!
Thanks for your time.
Pleasure! I must say I have enjoyed it.