Entertainment of Sunday, 1 October 2017
The desire to give up in the face of constant disappointment or when things are really tough is something all of us are wont to do but not Louis Lamis.
The man behind one of the most popular television programmes now, Kejetia Vs Makola, did not back down when he faced setbacks in pursuing his dreams, he chose to face the challenges head on and now the rewards are pouring in.
Here was the first born of his parents, a publishing graduate from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Ghana (KNUST), expected to help take care of his siblings after securing a white collar job, but chose to follow his passion for theatre at a time when it was not lucrative.
Louis Lamis tells Showbiz he fell in love with theatre in school and while still a student would go to watch productions at various places and audition for roles. After school, he decided that acting and theatre were his thing and pursued it full time but was it going to be easy? No way.
“I joined a number of groups but they weren’t working for me so I left.
Then I went into a reality show, Ghana Movie Star which aired on TV3 but that didn’t end. I decided to stay in Accra where I auditioned for some movie roles but things were not going well for me. I moved back to Kumasi in 2008 after advice from actor, Gavivina Tamakloe who encouraged me to try my luck here,” he said.
Back in Kumasi, the challenges continued as there weren’t enough quality productions available. That was when he decided to start something on his own. Together with three others, they formed a production company, Springverve but five years into the partnership, he felt he needed to move in a different direction so he left.
Still convicted about theatre, Louis set up Liezer-Legacy Productions and today it is one of the leading theatre production houses in Kumasi. It has put up a number of productions which have been well received including Only In Africa, Love Laugh 1, 2 & 3, Grumpy Graham, The Prince of Egypt among others
Kumasi may not be the first place to think of when it comes to theatre, but Louis says there is appreciation for good productions and the audience numbers are growing.
Kejetia Vs Makola is now on the lips of everybody and it makes the originator of the concept (he plays the judge on the show) very happy.
“The response has been overwhelming. When we were working on the show, the team and I wanted to get it on point so we really put in a lot of work but we didn’t expect the response to be this massive. I am very happy about this but at the same time, this challenges me to do better to make sure we continue to entertain fans,” he said.
He definitely knows his stuff as he has selected a group of talented actors who collectively make the show what it is.
Although his role requires he be serious (he occasionally cracks a smile), he tells Showbiz he is very funny off set.
One of the reasons why many good shows are off television is the lack of content to sustain it but Louis Lamis knows that will not happen to Kejetia Vs Makola. “There is so much content to be had. I send them to court every day and the number of absurd cases that come before the judges are unimaginable. I don’t think we can run out of scenarios for the show”, he said.
Having had such an excellent TV debut, Liezer-Legacy Productions is looking at growing its reach with even more great content including another series, a satirical news show and a movie.
Already, the satirical news, titled I Don’t Think Far News is airing on Multi TV’s Adom TV channel and popular Kumawood actor, Kwadwo Nkansah (Lil Win) is the host. There definitely would be no shortage of laughs on the programme.
His foray into TV doesn’t mean Louis Lamis is letting go of his theatre roots and he plans to bring some productions to Accra. “I definitely will but timing is extremely crucial here and the product has to be right to be sure we don’t disappoint. But we will come to Accra.”
Although things are much better now, Louis still has some regrets. “My challenging moments came when the road was tough. The education of two of my siblings was sacrificed so I could go further up the ladder so when I could not be there for them when they needed me it really hurt. You do this for nine years and you tell yourself it will be better and you are not able to provide for the people who need you, you come across as selfish. Those have been my lowest my moments.”
On a brighter note, Louis Lamis, who is married with a child, is hopeful he will hit the international market very soon with his products.