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Dzifa Gomashie
In these days of affirmativeness, it may be rare to find a high-profile career woman to openly say she owes her flight to a man. For actress Dzifa Gomashie, she does not hesitate at all to say that she owes her flight to the men in her life. “The source of my energy is my husband, Martin and my 21-year-old son, Ekow.” she told me last Friday.

As we sat at the Traffix restaurant at the National Theatre, Dzifa said: “They have sustained and continue to do so in all my endeavours. When I have scripts to work on, they would read and criticise them and advise me. I love them very much because they keep me going.”

After one failed marriage that produced Ekow, Dzifa again found joy in the arms of Martin who she describes as being her everything and cannot imagine herself with another man on this planet.

Talking about her first marriage in between bites of delicious plantain ampesi and nkontomire abom, Dzifa acknowledged that “we were both young and foolish at the time, no wonder the marriage broke up. I thought I was in love, but I’ve grown up to realise that it happens in many other relationships.

“Tell me why I should stay in a marriage that is not yielding anything good. I’m now very happy with family, no regrets whatsoever because I work hard to maintain what we have as a family and to improve upon it,” she said.

Talking about her acting, Dzifa said she joined the Talents Theatre Company in 1985 where she was moulded by bigwigs such as Anima Misa, Maame Dokono and Kofi Portuphy before joining the school of Performing Arts, Legon for a diploma in Theatre Arts and later for a degree in Theatre Management.

Her passion for stage acting saw her participating in plays like Black Star, Mambo, Chaka the Zulu, Jogolo and The Third Woman. When it comes to movies she has featured in, Ghost Tears, House of Pain, Heart of Gold and a number of NAFTI student productions.

Despite her versatility in acting, Dzifa has not been as active as she would have loved to. She blames her inactivity in that area on the lack of good scripts in the system. “I’m a producer and an actor but if people are not writing scripts, I can’t do anything about that.”

In the meantime Dzifa has been running her restaurant called Mama Dzifa’s Kitchen where she serves special banku for her customers at Ashale Botwe.

“These are some of the challenges we face in Ghana when it comes to theatre. I miss acting on stage but what can I do; I cannot sit idle, particularly here in Ghana where theatre is not so lucrative.

Comparing Ghana to other developed countries, Dzifa contended that actors need not depend on their acting alone to survive. “It isn’t as lucrative as it should be but it could be a great industry if only we would see it as a business venture. Supposing it were the only thing I was depending on, where will I be standing by now?” she asked.

Dzifa has been a script writer herself. She also wrote scripts and produced By The Fire Side, a GTV programme that used story-telling to encourage children to read more and to develop their reading skills. Due to lack of sponsors,she said, the programme has been put on hold for almost two years.

“The children of Ghana need that entertainment to learn more so please come to our aid. It is a great concern to me since it helped a lot of children to develop interest in reading and speak English more effectively. I’m pleading for companies and individuals to come to our aid and bring back By The Fire Side,” she said.

Being very enthused about helping children to develop reading habits and ensure that they speak good English, Dzifa formed reading clubs in schools with books borrowed from her friends and carted them around the schools because she could not afford to buy the books.

Dzifa was born in Accra to Mr Patrick Dotse Gomashie and Helen Gomashie and is the sixth of eight children. She attended the St Louis Secondary School.

In between, she did lots of performances before going to Legon to study. Talking about highlights in her acting career, Dzifa said it was yet to come. “Everything that has gone on is just the starting point. The sky is no more the limit when people are going to the moon,” she said.

In her leisure time, Dzifa enjoys dancing and advised her fans to look at the brighter side of life. “People think they can put me down but I’m unsuppressible,” she concluded.

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