I Learnt Acting Through The Hard Way - Idikoko

They come and go season by season. However some will just not fade away, and veteran actor Idikoko is one of such big shots who easily comes to mind in that regard. Idi, as he is fondly called by some of his pals, has shown clear signs of not only being a consummate movie-maker, but a commitment to building Ghana’s movie industry. Currently he might not belong to the reining ‘Kings and Prince’ of the screens as far as English productions are concerned, but he is fun to watch any day. In the early days, when Ghana’s movie industry used to be ‘very green’, Augustine Abbey, as he is otherwise known, was one of the faces that adorned Ghana’s screen and movie covers. His versatility could be seen in his ability to adapt and play the role of a comedian, especially when he was cast as a house boy or gateman. Having gone through the mills for a very long time, he has gone past acting, even though he still does it sometimes. He now produces, writes and directs. He has written, directed and produced movies like ‘Tricky Twist’, ‘Matters of the Heart’, ‘Bitter Love’, ‘Ingratitude’, ‘Stolen Bible’, ‘Stolen Pregnancy’, ‘Recipe For Disaster’ and ‘Money Bag’ among others. In 1997, he acted and assisted in producing a BBC Documentary on tricksters. He also produced and directed a film on HIV and AIDS to sensitize teacher trainees. This was financed by UNESCO in collaboration with Dr. Esi Sutherland-Addy’s MMOFRA Foundation. For Idikoko, “a successful film is not necessarily one that has been well patronized, but also one that is able to carry its message effectively across”. Two weeks ago he was elected president of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) due to his tireless efforts in the industry. He is also a member of the Ghana Actors Guild and Ghana Film Guild. Born in Accra, he attended the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School (PRESEC), Legon, and did his Sixth Form at the Science College. He even became the Chief Boarding Officer. After, he entered the University of Ghana, Legon, where he did a Bachelor of Science Degree in Administration, Accounting Option, from 1988 to 1991. But like many of his colleagues in the world of make-believe, he did not make extensive use of his certificate and continues to enjoy television screens. He told BEATWAVES that he studied acting via the “school of hard knocks”. “I learn on the job through school of hard knocks”, he boldly states on his curriculum vitae (CV). Fortunately for him, he did not receive the knocks in vain as he was able to make a breakthrough. While in school he was actively involved in so many stage and television productions. He is behind very popular teleplays such as Women’s Desire, Food For Thought, Trial of Brother Jetro, The Messenger, Fortune At Last and The Game; he wrote and helped GTV produce them. Idikoko, married to actress Linda Quashiga, has won a number of laurels during his over 30-year career. In 1979, he took the Best Juvenile Actor from the Arts Council of Ghana. Then in 1988 at the Leisure Awards he picked up the Best Script for The Game. The following year, at the same award, he won Best Script, Best Actor and TV Personality of the year. The same year, his role in ‘Alokodongo’ won him the Best NAFTI Actor. His movie titled ‘Ingratitude’ was also nominated for the Best Film and Video at the Festival of Nations in Australia.