Ghanaian actor and film producer, Ekow Smith Asante has highlighted the financial challenges faced by actors and actresses in the Ghanaian film industry, stating that they cannot afford houses in prime residential areas like East Legon due to the industry’s low pay.
According to Ekow Smith, building a house in East Legon is a difficult prospect for actors and actresses as they rely on favours and gifts to live in such upscale neighbourhoods.
In an interview with Fiifi Pratt on Kingdom FM, he explained that the money earned by Ghanaian actors and actresses is insufficient to sustain a lavish lifestyle, contrary to popular belief.
“I think building a house in East Legon would be difficult. It is very dicey because actors and actresses for instance, get favours”, Ekow Smith shared.
He emphasized that while actors may receive gifts from individuals based on their roles in movies, it would take a considerable amount of time to accumulate enough funds without such support.
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He posed the question of how much actors are paid highlighting the disparity compared to their Nigerian counterparts who are making millions of dollars by taking a more business-oriented approach to the industry.
“Somebody can give me something because of my particular role in a movie. With gifts from people, it can support you to build, but I think it will take a very long time without it. How much are you paid, GHc10, 000, Ghc20, 000, Ghc30, 000 or what? ” he queried.
Ekow Smith further revealed that many actors and actresses from his era were unable to invest in their craft due to the industry’s low wages in comparison to Nigeria.
“Nigerians are doing business and we are doing the show; that is why we don’t progress…that is the truth. The money we get can only display our show, not the business.” Mr Ekow Asante observed.
He pointed out that actors of his time have ventured into other businesses, such as operating restaurants, due to the industry’s inability to provide substantial financial returns.
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“If you realize, many actors of my time are branching into their private businesses. Some are operating restaurants, among others. Who is investing in show business? Who? How many of us, I don’t know”, Ekow Smith Asante disclosed.
Ekow Smith, who currently resides in the United Kingdom, adds his name to a roster of industry veterans, including Mikky Osei Berko, Fred Amugi, Mama Jane, and Pascaline Edwards, who have openly acknowledged the lack of financial rewards in the Ghanaian acting industry.
Contrary to Ekow Smith’s remarks, actresses such as Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson, and Tracey Boakye are proud homeowners in East Legon and its surrounding areas, residing among Ghana’s affluent elite.