Up close with Naa Ashokor


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Brainy and sexy actress, Naa Ashorkor, on
Thursday, opened up as never before in a no-
holds-barred interview with NEWS-ONE and
makes rather interesting revelations about her
life, upbringing, career, core values, trials and
her future prospects.
Naa is host of Starr FM’s mid-morning
programme, ‘The Zone’, and also runs her own
TV show, ‘Tales from the Powder Room’, on
GH-One.
She has starred in some of Ghana’s best
contemporary movies including ‘A Letter From
Adam’, ‘Checkmate’, ‘Adams Apple’, ‘Perfect
Picture’ and ‘Scorned’.
NEWS-ONE asked Naa Ashorkor about her
greatest achievements:
What is the biggest thing you have achieved?
When people ask me about achievements and
how many awards I have won, I have not won
many but I have won some. I really don’t
count awards and nominations as
achievements. What I count are the people
who feel I am making a positive difference in
their lives.
For example, I never knew it was possible to
receive phone calls from facebook until two
nights ago when a girl called me around 1am.
You receive calls at 1am?
Not exactly but I thought this one was strange
and also did not understand how it was from
facebook so I picked and the caller said she
was 29 and wanted to commit suicide but
wanted to talk to me before the act. I did not
know what to say. I listened to her and she
said she takes inspiration from me but was
tired because of family and relationship
issues.
We spoke from that time until I was ready to
prepare for work and by then she had changed
her mind. These are the things that make me
happy and I am glad I have this opportunity
to make a difference in people’s lives. Not
many people have such opportunities in this
world.
Are you a very religious person?
Not really. Let me tell you this: In secondary
school, there was a lot of talk about witches
and all that so I used to go for prayer
meetings to protect myself from the witches.
There was this time the pastor said I should
allow God to use me to touch lives and I
thought he was talking about me becoming a
pastor’s wife or a lady pastor or something.
But in these last few weeks, I now understand I
am touching lives in a positive way.
Many look up to you as their role model.
When people say I am their role model, it
makes me want to live up to expectation. But I
say to myself, just keep doing you and the
people who look up to you need never to be
disappointed.
Hosting mid-morning radio in Accra is a
challenging task. Many doubted your
competence. You have proven them wrong.
What was the magic?
I would be honest with you. When Bola Ray
asked me to host Mid-morning on Starr FM, I
said no. Not ‘no’ to radio but to hosting mid-
morning because it was too big. I said I would
prefer hosting a women’s programme on
Saturday evenings or something less
challenging until I grow into it and then
maybe a year later, I take up bigger
challenges.
But he said I could do it and I felt he would
not gamble with his investments and so if he
believed I could do it, why not? Then I can do
it. For the first three days, I was trying to
sound fantastic and it was a lot of mess. I
was just all over the place. After that, I
decided to relax and just be me. I’ve been a
very odd freak of people on radio and TV and I
could recite the intros of many of them. And I
attempted to do radio like I have known how
the others do it. But when I decided to be me,
laugh at my mistakes, read the LPMs like I
was reading any other sheet of paper, things
became easier for me.
There is a tendency to sound a certain way
once a microphone is set before you. TV is
audio-visual and viewers could see your
emotions but on radio, it is different and I had
to just be me. There is a hashtag on Tigo
—‘Keep Doing You’—and that was what I
decided to do. If you listen to me on radio or
anywhere else, I talk the same. Being me is
how I’ve survived and I keep growing every
day.
You got married just when you started hosting
mid-morning radio. Double pressure; you must
be super human to have survived.
Oh I don’t think so. I just like to take
it easy
and did not pressure myself. There is pressure
on those who want to be pressured.
Sometimes you see people and they seem they
have no problems but they have huge
problems. And there are people walking
around and acting like the whole world is
coming to an end but they are only hungry
and need food. It is the attitude we adopt that
makes the difference.
When I started radio, it was challenging and I
was trying my best. I could not even
understand the consol and which button to
press when. I know music but not the names
of the musicians and yet I was to decide
which music to play. But I had a fantastic DJ
who helped me—DJ Mono.
I remember there was this guy at Airtel who
wrote a whole write-up about how I was
terrible and some even said I was a square
peg in a round hole. But I am grateful to God
it is working out.
Those who thought I would fail are changing
their minds and people now listen to me not
because there are no competitors but because
they can see I am getting better.
There are fears marriage would affect your
career adversely.
No I don’t think so. It has not. It won’t.
Before Naa became a famous person, who was
she?
I am still all that I was—just an ordinary girl.
Primary school, I was very loud; JSS, I was a
very quiet girl; SSS, I was talking everywhere. I
was SRC vice president and secretary for my
region. I did a lot of school debates and even
won a few cups for my school and I enjoyed
it.
I think I got to know myself better in
secondary school—the sort of person I was,
the things I like to do and the things I won’t
like to do. Before GIJ, I was in a lot of school
activities and debates. I loved to be heard and
to champion strange courses. That is what
people would remember me for.
Were you the same at the GIJ?
I was very quiet in GIJ.
But you still found something special in GIJ?
You mean in GIJ? You mean my husband? Oh
yes. I met him in GIJ. I don’t know if people
really remember me in the GIJ. For my first
three years there, I was not on TV. I started
TV in the third year and I believe that was
when some of my mates even saw me for the
first time.
You acted ‘Kabuki’ in Lydia Forson’s ‘Letter
from Adam’ and got married in the movie
which was premiered just when you got
married in real life? Was it a hype for the
movie?
Ah! You mean I got married to push
someone’s movie? It was pure coincidence
and I did not even realise the coincidence
until people started talking about it. We shot
that movie when? I can’t even remember. But
Lydia booked the Silverbird Cinemas about six
months before the premiere date. It has
nothing to do with my marriage.
How do you manage to stay away from
controversy or scandals as a showbiz person?
Well, I don’t know. Maybe my mother always
told me that if I stayed at home, I won’t get
into trouble and that has really entered my
head. She always said trouble cannot come to
you when you are in your home. It has helped
me a lot. I work with an event organising
company and it is only when we have events
that you would see me out. I feel comfortable
at home and at places where I am safe.
If you read all the stories about celebrities in
trouble, they mostly got into trouble when they
went somewhere or said something.
You are an actress, a TV presenter and a radio
presenter; which pays the most?
It depends on who you are working for that
would determine how much you are going to
get. I think acting has paid me the most and I
am looking at the biggest amount of money I
have received at a time and that came from
acting.
Would you become a movie producer someday
like your colleagues?
I am so happy they are becoming producers
because it would make our industry bigger.
But I would rather want to produce a stage
play. I love movies; they are great but I love
stage plays. They are challenging and I would
want to promote that.
Are you pregnant as reports say?
I also heard about that. It is not true. But if it
is true, I am not aware.
Anything you would want to tell your fans and
readers of this interview?
We are in an overcrowded world with too
many people competing to be seen. The best
you can be is to just be you and not try to be
anybody else. Anybody else is taken and your
best bet is to be you. Grab opportunities when
they come and never say ‘I can’t do it’. Just
try because it is only when you try that you
can say you can or cannot. But you’ve just got
to try.

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