Nothing feels better than being called a celebrity. The fame, wealth and public admiration that comes with it is second to no feeling on this earth. There are people who are willing to kill to attained the celebrity status in their various crafts, be it music, football, acting, modeling and so on. There are few privileged ones whose insane hardworking and enormous talent made it possible for them to achieve the celebrity status among the 28million people in Ghana. With this status, life became comfortable for them, wealth was at their disposal and they could buy the finest Italian wines in the shelves of the wine shops. But just like the direction compass, celebrity status and fame does not point in one direction forever. The real test in life comes after the celebrity compass changes direction and is no longer pointing in your direction. While some managed theirs well and are still doing great after they lost their stardom, some also just lived in the moment without thinking about tomorrow and are now broke, leaving from hand to mouth after their stardom faded.
In this article, we look at some of the celebrities who couldn’t manage their finances well and are now broke, leaving from hand to mouth.
If ever someone came out to say Sam Adjeteyfio was as broke as the poor church mouse, no one would have believed it. Not because the person was not trustworthy or themed a liar, but simply because, Sam Adjeteyfio has had a far too successful movie career for the public to believe he was struggling financially. But sadly, that seem to be exactly the case with the veteran Ghanaian actor. In the late 90s and early 2000s, Sam Adjeteyfio was probably the biggest name on Ghana television screens. He was the lead actor in the biggest and most successful TV series of the early 2000s, Taxi Driver. From there, he went on to play lead roles in so many Ghanaian mainstream movies and even got featured in a couple of Ghanaian/Nigerian movies. It came as a surprise then, few weeks when the veteran and once celebrated actor came out to admit that he is really struggling to make ends meet. In a couple of media reports, Sam Adjeteyfio admitted to mismanaging his finances during his hay days and even revealed that he currently occupies the boy’s quarters of a friend’s mansion because the he has no money to rent an apartment for himself and his family. According to him, he spends his day moving from one set to another hoping to find some roles in order to make something small to put food on his table.
A couple of years ago, William Addo was a household name in the Kumawood movies industry, staring in some of the most successful kumawood movies and television series. However, after movie roles dried up and no producer was knocking on his door for movie features, things started turning sour for the veteran actor. All the money he made at the peak of his career was already well spent and he had next to nothing left on him. Things got much worse for William Addo when he developed an eye complication that demanded an amount of Ghc10,000 to be corrected in a surgical operation. Mr. Addo who could not hide his predicament any longer came out to lay bare his suffering and asked for the public’s support to help him raise the needed Ghc10,000 for his eye surgery. In several media interviews, the veteran actor, confessed to being in financial difficulties and having to spend the little he has left on his eye treatment. He also admitted that there was no way he could single-handedly raise the required Ghc5000 for the first part of the eye surgery, hence calling for donation and the public’s support. His story is classical example of an actor who went from riches to rags after they were no more in the limelight. As he once said in an interview, “I concentrated more on the ‘show’ instead of the ‘business’ aspect of the job”
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Once upon a time, there was a famous music band known as Osibisa, they toured the world, filled 90,000 capacity stadiums, enjoyed the grandest of celebrity status and fame, made millions from their unique music and Kiiki Gyan was a member and one of the leading figures of this band made up of Four Ghanaians and some three Caribbean (other nationals later joined the band). The band was perhaps the most famous music band in the 70s and early 80s, giving the world smash hits after hits and raking in millions of dollars. A couple of decades later, after the band was no more, and members were now in their old age and enjoying the fruits of their labour, the situation was different for Kiiki Gyan, the historic and once famous keyboardist of the band. He found himself fighting serious drug addictions and losing everything he had worked for to drugs. Sadly he lost his battle to drugs in 2004, by which time he had lost everything he had and was surviving on the mercies and goodwill of friends and family.
Super OD is one of the most celebrated people in Ghana today. Not because he holds a celebrity status or enjoys some level of stardom now, but because of what he has done for the movie industry and his decades of being a topnotch actor, gracing our TV screens for decades. He started his career in the 70s with roles in the shows of iconic producer and director, Osofo Dadzie. His popularity shot to an all-time high in the 80s when he became part of the famous new show, Akan Drama aired on Ghana Television. He made great strides as an actor in those days and was the nation’s favourite actor by all stretch. However, after his stardom and era of fame faded away, Super OD begun to face financial difficulties. In 2017, Agona East MP, Hon. Queenstar Pokuah Sawyer made a donation to the ailing veteran actor to help ease his financial woes. All the fame and money he made in his youthful days seemed not to be enough to help take care of him in his old age. Other personalities including former president, John Mahama have paid a visit to him and made some financial pledges to help the once famous and celebrated actor.
Between 2001 and 2005, former Ghanaian footballer, Charles Taylor was the biggest football star in Ghana. He played for the two biggest clubs in Ghana, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko during which time he won all the biggest club trophies in Ghana and Africa. He became the most expensive player ever on the local football scene when Kotoko coughed out a whopping $42,000 to price him away from arch rivals Hearts of Oak in 2003. His wealth and fame during that era was unquantifiable. No player who plied his trade in the country earned as much as he did or came close to him in terms of wealth and fame. But a decade after he retired from gracing the green pitch, the once famous footballer, has very little to show for all the wealth and fame he enjoyed in his prime years. But unlike the other mentioned celebrities, Charles Taylor is not doing so badly as he finds himself now as an ordained man of God. However considering the money he made during his footballing days, Charles Taylor could be said to be broke because he was largely expected to do well compared to his current situation after retiring from football.
If you live in Ghana and you don’t know Ofori Amponsah then it can only be assumed that you were in coma between 2001 and 2007. During these years, there was no bigger artiste in Ghana than the legendary highlife artiste. Every song he brought out became an absolute smash hit, making him the most celebrated artiste of that era. But out of the blues, Mr. All4Real as he called by fans, left the music scene to become a pastor. He later released a couple of gospel songs to signify his new calling as a reverend. Close to seven years later, when he had been forgotten and had no fame nor the wealth that he once possessed, Ofori Amponsah made a shock return to the secular music scene. According to colleagues close to him, Ofori Amponsah’s return to secular music was as a result of financial difficulties he was facing after he quit doing highlife music. Even thoughOfori Amponsah himself failed to admit that in a couple of radio interviews, it was clear his return was down to being broke and finding life difficult.
Enjoying the limelight is a great feeling, it comes with wealth, fame and public admiration. However the greatest feeling is looking back after years of fame and realizing you invested wisely and made the right choices during that period, and as a result, life has become comfortable for you even years after losing the celebrity status.