Kumawood actor and skit performer Ebenezer Akwasi Antwi popularly known as Ras Nene has revealed he was dragged to court close to ten times while he traded in drugs on the streets.
The genesis of his life on the street all began when as a child, was sometimes left to care for his aunt’s drinking bar. As a curious young child, Nene says, took sips of alcohol and tried the remains of cigarettes left on the ground by customers.
In an interview on The Delay Show, he recounted how he dropped out of school after Junior High School because he didn’t have the interest to continue coupled with his mother’s inability to cover his educational bills. He said he went into tailoring as an apprentice and subsequently left become an artisan.
His addiction to weed began while he worked as an artisan, just after meeting a friend he said, introduced him to it. This was followed by his permanent migration onto the streets where he sold drugs and rose through the ranks to become a street lord.
He said he got arrested on several occasions, sent to court seven times and lost in only two of the cases.
“Before going to the streets to transact my business, I prayed to God for protection. Some sold drugs under the protection of black magic so they could vanish in case of any emergency”, he told Delay.
He also revealed his trade in drugs went beyond Ghana to Libya and across the desert.
The Name Ras Nene
Explaining the mystery behind the name Ras Nene as he is known in Kumawood, he said he inherited it from his boss (a notorious drug supplier in Nigeria) known as Anene.
“The name has been mispronounced. It’s “Anene”. There was a notorious criminal in Nigeria called Anene in Lagos. I got it from my former boss. I used to get my stuff from him and people who knew us referred to me as the son of Nene because they couldn’t pronounce it. Ras was added to it because I was in dreadlocks.”
He said the opportunity to enter into acting came unattractive to him and the late Kumawood actor, Osei Tutu- with whom he met on the streets and traded in drugs.
“We (Tutu and I) met a guy by the name Danny Adelele who tried to convince us to move into acting. He managed to convince Tutu. Tutu tried to convince me to join but I refused. One day I visited Tutu at the acting site for a key. Coincidentally, I got there when the actor to play the role of a gangster was absent. The director upon seeing set me to the role. After that, he handed me an envelope with a very meagre wage. After that, the director pestered me with roles and Tutu advised that we leave the street for good”, he told Delay.
According to him, he decided to abandon the street and focus on acting and succeeded through determination.
He was able to come out of his addiction to weed through “determination” and “prayer”, he said.
Although he said acting wasn’t giving him enough money as he got on the streets, he managed to get a house and make some savings out of it.
Following the comatose state the Ghana Movie Industry was plunged into, Ras decided to venture into mining with his savings.
“I decided to go into mining. I went in for a concession at Sapa in Bole Bamboi and later at Dakrukpe in Gonjaland. I made an initial investment of GHc70,000, gained 40,000 and then recorded a series of losses. I spent two years there then I decided to give up and return home.
“But then I came across another concession. I borrowed GHC50,000 to invest in it and recorded a loss. Upon arrival, I was arrested and remanded for debt. The debtee later forgave me and I was released.”
Genesis Of skit Acting
He recounted how Youtuber Wode Maya encouraged him to make use of the online video sharing and social media platform when they met in China.
“I helped a guy with his ticket to China while on the streets so he came back to Ghana at the time I was in difficulty. He decided to pay me back by taking me to China. In China, I met Wode Maya and he encouraged me to make use of Youtube. He created a page for me and I came back to Ghana.”
Upon his return, he recalled, some friends of his brought up the idea to produce skits. They began as a group on the page of one of them.
“It garnered public interest and later I began my page. He (my friend) used his popular page to promote my works and here I am”.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini