Every time I visit Accra, I try to find one or two up and comers who can provide a fresh perspective on the future of the ever-changing Ghanaian capital. From dancehall star Shatta Wale to the TV personality Deborah Owusu-Bonsu to lesser known working artists, I speak with locals and try to investigate how they were able to evolve their skills, create interesting work and emerge as rising stars.
I was struck by the charisma and confidence that 22-year-old Nadia Gyimah projected during our first conversation.
Over the years, I’ve met—and interviewed—many young Ghanaians from a variety of creative disciplines, but this past January, I was struck by the charisma and confidence that 22-year-old Nadia Gyimah projected during our first conversation, which followed a talk I gave at a local business school.
Although she is not yet a bona fide member of Accra’s creative class, she is currently focused on training her synoptic eyes on everyday Instagram moments.
Outside of her day job at the CEIBS business school, Nadia is active as a field operative charting the Accra party scene on one of Ghana’s more popular Instagram feeds.
The more we chatted, the more I was intrigued by her African ‘It Girl’ attitude, which she sometimes distills through sweet proverbs like ‘Above all else, guard your heart.’ I set out to find out about her creative strategies, and how some of her on-the-scene and behind-the-scenes visual experiments might lead to a future career in entertainment.
She goes out shooting Accra night owls and local celebs all the time.
‘I am thinking of becoming an entrepreneur in the entertainment industry,’ she told me. ‘For now, I’m looking into getting bigger deals with the modelling thing, but I also enjoy video editing, and I hope to eventually get into directing.’
In this brave new world of personal branding and constant social media self-promotion, Nadia admits that she is ‘still exploring, trying to find where I fit best.’ She goes out shooting Accra night owls and local celebs all the time, and sometimes, when she is holding her phone with her Osmo, trying to stabilise the image while avoiding the blur in the motion, people ask her if she is sure she can get the shot.
She has what it takes to become more and more persuasive on camera.
Not being taken seriously is something she has learnt to overcome, and all those awkward interactions are slowly yielding all kinds of social insights that she takes to each next gig.
Growing up in Accra, Nadia was curious, and easily bored. ‘When it was time to go to high school, I didn’t want to go to a girls’ school,’ she told me. ‘I chose schools outside of Accra, because I wanted to experience new things. In the end, I went to Akosombo (in South-East Ghana) for high school, and then I went to Kwame Nkrumah University in Kumasi.’
Because she is equally at ease in the Ashanti region and in the capital city, we believe she has what it takes to become more and more persuasive on camera.
With each new Instagram story, Nadia is becoming a tad more screen-friendly, exuding real energy and excitement, which is why we are delighted to welcome her as the producer of our latest TRUE Africa Instagram takeover in the run up to Ghana’s Independence celebrations, all from Friday March 3.