Akosua Gyamama Busia is her real full name. She is a popular Ghanaian actress, film director, author and songwriter and humanitarian currently based in the United Kingdom.
She is best known for her role as Nettie Harris in the 1985 film The Color Purple alongside Whoopi Goldberg.
She was born on December 30, 1966 to the parents of Kofi Abrefa Busia, who was Prime minister of the Republic of Ghana (from 1969 to 1972) and a prince of the royal family of Wenchi, a subgroup of the Ashanti.
Akosua grew up in Ghana. She has a sister, Abena Busia, a poet and an academician who was a professor in English at Rutgers University and Ghanaian Ambassador to Brazil since 2017.
Busia had her elementary and higher education in Ghana. She later had a degree in London.
She also trained at the London’s Central School of Speech and Drama on scholarship.
Busia began her acting career at the young age of 16.
Her first acting role was as Juliet in an otherwise white cast performing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at Oxford University, where her siblings were studying.
Busia’s roles include a notable performance as Bessie in a 1986 film adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel Native Son (with Geraldine Page and Matt Dillon.
She is a prolific Ghanaian actress and author with several movies and books to her credit including:
• Hard Lessons
• The Color Purple
• Badge of the Assassin
• John Singleton’s Rosewood
• Ascension Day
• Ill Gotten Gains
• Mad City
• Antoine Fuqua’s Tears of the Sun among numerous others.
Busia has also appeared on television in the series ER.
Busia is the author of The Seasons of Beento Blackbird: A Novel (Washington Square Press, 1997, ISBN 9780671014094).
She was one of three co-writers for the screenplay adaptation of Toni Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved for the 1998 film version of the same name directed by Jonathan Demme.
In 2008, the prolific and talented Ghanaian star directed a film about her father: The Prof. A Man Remembered. Life, Vision & Legacy of K.A. Busia.
Busia also co-wrote the song “Moon Blue” with Stevie Wonder for his album A Time 2 Love, released in 2005. Her poem “Mama” is included in the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby.
Busia had a long break to raise her daughter. She made a comeback in 2016 and came up with off-Broadway and Broadway production of Danai Gurira’s play Eclipsed, alongside Lupita Nyong’o. Her brilliant performance in the movie, earned her Obie Award for Distinguished Performance as Rita.
Busia is a humanitarian. She co-founded the Busia Foundation International with her sister, Abena Busia, a platform created to provide assistance to the disadvantaged people in the society.
Akosua Busia was married to the American film director John Singleton since October 12, 1996 with whom she had a daughter — Hadar Busia-Singleton.
Sadly, the couple divorced on 15 June 1997 and both are now in their separate ways.
Akosua Busia is one of the highly celebrated Ghanaian actresses, rated one of the richest and most influential with an estimated net worth of about $1 million dollars.