COMING OF AGE - I'm back...

 

Akosua With Daughter, Hadar, Busia-Singleton. Photos by Crystal Blake

Akosua With Daughter, Hadar, Busia-Singleton. Photos by Crystal Blake

I'd always said that when I have a baby, I would come out of acting, until my child turned eighteen. This is not my advice, or even my suggestion for anyone else ~ It was my personal purpose and desire. So apart from in the film Tears of the Sun (which from driving a friend to audition for, I was recognized by the Casting Director and ended up working on in Hawaii during summer vacation with my then four year old daughter, Hadar, playing my daughter), I did not act in film, television, or stage for eighteen years.

When my daughter turned eighteen, she was studying acting at Interlochen Arts Academy. She saw me act on stage for the first time in the play Eclipsed, written by Danai Gurira, and directed by Liesl Tommy. For me, the opening night of Eclipsed on Broadway, on March 6th, 2016, with my daughter, Hadar, my sister Dr. Abena Busia, and many close, pre-motherhood friends, flying in to witness my return to Broadway; was one of the jewels in my journey.

 

 
 
 
 

 

As ACTRESS, of her numerous roles in front of the camera, Akosua is perhaps best known for her portrayal of “NETTIE” in the screen adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel “THE COLOR PURPLE”, in which Busia plays
little sister to Whoopi Goldberg’s “Celie”. Akosua's talent and versatility enabled her to play both young and old Nettie herself, requiring her to age from 12 to 40. The Color Purple was nominated for both a GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD and ACADEMY AWARD for BEST PICTURE, with a win for OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE at the IMAGE AWARDS.

As a teenager, Busia began her on-screen career in Kenya and Israel, starring in “ASHANTI” with Michael Caine, Rex Harrison, Peter Ustinov, and Omar Shariff. While living in Europe, Busia also played “ACTE” in the Italian mini-series “ANNO DOMINI” starring Anthony Andrews and Ava Gardner; “IVY” in the French mini-series “LOUISIAN starring Margot Kidder and Andrea Ferreol, directed by Phillipe de Broca; and “KATHERINE”, in the British mini-series “LATE STARTER”, starring Peter Barkworth.On leaving Europe, Busia was dubbed a “prodigy” and voted in VOGUE Magazine as one of Europe’s “Ten Most Promising New Stars”.Within one week of arriving in Los Angeles, Busia landed a role starring opposite Daryl Hannah and Rachel Ward in the film “FINAL TERROR” directed by Andrew Davis. Her early U.S. film work also includes featured roles in CROSSROADS” starring Ralph Machio, directed by Walter Hill, “THE SEVENTH SIGN” starring Demi Moore, and “BESSIE” in “NATIVE SON” starring Geraldine Page and Matt Dillon.

Busia then returned to France, to star as “PUPPET” opposite French star Gerard Lenvin, in “SAXO”. Returning then to the US, Busia played “PATIENCE”, in the Bruce Willis vehicle TEARS OF THE SUN”, directed by Antoine Fuqua, for which she won theCFT EXCELLENCE AWARD for Best Actress in a Motion Picture.As TELEVISION ACTRESS Busia won the YOUNG ARTIST AWARD and Michael Landon Award for her work in “BABIES HAVING BABIES”, directed by actor Martin Sheen. Busia also joined the cast of NBC’s critically acclaimed drama “ER”, portraying the reoccurring role of West African political refugee “MRS. KUBBYEKABO”, wife of MobalageEkabo – played by DjimonHounsou. Busia also appeared in the “Movie of the Week” “THE GEORGE McKENNA STORY” with Denzel Washington; the PBS Wonderworks film “BROTHER FUTURE”; and starred as the historical character “MARY BOWSER” in The Movie of The Week, “A SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP” co-starring LeVar Burton and Tracy Pollan.AS THEATER ACTRESS, Akosua starred in London’s West End Theater as EDNA in “GLOOJOO”, earning the acclaimed Evening Standard Award for “Best Comedy of the Year”.

Busia is currently starring on Broadway as RITA in ECLIPSED, with four other actresses of African descent, including Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Academy award for 12 Years a Slave.Written by Zimbabwean born DanaiGurira, and directed by South African born, Liesl Tommy, ECLIPSED is making history, as the first ever all black female cast, director, and writer, to make it to the Broadway stage. Busia’s other leading roles on Broadway include starring as; “DAISY” in the controversial Zora Neal Hurston, Langston Hughes, play “MULE BONE”, and "TANYA", in “THE TALENTED TENTH” at The Manhattan Theater Club. Other theater roles include VERONICA” in the West Coast premiere of Athol Fugard’s two-person play “VALLEY SONG” at the La Jolla Playhouse; “ANNETTA” in “EDENat The Los Angeles Theater Center; and JULIET”, (at the beginning of her career) in an otherwise all-white, production of Shakespeare’s play, “ROMEO AND JULIET” at the Klaxon Theater, Oxford, England.

Busia’sperformance as Juliet, garnered rave reviews –- and she was subsequently awarded a scholarship to Lord Laurence Olivier’s prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where she trained for three years, and received her BA (hons) in acting.

Photo by Crystal Blake   

Photo by Crystal Blake