Akosua Gyamama Busia (born 30 December 1966) is a Ghanaian actress, film director, author and songwriter who lives in the U.K. Busia is best known for her role as Nettie Harris in the 1985 film The Color Purple alongside Whoopi Goldberg.
|Born||Akosua Gyamama Busia
30 December 1966
|Occupation||Actress, film director, songwriter, author|
|Known for||Nettie Harris – The Color Purple|
|Spouse(s)||John Singleton (m. 1996–1997)|
Family and early lifeEdit
Akosua Busia is the daughter 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 is a princess of the royal family of Wenchi. Her sister, Abena Busia, is a poet and academic, an associate professor in English at Rutgers University.
Akosua Busia grew up in Ghana, and began her acting career at the age of 16, attending London's Central School of Speech and Drama on scholarship. 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 film roles include a notable performance as Bessie in a 1986 film adaptation of Richard Wright's Native Son (with Geraldine Page and Matt Dillon), as Nettie (opposite Danny Glover and Whoopi Goldberg) in Steven Spielberg's 1985 The Color Purple, adapted from Alice Walker's novel of the same title, as Ruth in Badge of the Assassin (1985), as Jewel in John Singleton's Rosewood (1997), and as Patience in Antoine Fuqua's Tears of the Sun (2003). She 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). 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 Busia 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.
After an 18-year hiatus to raise her daughter, in 2016 Busia returned to acting in the off-Broadway and Broadway productiond of Danai Gurira's play Eclipsed, alongside Lupita Nyong'o. For her performance off-Broadway, she received an Obie Award for Distinguished Performance as Rita.
On 12 October 1996, Akosua Busia married the American film director John Singleton, with whom she has a daughter — Hadar Busia-Singleton (born 3 April 1997); the couple divorced on 15 June 1997. Their daughter attended school in Ghana before returning to the US.
- Who's Who Among African Americans, 22, Gale Research, 2008, p. 179, ISBN 978-1-4144-3400-1
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- "Busia, Abena - Professor", Department of Women's and Gender Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
- Gail Smith, "Just don't say 'no'", Mail & Guardian (South Africa), 4 December 1998.
- Rosenberg, Donald (19 June 1990). "Akosua Busia's Dual Performance In 'Color Purple' Still Astonishing". Rocky Mountain News.
- Levin, Jordan (30 June 1996). "On Location: Dredging in the Deep South". Los Angeles Times.
- Fuchs, Cynthia (8 March 2003), "Tears of the Sun: Review", PopMatters
- Rush, George (17 April 1997). "D'Angelo joins Al's bev-y of beauties". New York Daily News.
- Fierman, Daniel (16 October 1998). "Brawl Over 'Beloved'". Entertainment Weekly.
- "The Prof: A Man Remembered". Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine.
- "The wonder of it all". The Detroit News. 8 October 2005.
- Mark Kennedy, "Akosua Busia re-emerges in the spotlight in ‘Eclipsed’", Washington Times, 23 March 2016.