Ama: An African Voyage of Discovery


by Nii Kwate Owoo & Kwesi Owusu


Ghana and UK / 1991 / 100mins / Drama, Magic Realism / English

A golden floppy disk becomes a prophetic device through which a young Ghanaian girl living in England, Ama, rediscovers her African identity. She learns its contents at the office where her mother cleans. The disk, through magic realism and by way of ancestors, warns her of the dangers of forgetting one's heritage.


About the Directors

Nii Kwate Owoo

Nii Kwate Owoo is a Ghanaian academic and filmmaker, described by Variety as "one of the first Ghanaians to lense in 35mm". His name has also appeared in film credits as Kwate Nee-Owoo. Owoo was educated at Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast, Ghana, and subsequently went to the UK and studied direction, camera and editing at the London Film School (1968–71) and at Isleworth Polytechnic, London. His documentary film You Hide Me is considered the first from English-speaking independent Africa. Controversial in subject matter, it was shot in 1970 in England (where he was part of the Cinema Action film collective) and "is an exposé of the theft and concealment of ancient and rare African Art hidden in plastic bags and wooden boxes in the basement of the British Museum", with Owoo making a case for the artworks being returned to their place of origin. He has been quoted as saying: "My film was banned in Ghana in 1971 and was rejected by Ghana Television at the time for being Anti-British: it was the result of this banning which was reported and given prominent publicity by West Africa Magazine in 1971 that gave the film its world wide acclaim and controversy.” Owoo has been producer and director on a number of other notable film projects, such as the 1991 feature Ama: An African Voyage of Discovery, which he co-directed with Kwesi Owusu for Channel 4 television. Reviewed as "the first African film set and shot in the UK", Ama broke box-office records in Accra, was screened in London's West End, and has been shown at Cannes, as well as at other international film festivals such as the New York African African Film Festival. From 1993 to 1995, Owoo was Managing Editor at Ecrans d'Afrique, Pan-African Federation of Film Producers, and was the founder and head of the Media Research Unit at the Institute of African Studies (University of Ghana) from 1978 to 2002. Learn More

Kwesi Owusu

Dr. Kwesi Owusu is a highly experienced expert in communications and social marketing with over twenty-five years of experience working in the creative industries. He was a Senior Director of Jubilee2000, one of the most successful global marketing campaigns of all time. He led the campaign for debt relief in twenty African countries in the late 1990’s. Dr. Owusu is one of Ghana’s leading film directors and writers. He is the author of four books on culture published by Routledge, London and New York. He is an associate of the African Studies Centre at the University of Cambridge and heads Creative Storm. He is Director of Environmental Film Festival of Accra and Executive Member of the Ghana Creative Industries Foundation. Dr. Owusu was nominated Personality of the Century by the Millennium Excellence Awards (2006) and received the Arts, Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana’s award for cultural ambassador in 2008. Learn More