Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Azumah's Career DVD Premiered in Ghana

On March 29, 2010; I wrote about the Premiere of a DVD Documentary; “ZOOM ZOOM - The Career of Professor Azumah Nelson” which will be screened at the Silverbird Cinema in Accra, Ghana. Over the weekend, I happened to be at the premiere and below are the account of what and all that happened…!

Many have lived and dedicated their lives for Ghana either in sports, music, education and many more. One of such personalities who will remain on the lips of Ghanaians years to come is the only boxing professor, Azumah Nelson who ruled the boxing world during the 80s and 90s, becoming the first African to be inducted into Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004.

It was all joy when hundreds turned up at the Silverbird Cinema in Accra on Saturday [19.04.2010] for the premiere. Notable personalities include; Hon. Nii Nortey Dua, Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports; Prof Attuquaye Okai, President of Pan African Writers Association; Alhaji Toffik, Boxing Promoter; Sammy Captan and Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey were among the numerous friends who attended the event.

The video documentary titled “Zoom Zoom - The Professor” which touches on the genesis of a man, who believed from childhood that he was born to be the best, was written and produced by Sam Afua Kessie, a Ghanaian Filmmaker based in Atlanta, United States of America with funding from Geodrill.

Narrated by Ashley Morrison and occasional interjections by "Zoom Zoom" himself, Mr. Kermah, Azumah's former Manager and the former Sports Minister Mr. Amarkai Amarteifio, the DVD also captures his youthful days in Bukom [The heartbeat of African Boxing], where he grew up, what stirred him to choose the sport and about his Foundation.

As the video rolled out on the big screen, it brought back nostalgic memories of the exploits of the boxing legend, when the entire nation kept wake for his fights. They hope to raise 23 million dollars with all proceeds going to the Azumah Nelson Foundation which will establish a multi-purpose sports facility to be called Azumah Nelson Sports Academy in Akuse; a suburb of Accra. The Academy will give hope and training to many young folks who wish to pursue a career in Sports and Education.

The premiere was used to raise funds for the Azumah Nelson Foundation and was conducted by Mr. Eddy Du Plan, a project intended to help the very needy youth in the society. Ghanaian Movie Actress; Nadia Buari and Rev. Benjilo gave GH¢1,500 each for a copy, while Mr. Samir Captan, chairman of the Ghana Boxing Authority (GBA), Ama K. Abebrese, the emcee for the program, Ghanaian Poet; Professor Attuquaye Okine, Alhaji Toffik and several others gave GH¢1,000.00 each for a copy.

The successful fund raising ceremony, preceded by a cocktail, saw many lovers of the legend demonstrating their support by picking the DVD for appreciable fees. After the premiere, copies of the DVD documentary were auctioned raising over GHC20,000.00 Ghana Cedis.

According to Sam Kessie; “I got to meet Azumah May last year [2009] whiles working on a book. He also wanted to do a DVD alongside it. So we got talking and I remember watching him as a kid so it was a really great opportunity to even start with. Once I got into it, it got more interesting. It was an opportunity I couldn’t give up. But it was tough to find footage and other materials but at the end it was worth it,” she said.

Azumah Nelson in a brief presentation described the premiere as a very special one because; “It's the first time of putting his boxing career on a DVD."

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