December 30, 1966 |
Family and early life
The daughter of Kofi Abrefa Busia, the ex-prime minister of the Republic of Ghana, Akosua is the daughter of a prince of the royal family of Wenchi, a subgroup of the Ashanti. She herself is not a princess, however, since the Akans of Ghana trace their ancestry through the female line. 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 novel Beloved for the 1998 film version of the same name directed by Jonathan Demme. Busia also co-wrote the song "Moon Blue" with Stevie Wonder for his album A Time 2 Love.
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