Ghanaian-Liberian Comedian and Hollywood star based in the United States, Michael Blackson, has commissioned a tuition-free ultramodern school in Ghana. The comedian built the educational institution in his hometown located at Agona Nsaba in the Agona East District of Ghana’s Central Region.
The school that was formally opened for business in the first week of January 2023 and called Michael Blackson Academy, is a dream come true for the Actor who conceived this dream when he first visited his homeland Ghana after 15 years of being away.
He initially began work on the project in 2020, and provided an update on the school in December 2021 prior to its spectacular opening this year. Blackson who starred in Eddie Murphy’s iconic Coming to America 2 movie said to TheAfricanDream.net that the school “is a legacy, my legacy that I’m leaving for future generations to draw inspiration from. Just maybe if we have more of it, Africa can be of a better standard.”
Blackson told TheAfricanDream.net what led to his initial idea of constructing a school in Ghana: he claimed that it happened the first time he returned to his hometown after chasing his American dream for over a decade. According to Blackson, while he was out in a market place in Ghana, he noticed some children out and about during school hours, and questioned why they weren’t attending classes.
Inquiring more, he learned that public schools, run by the government, are prone to overcrowding, leaving “private schools as the only option, which of course doesn’t come cheap.” In Blackson’s words, “if you can’t afford them, then you can’t attend school.”
“So, I thought to myself that I’ve got to do something about this someday. At first when I had the means, I had my mother looking after it, and I do send her money every month, before I later called in some of my guys to handle the project,” said Blackson to TheAfricanDream.net.
Two years later, Blackson tweeted in December 2022 to announce the completion of the building project. This made him a global sensation and an inspiration in his native country, Ghana — his dream had eventually become a reality.
“Finally, it’s all done and the kids in my village will all go to school for free. Thanks to all my fans that supported me throughout the years, every ticket you bought to my show helped a kid —MichaelBlacksonFoundation.org, ” he tweeted.
The project was documented in the short video attached to the tweet from the foundation level through the finishing and painting. The Hollywood actor is seen in various moments on the school grounds with a group of children, assuring them that “school is coming very soon. Okay? Uncle promises you.”
READ ALSO: VOA Journalist Peter Clottey becomes a Ghanaian Chieftain
Blackson later shared a second video with a caption to honour the iconic event. The tweet read in full:
“Today is the greatest day of my life because I’ve finally accomplished what I always wanted to do which is giving these kids a chance to be great. Greatness starts with education and foundational education shouldn’t come without financial barriers.”
‘The African King of Comedy’
Blackson, immigrated to the US as a youngster in 1987 in order to pursue the American dream. He started playing at local Philadelphia bars in 1992, which marked the beginning of his comedy career. He eventually took part in well-known contests, including the Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the “1993 Schlitz Malt Liquor Comedy Tour” and the New York City, “1996 Urban Comedy Festival,” all respectively in the US.
He also took part in well-known comedy contests in the 2000s, including the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in Oakland and the Atlanta festival Laffapolooza. The three comedians he values most are Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, and Bernie Mac, all iconic American acts.
He released Modasucka: Welcome to America, a comedy sketch CD, in 2005, and also appeared that same year on the television programmes 30 Rock, P. Diddy Presents: The Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO, and a David Chappelle’s Show Comedy Central commercial.
In 2011, Blackson made appearances on the shows Shaquille O’Neal Presents All Star Comedy Jam on Showtime and Martin Lawrence Presents: 1st Amendment Stand-up on Starz. He also had an appearance in Akon’s “Wakonda” official music video in 2019.
Next Friday (2000), The Savages (2007), and Meet the Blacks (2016) are some of Michael Blackson’s best-known works. He has been regarded in some instances as ‘The African King of Comedy.’
Blackson who’s career officially started in 1994 told Theafricandream.net that he’s already moving on to his next project also encouraged everyone to donate to his nonprofit by visiting MichaelBlacksonFoundation.org and keep an eye out for his next big announcement.
Source: Written by Oral Ofori, edited by Arakunrin Lekan
READ ALSO: Ghanaian-American firm TheAfricanDream animates clients’ dreams
Oral Ofori is Founder and Publisher at www.TheAfricanDream.net, a digital storyteller and producer, and also an information and research consultant.