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Godwin Kotey was a true actor, a great director – J.O.T Agyeman



He may have played the adversary of Godwin Kotey in his last major film role, ‘I Sing of a Well’ but in his death, J.O.T Agyeman pays a glowing tribute to the late actor and film maker, Godwin Nikoi Kotey! As the cock crows to remind us of the break of dawn, so will we remember a great man taken from us, and the industry, at the prime of his life. He stood at the crossroads of Ghana’s Arts scene. Godwin Kotey (Nikoi as we all called him or “Galore” by those who loved him) will have his named etched in our memories forever for he was a great man indeed. His talent knew no bounds and his love for the Performing Arts was unquestionable. Knowing him was an honour, for he was a special talent. He exhibited his skill with such ease and with flair that we all aspired to be on the same set with him. My first contact with him was at the School of Performing Arts in the late 1980s. I first worked with him in the play Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie. He directed the play. Thanks to him, I won the very first Patron’s Award by the School of Performing Arts for the work I did in that play. For many of us, even then, we knew he was that he was talented and we knew that he was destined for the top. What can we say or write about a man who could turn blank sheets of paper into works of Art? What can be said about a man who knew that it was possible to break the rules of the Arts and go beyond the borders others had set? Indeed, Godwin’s skill was immeasurable. When we all thought that the limits of Ghanaian Theatre had been reached by the likes of Efua Sutherland and Martin Owusu, he came along with the classic tale of Etuo ato Bare and mesmerized his audience with a never-before told tale of the Asante empire and Yaa Asantewaa. Through this, he had reached heights some only dreamed of. When I directed the epic tale Asanteman, it was from him whom I sought advice and support and, boy, did I get lots of it! As an Actor, I worked with him on two films; Fools in Love produced by Akofa Edjeani Asiedu and I Sing of a Well by Leila Djansi. In both he exhibited his acting prowess and abilities. Many learnt from him on set and his short little comments helped many of us to become the best. I choose to remind myself of his work in the now classic Police Officer movies and his film Sodom and Gomorrah. I choose to think of him in the light of his work as Dume in I Sing of a Well. I choose to remember him for his ability to turn plays into spectacles and I choose to remember him for his professionalism and drive. I choose to remember him for his laughs and for his desire to make the impossible work. I choose to remember him for his love of the stage and his eye for detail. This was indeed a man of diverse gifts and talents, a man born for such a time as ours. A man whose work will live on in defiance of the cruelty of death and in defiance of the icy gritty cold grave he will be laid in. I choose to remember Godwin as I have always known him; a true actor, a great director and a consummate professional. To this end, I choose not to say goodbye to a friend but to say ‘live Godwin live’ in the hearts of all of us forever.]]>


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