The Ghanaian media and people in Ghana’s entertainment industry like to talk about the lucky break Abraham Attah got when he was cast in the lead role of Agu in the Netflix movie Beasts of No Nation. They somehow forget that Abraham was one of many young men the casting director auditioned, and he was chosen because the director recognized something special in him, a recognition that was proven correct by Abraham’s critically-acclaimed performance.
That performance is opening up more opportunities for Abraham, but like the role in Beasts, it’s not the opportunity that accounts for his success, it’s what he does with it.
The latest opportunity is coming from the same source — American movie rental cum production company Netflix. They have offered Abraham the opportunity to move to the US, receive a good education, and further the acting ambitions playing Agu has inspired in him. And like the first opportunity, Abraham is smart enough to jump all over it.
Since he received the Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor at the Venice Film Festival, many people, including producer/director Leila Djansi, have been advising the now 15-year-old to move to the US and pursue his acting. Others upset by the fact that a small boy is accomplishing so much more than the big men and women who have been working for years without even half the international acclaim Abraham is receiving feel he should humble himself and take what roles he can get in the Ghanaian movie industry.
Fortunately Abraham and his family are able to see beyond the envy and jealousy, and in some cases misplaced national pride, to not allow it to hold him back. Abraham is headed to America, where we expect his star will continue to shine more and more brightly, and he will continue to bring honour to himself, his family, and his motherland Ghana.