Ghana movie star Kwaku Manu has strongly argued that leaving the Seventh-Day Adventist Church led him to the breakthrough in his career.
He sat with Nana Romeo on Ayekoo Ayekoo on Accra 100.5 FM, Monday, September 18, 2023. “I used to be an SDA member, then I moved to Mama Vida’s church,” Manu said, adding: “Since it’s a fitting and conducive place, I stayed put.”
He disabused his audience of the notion that one must die in the very church they were born in. “It is not true,” he asserted. “Examine your life. Everyone has a vision and a mission with which they came into this life.”
According to Kwaku Manu, since his job “involves many people,” he needs “an arm that is heavy and strong to push him [forward], both physically and spiritually”. He gave the impression the Seventh-day Adventist Church was not in full support of his acting profession, and the church was also not spiritually fortified to keep him both protected and on the rise. “In my speaking, it can happen that some people are in favour or against.
I’m an actor. It’s a job that involves multitudes [also]. If your spirit is not heavy and strong, you cannot stand before or lead multitudes,” the Kumawood star said. “So looking at the home I am from, and looking at myself – I always say my spirit speaks to me – I couldn’t have come out [of obscurity, staying there].
“You know God can destine you for greatness but if care is not taken, human beings can suppress it? Moses was told to take the Israelites to the Promised Land but he couldn’t make it himself. So, you can hear God’s voice alright but ask yourself if the church you’re in can take you to your expected end,” Manu asserted.
The movie star noted that “the [SDA] church does not like moviemaking. It’s like being a Jehovah’s Witness and wanting to become president. How can that happen? So if you have that vision, you need to leave that place [congregation]”.
Kwaku Manu highlighted that there are instances in the Bible where God told people to move away from their present location, if they wanted to be prosperous and established. “This is what led me to Mama Vida. I had initially not planned to go join the church,” the actor said, revealing he only went to visit a friend and ended up in a counselling session with the named church leader. During the counselling, “the conversation Mama Vida had with me made me realise I was playing with my progress in some things,” Manu said.
The actor and YouTuber indicated that it was after this meeting that he landed a role in the movie titled Aware So (Wo Y3 Me Taste) from which the catchphrase ‘I’m love you, I kiss you’ emerged. “This is what created the popular persona Kwaku Manu,” he said, cracking a little smile. He admonished individuals who do not testify of and point others to the people or places that are the source of their breakthrough.
Romeo asked if Kwaku Manu meant by his utterance that he would not have become a star had he remained in the SDA church. “They don’t cast out bad spirits there, do they?” he quizzed in response. “SDA does not cast out bad spirits.” He emphasised his intimate knowledge of SDA tradition, and said “even if you reveal God is speaking to you, the church will suppress your gift.
They don’t believe such things”. He said even pastors who delight and lead others in “energetic prayers” stand the risk of being reported and reprimanded. He maintained that as an actor, “I needed a prophet who would actively intercede for me and give me timely directions”.
He did not have only criticism for his former church. He confessed that the church is “powerful” in that, “my savoury speech and eloquence, which has made me a favourite of many, is from the quality SDA upbringing I received”. He praised the SDA church, saying its teaching, strict regimen and discipline instils “the fear of God,” straightens and gives a living conscience even to “the most stubborn young member”