Rhythms of the Globe is producing Akwaaba (“Welcome”), an urban romantic comedy reflecting the multi-faceted fabric of Ghanaian life. Set in present day Ghana, Akwaaba chronicles a young woman's self-discovery through the culture of an Africa most people have never seen or heard.


In the tradition of "The Harder They Come", "Saturday Night Fever" and “Once” – unique in contemporary music and story, a vehicle for a specific genre of music, and the ability to reach beyond the genre to attract a global audience – Akwaaba is a platform for African music and culture.

Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote about the many recent films portraying Africa as a place of corruption, violence, and disease: “It is exhausting having your conscience pricked so regularly.” Yet, Africa possesses enormous diversity and cultural richness that rarely is depicted by the media. What better way to represent a new, emerging Africa than through a romantic comedy featuring contemporary music and culture – a positive rendering of Africa, with no violence, disease, corruption or elephants!


An urban romantic comedy based on a true story, Akwaaba follows Gwen, a young American white woman who travels to Ghana because Ghanaian music touched her heart when she was young. Just fired from her job as an assistant at a record company in NYC, Gwen decides to visit Ghana, where she gets involved in the music business, working with a band that wants to establish a presence outside of West Africa.

Going through the usual ups and downs of a romantic comedy, with the added dynamic of Gwen being in very different cultural surroundings, she is able to obtain showcases in New York and Los Angeles, and a world tour. (When the movie is released, the band(s) actually will be on tour). Most importantly, Gwen finds what she is seeking in Ghana, inspiration in the people and in the music that will change her life.


The timeliness for Akwaaba is demonstrated by a confluence of events:

  • Universal Music Group is making a big expansion into West Africa, including a a brand-new Universal Music Nigeria division. Digital Music News, July 17, 2018.
  • "Black Panther" "... has challenged the myth that films with predominately black casts don't sell ..." -- Huffington Post, March 10, 2018.
  • Labels are looking to Africa for the next Global Pop Star, highlighting Universal Music's recent purchase of a majority stake in Kenya's AL Record -- Billboard, March 9, 2018.
  • Kendrick Lamar's "Black Panther: The Album", Number One on Billboard's Top 200 "... is Pan-African in scope" -- "all songs considered" -- NPR, February 21, 2018.
  • Sony Music announced the opening of an office in Lagos, Nigeria, the first step towards establishing a footprint in a West African market that “… has huge growth potential”, and Universal announced a five-year plan to expand into the market. Billboard, February 29, 2016.
  • There is a newfound energy in the Ghanaian creative communities, whose films reach the same Nollywood market. “The whispers among those in the know are saying that Ghana’s capital Accra is the next big hotspot for African cultural production.” Afripedia, February, 2016.
  • “Thanks to its stable currency and pro-business government, Ghana has emerged as a preferred option for western investors looking for African investment opportunities”. allAfrica, December 1, 2016.
  • In 2016 two-time Grammy award winner Ed Sheeran recorded a single in Ghana with Afrobeats superstar Fuse ODG. Part of the song is in the Ghanaian language Twi.
  • On August 8, 2015 Ghanaian Hiplife debuted at a sold-out Apollo Theater in New York City: “The Apollo is an exciting way for the Ghanaian artists to reach out to broader audiences and to enter into the American mainstream musical consciousness.”
  • The growing recognition of “African Creative Industries: The Sleeping Giant”, the lead story in the January 2014 issue of African Business.
  • The Financial Times has reported about Nollywood, Nigeria’s movie industry. In September 2014 PwC released its “Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2014 – 2018: South Africa – Nigeria – Kenya”, indicating “Nigeria’s filmed entertainment market generated revenues of US$178 million in 2013, and, driven by the continuing popularity of the local film industry, Nollywood, revenues will grow to reach an estimated US$258 million in 2018.”
  • CNN refers to the “famously easy-going people of Ghana”, and Inc. recognizes Ghana as “West Africa's success story”. Ghana has been peaceful, stable, and growing economically for the past 20 years, experiencing its first peaceful transition of power in 2000.
  • “The 56th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony reflected a changed music business in which top celebrities command constant attention yet a monster hit can come from anywhere.” The New York Times, January 27, 2014.
  • An expanding global audience interested in different cultural experiences is rapidly emerging, and Akwaaba showcases an Africa many have never seen, with a contemporary story told through contemporary Ghanaian music and culture.
  • New distribution platforms allow access to these expanding audiences. Now, “… five smart guys can do a movie for a massive [global] audience without a huge distribution network … [t]there’s a great opportunity for someone there.” Carl Icahn, Time Magazine, December 23, 2013.


The proven, ready markets for Akwaaba comprise a cross-section of traditional demographics: those interested in the new global sounds; Nollywood’s (Nigeria’s $200 million film industry) expanding audiences in Africa and in North America, the UK, and Europe; audiences interested in inventive, independent films featuring music and exploring different cultures; and audiences liking romantic comedies.

As the film is being made, these markets will be targeted with information about the film and its music, setting the stage to attract a global audience for the film, the music, touring and merchandising.


Laurence Singer

Producer and Music Supervisor

Akwaaba is being developed for Rhythms of the Globe by Laurence Singer, who is serving as...


King Ampaw


King Ampaw is the director. King studied filmmaking in Ghana and Europe, and has achieved...


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Contact Info

Laurence Singer
Phone: 1 646 327-8772