Rosemond Brown sprang into Ghanaian and modest West African popularity about five years ago due to her signature rants on video which were posted on her social media accounts. These rants were usually highly charged criticisms of socialites and entertainers in her home country.
Brown, nicknamed Akuapem Poloo, had something to say about this actress’s fashion sense and that actor’s typecast roles. Occasionally, she spiced things up with sociopolitical critiques, echoing the pains and problems of Ghanaians. She was not well educated and you could tell from her command over the English language. But that too was a point of attraction – passable English anchored to volumes of confidence and a very deep awareness as to how social media works.
Soon enough, she was the guest on TV and radio programs, thus beginning her own life as a sort of minor Ghanaian celebrity. But she is currently known among some West African film fans as she has managed to transform herself into an actress in her own right.
In 2019, Grammy Award-winning-rapper Cardi B announced she was going to be in Ghana and Nigeria to perform two separate shows as well as spend a few days enjoying what both countries had to offer in December of that year. This West African tour was publicized by Cardi B herself as well as the promoters in West Africa. American entertainers are de facto global superstars and certainly, not even the high cost of tickets in the two lower-middle-income countries was going to stop the thousands who had planned to see the New York rapper.
The likes of CNN and the BBC did not even miss out on the content as Cardi B landed and spent a few days in Lagos, Nigeria’s second major city. She performed there in Nigerian on a Saturday night only to get on a plane some few hours later to head westwards to Ghana. It was the occasion of Ghana’s Year of Return and African-American and Hollywood celebrities were not in short supply in the country. Cardi B met up with fellow rapper T.I., among a host of others.
TV and radio entertainment reporters tried to secure an interview and were told that the rapper had planned a meet-and-greet at the plush Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra.
But when the time came for the said meet-and-greet, the rapper did not show up. She would later claim that her team had failed to inform her probably because she was also trying to have some rest before her event in Ghana. But that did not stop a Twitter storm in Ghana, fueled by other local celebrities who had been to the hotel to say hello to Cardi B.
Not every one of these disappointed celebrities was critical of the rapper. One of Cardi’s defenders was Akuapem Poloo who guessed that the rapper may have been too tired to meet with her fans. Poloo’s vociferous defense, much like when she went on the offense against others, was appreciated by Cardi B who invited the Ghanaian actress to spend a few hours at the hotel.
The two later posted on Instagram and Twitter, their time together and even started calling each other pet names like “bestie” and “twinny”. Poloo spent Cardi’s days after the event in Accra with her, going places and meeting people.
And so when in April 2021 Akuapem Poloo was sentenced to a 90-day prison sentence over a nude photo she publicized along with her son, Cardi weighed in. Poloo had been arrested in the middle of 2020 after the photo first came out. Those who made calls for her arrest, including child rights activists pointed to the fact that her son was a minor. Her defenders described as hypocritical the effort to jail her over a situation that was probably happening in many homes – children seeing their parents naked. The court agreed with the conservative public opinion.
Cardi tweeted: “I seen a lot of Americans do photoshoots like that .Even tho is not my style I don’t think she was going for sexual more going the natural idea. I think jail is a bit harsh .Maybe social media probation or community service.”
Ghana does not have penal options for community service. As at the time of going press, Akuapem Poloo was in a medium security prison.