In general, people living with disabilities often find it twice as hard to break through the creative industries. While their disabilities may be a reason, much of the issues arise from the negligence of the general society who do not put things in place to make sure that disabilities do not come in the way of talent and creativity.
The story of the Adom Professionals Concert Party Band is one that highlights the many food for thoughts raised in the introduction of this essay. Unfortunately, there is not much information on the band or the members that exist. All sources of the little data only point to a short interview one of the founders had with Prof John Collins in the 70s. A few other searches list a few names who were in the band with no documentation backing.
The Adom Professionals Band was essentially a group of Blind friends who through their love for music were brought together and started a professional music band. Many of the musicians in the band were able to learn how to play an instrument at the Akropong Elementary School for the Blind that offered music training to interested students. In turn, the students played at events for the school and this gave them an opportunity to develop their skill through experience. According to an interview, lead singer and guitarist Nti Agyeman stated that nine members of the band all passed through the Akropong Elementary School for the Blind. Some of the members of the band included Nti Agyeman who was the lead singer and guitarist, Foster Oppong who was the drummer, keyboardist Albert Mensah who would later become a Sound Engineer and open his own studio the Opare Digital Studio. The band also had other members like Guitarist Prince Mahama, a musician from Tamale who played the guitar and guitar and sang. Prince Mahama is known as the first musician from the North to sing in the Dagbani Language. After leaving the Adom Professionals; he set up his own band the Savanah Echoes and had 4 albums to his name. There was also Mark Awotwe who was a singer and percussionist and Clement Kaba and Ampadu Asiama. These blind ambitious musicians came from Tamale, Elmina, Tarkwa , Akropong and other parts of the country to form the Adom Professionals.
Before forming the Adom Professionals, several of these musicians were in the band The Mighty Echoes which was formed in 1979 after they had finished school and got support from a certain Mr H.G Ward who bought them instruments so that they could continue their musical career. This made them be under his management until 1981. The Mighty Echoes Disbanded and several of the members went to play with other bands across the country until in 1983 when they received instruments from the Christian Blind Mission (C.B.M) a non for profit organization in Germany. The members then came together to form the Adom Professionals and got some actors to start a concert party band.
The Adom professionals toured Ghana extensively despite facing several difficulties. For one, as a band that was not under management, they struggled to survive. Some readings indicate that the band got the opportunity to tour Europe at a point. It is not really clear when the band disbanded. Some of the members went on to form other bands; one of the most popular being the Blind Messiahs.
Written and Research by Elizabeth Johnson
Collins, J., 1994. The Ghanaian concert party: African popular entertainment at the cross roads. State University of New York at Buffalo: UMI.
Collins, J., 2018. Highlife time 3. 3rd ed. Accra: DAkpabli & Associates.