Circumstances in life have a way of directing and shaping the destiny of man away from his original intent, whether good or bad, it is left for the person to make a decision and stick to it. This could be the life summary of a multi-talented 34 year old Edem Kujo Ahiabli.
After fruitlessly seeking for employment at the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), and teaching at some Junior High Schools in Accra, he finally decided to manage a family business, Ahiabli Furniture, a venture he said he has not regretted.
Though work at the furniture shop is demanding, Kujo says the determination to succeed no matter the challenges, is what has kept him moving, adding that he also finds time to write books and songs which has been a source of inspiration to the youth.
The Times Weekend caught up with Kujo and delved more into his life.
TW: Hey, where have you been, it’s been ages since we met?
KUJO: I have been here in Accra, hustling to find rhythm to life.
TW: Wow, What have you been up to?
KUJO: After my secondary school education at Awudome Secondary School, I went to Accra Polytechnic, then had my national service at Bolgatanga, then taught in some private schools and I am now here.
TW: What did you study at Accra Polytechnic?
KUJO: I did electrical engineering.
TW: What has happened to the electrical engineering you studied?
KUJO: Actually, I wanted to work at ECG and other electrical companies, I had put out a lot of applications and done attachments, but it did not work out, so I resorted to teaching at a school at Achimota which is now defunct and later worked with Vodafone, and currently I am managing my father’s company .
TW: So, you are now into furniture and how is it?
KUJO: It is good, I see it as a business if given the needed attention, one can make the best out of it, and so I have decided to take it on as a full time business for now alongside the music and writing.
TW: Hahaha, ok, how did the book writing begin?
KUJO: The journey really started when I was in Junior Secondary School (JSS) at Ave Maria Preparatory School, here in Dansoman where I was cautious of myself and had clear path of what I wanted to do.
TW: How do you mean you were cautious of yourself?
KUJO: What I meant was that I wanted to be a writer with a lot of books to my credit.
TW: Let us talk about the book, when did it start and when was it published?
KUJO: It is titled ‘Bawa Ali’ and was published in August 2014.
TW: How well was it received?
KUJO: Schools within Accra embraced the book as some recommended it for their pupils.
TW: What other book has been published after ‘Bawa Ali’?
KUJO: There has not been any book after ‘Bawa Ali’, what happened was that, the title of the book did help me get much out of it because my church said the title of the book was a Moslem name.
TW: Oh your church, so what happened?
KUJO: I defended the book, but they stood on their grounds and refused to purchase or support the book, I later decided to change it to ‘Country Bird’, which I have worked on and it’s better than ‘Bawa Ali’ and it will be launched in September this year.
TW: That’s good to hear, now let us delve into the music aspect of your life, how did the song ‘Ayekoo’ come to you?
KUJO: I realised that there were songs for mothers which inundates the airwaves but not for fathers, so I decided to write a song in honour of hardworking fathers who had played vital roles in the lives of their children and others.
TW: When was the song recorded and first aired?
KUJO: My first song was recorded last year, titled ‘Mother in Labour’ and it’s on YouTube, it was after this that I started writing ‘Ayekoo’.
TW: Wow! Are there any other songs to your credit?
KUJO: Yes, I have Aim2BE and Lyftin Up
TW: What inspired these songs?
KUJO: Aim2BE is the theme song for my book ‘Country Bird’ to encourage people not to bleach but rather maintain their coloured skin and also to encourage young people to achieve their dreams while working towards it while Lyftin Up is a song about me and the challenges I have been through and to lift up Jesus with my song.
TW: Are these all the songs we will be getting from Kujo Edem?
KUJO: No, I have written 25 songs which I will be going to the studio soon to work on.
TW: Good, we cannot wait to hear those songs, but in all these, do you have a producer or any record label?
KUJO: No, I do not have any producer or record label, hope to get one soon, I have financed my works all by myself, as well as received support from my father and the church.
TW: Ok, how do you get your songs out there?
KUJO: I have a publicist who helps to get my songs out there and he is known as Chris Events, and I am hoping to get one but as at now, I am pushing my works all by myself.
TW: How far has ‘Ayekoo’ gone?
KUJO: It is currently been played also in the Volta Region and I believed because it is being played on Rejoice TV, is has reached a wider area aside Greater Accra and Volta regions.
TW: You are going to be all over the place soon, I believe, so with all these to your name, who is Kujo Edem?
KUJO: Kujo Edem is a young man who seeks to find solutions to things around him through writing and singing, while bringing people to praise and worship God.
TW: How do you see the creative industry?
KUJO: The industry is better now than previous, I say so because people have seen the good in the industry and what it can achieve, hence no one stops their ward from venturing into the industry.
TW: I see, but what have been the challenges you have personally encountered in the industry?
KUJO: The main challenge I have encountered has to do with finance because in every step of the industry, you need money to do certain things, meaning if you do not have the money, you will be stuck on the way.
TW: I see you as a determined person, any word for up and coming artist like yourself?
KUJO: All I have to tell them is to work hard and push their works forward. This is because if they have to wait for others to come and help them, they may never have it. I believe that it is only one out ten people who are favoured by people who want to help them.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU