Joe Osae: Meet the Creative Ghanaian Behind the Famous Akwaaba Photo

Joe Osae: Meet the Creative Ghanaian Behind the Famous Akwaaba Photo

  • The creative behind the iconic Ghanaian Akwaaba photo, Joe Osae has opened up about the work that went into the viral potrait
  • In a video sighted by, he shared that it took a number of attempts before the best design was brought to life
  • Joe also revealed that he came into full knowledge of the extent to which his work had attracted attention after visiting various airports and seeing the photo hanged on walls

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Joe Osae, the Ghanaian man who was the creative brain behind the Akwaaba potrait has recently shared in a video that he never expected the photo to go that viral.

The video sighted by on the YouTube channel of TV3 network limited Ghana had Joe recounting that he had to design the photo more than five times because his supervisor at the time was not pleased with it.

Brain behind the famous akwaaba photo shares story
Joe Osae and the akwaaba photo Photo credit: @ceejay_multimedia/Instagram
Source: Instagram

He also added that colour separation for the design at the time was not easy and was expensive at the same time.

On the fifth attempt, a good potrait was acquired and some weeks after its release into the market, the product started gaining huge popularity.

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Joe Osae revealed that he had to do a lot of DIYs to get the exact props he needed.

With the kente, he shared that he was low on cash at the time so could not afford the original kente cloth hence had to go in for cheap prints to buy.

Realizing how huge his creation had become

The elderly man shared that he came to the full realization of how successful his work had become after seeing the Akwaaba pictures in a number of airports in Africa.

Joe shared that one time, he was invited to the Morocco embassy only to find his work hanging on the office wall.

The Ghanaian man had more to share about his journey in the video linked below;

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Angelina Oduro: Akwaaba photo icon finally honoured at GACAA

Meanwhile, earlier reported that Angelina Nana Akua Oduro, the model in the globally recognised iconic Akwaaba photo, was honoured at the Golden Age Creative Arts Awards (GACAA).

The well-known iconic Akwaaba snap has represented Ghana’s hospitality and tourism industry for more than two decades owing to Angelina's photogenic look which features in the Akwaaba calendar designed in the 1990s.

Oduro was celebrated at this year's GACAA in Accra for her massive contribution to the creative arts, hospitality, and tourism industries.

Before this, several features about the 40-year old mom of two kids had highlighted how she had been neglected despite her image's unmatched contribution.


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