The Father’s Gift: An Interview With George Kofi Owusu PeprahKofi Awuku-Sao
More than being just parents, fathers do play an influential role in the lives of their children. They serve as coaches, mentors, big brothers and friends to their children. We can confidently say that George Kofi Owusu Peprah is a talented musician today, because of his father’s influence.
George is a Christian born to Rev George Owusu Mensah and Mrs. Bernice Owusu Mensah in Kumasi, Ashanti Region of Ghana. He is the third born of five children. He has two elder sisters and two younger brothers. He is married to Barbara, a fashion designer, and they are blessed with a daughter Diella Psalm. He serves as a Music Director at International Central Gospel Church (Evangel Temple) located at New Dawhenya and doubles as a backing vocalist for Joe Mettle Ministries.
His early life
George has several treasured memories of his life growing up with his father. The album “Father’s Gift” is intended to celebrate his dad’s 60th anniversary and it includes songs such as Yesu Nyame Ba and the Hit song Matwen which was originally composed by his father.
Growing up in a Pastor’s house meant he did not have the luxury (or distraction) of feeding on just any sort of music, movies or other form of media. George believes this greatly influenced the person he is today. Growing up, he listened to a lot of contemporary gospel music from Ron Kenoly, Don Moen, Hosanna Music, Integrity Music, amongst others.
George believes that he has been blessed with the same gift that God blessed his father with, the gift of being a good musician. In his own words,
“I never decided to learn music, I found myself doing it and it worked anytime I did it. In a nutshell, I never decided to be a musician, I was born a musician.”
His formal training
George had both his basic and secondary education in Kumasi. He had his tertiary education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he read Agriculture Mechanization from 2010 to 2014. During his time on campus, he served as the Music Director of both the National Union of Baptist Students and the University Mass Choir. In 2016, George enrolled for a Diploma in Church Music at the Ghana Baptist University College.
His view of the Gospel music industry world wide and in Ghana
We further engaged George regarding his perspective of the Ghanaian music industry in general and the Gospel scene more specifically. He was quick to point out the quantum growth in the music industry in Ghana over the years and highlighted local acts doing collaborations with international artistes as a testament of the rapid development of our music industry.
He also acknowledged the role digital marketing plays in enabling local artistes reach hitherto unreached markets.
When we turned our spotlight on Gospel music in Ghana, this is what George had to say. “The Gospel music industry is also growing exponentially; more attention is being given to content , message and production (Audio and Video) which makes it possible for these Gospel songs to be played on international platforms without any sense of inferiority. We still have room for improvement but I must say the Gospel Music Industry is doing well and has a lot of prospects.”
His favourite music artistes
Regarding favourite artistes, George was quick to point out that there were so many of them whose music had blessed him. He did mention that Tye Tribett, Deitrick Haddon and much more recently, Dunsin Oyenkan had carved for themselves a special place in his heart. He also added that his very own father, Rev George Owusu Mensah and Joe Mettle are part of a select few local artistes whose works he enjoys greatly because, “their lyrics are drawn from the unadulterated Word of God”.
For some believers, Amen is a response to prayer. However, to George, this word holds much more meaning. One of his recent works is titled “Amen” which means verily, truly, so be it. Amen is a beautiful rendition sang in reggae style. He says amen affirms the person of Jesus. Revelations 3:14 calls Him the Amen, the True and Faithful witness; and that’s how the song came about.
In response to our question about future plans, George pointed out that his focus was to produce Bible-based Music that would liberate and edify all listeners. He harped on his calling to be a mentor to emerging Gospel musicians and did indicate that he was working on a blueprint for success to assist young Gospel musicians in their ministry. He also added that it is important for every Christian to prioritise a sound relationship with Christ over career, ministry or any other commitments.
On food and hobbies
For it is written, “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, Proverbs 11:1 . We decided to venture away from more spiritual” topics as we forayed into his favourite meals and pastimes. George confessed that he enjoys rice greatly. Any rice dish would definitely put a smile on his face, be it jollof rice or braised rice with gravy. He added that his favourite pastimes are listening to music, playing any of his musical instruments (saxophone, bass guitar, keyboard) and watching football. He revealed that his favourite teams are Asante Kotoko (a Ghanaian club) and AC Milan.
George say’s “every time is worship time”.