Meet Ghana’s Koda – The rare gospel breed

Koda I have not always being a fan of adages and so-called wise sayings just because on dissecting them, many end up being wrong or lack tested truths. However, most make perfect sense while others though negative also remain true for attitudes which never change. A perfect example is the traditional adage which relates that a prophet is never recognized in his own village and so has this been the case of many heroes and talents from the motherland who are not celebrated enough or etched in historic blueprints that matter. Sadly, KODA has not been exempted from this!

Kofi Owusu Dua Anto (Koda) – Guide me o Jehova (Adage)

Born Augustine Owusu Kofi Dua Anto (Kofi Owusu Dua Anto shortened KODA) into a family of love and care, KODA lives in Tarkoradi, Western Region of Ghana till date. From a tender age, KODA braved the music he listened to frequently by humming the tunes. Later, mum would for no reason see something so great in his son that at the age of 10, she enrolled KODA in his first music class where he immediately fell for the guitar.

One fateful day, while ‘growing up’ in music class, KODA was asked by his music tutor, a multi-instrumentalist and anointed pastor, what he wanted to become should he grow up. Smallish KODA remembers speaking out boldly that he wanted to be like his music tutor: a multi-instrumentalist, preacher and counselor. Then he remembered his tutor called him forward, prayed for him and blessed him with multiples of the unction upon his (tutor’s) life, Koda’s ministry couldn’t have been better laid.

Bracing through all the thick and thin in childhood and adolescence with his music, reality hit him when KODA was met with the option of either playing in a Highlife band or continuing with church where he had learnt everything he knew. The western region of Ghana, where he lived, was at that time the most lucrative hub for the traditional highlife music as such live bands were the ‘ish’ of that time when it came to music and any rising musician would gladly choose the Highlife without any hesitation. However, according to KODA, after soul searching, he found something he could not vividly describe that continued to draw him to Church and thus chose the Church. This he later found to be the call upon his life.

At service in the music department of the Baptist Church which his family attended, KODA would not fully understand his mission at the onset at least not until after some years on when he realised that he had been tasked by God with an anointed music mastery and ministry.

By the time KODA entered the University, his hands and mind had walked through the creative world of multi-musical instruments and was a staunch Christian deepening his musical ties with church. Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana provided the transformational platform for KODA. Here he became the Mass Choir director of the University, Music Director of the Music Wing of Baptist Students Union, God’s Instruments, and a leading member of the legendary Ghanaian contemporary gospel group, Da Project.

As KNUST Mass Choir Diretcor, KODA had the KNUST’s Simply Jazz Crew as his instrumentalists and the likes Nii Okai, Graciella, Pastor Joe Gyebi , etc as singers, all of whom he guided. He quickly learnt music production and helped in the release of ‘Awurade Ei” for God’s Instruments as producer and music director, ‘Bra Fie’ for Da Project as one of the producers and instrumentalist and helping Nii Okai his close pal with the production of ‘Moko Be’ on completion tertiary education. So much happened with the experience at KNUST that KODA became a trademark for quality and inspiring gospel music all round but this was not borne on a silver platter. He had to work really hard for it- constant practice, prayer and fasting, etc. A story was told by a friend from KNUST that he most often saw KODA praying at the top terrace of their hall of residence and on knowing what his passion was, he knew he would be a rare breed in that field!

Guide Me O by Kofi Dua Anto (Koda). A multi -instrumentalist, producer, pastor and singer- one of Ghana’s best kept gospel music secrets…..

Today, KODA’s music is an evidence of mastery of all music genres that exists and is always laced with beautifully woven messages about Jesus who he is so passionate about and would make use of any second to relay to you. His attributes of being very humble, friendly, and jovial yet will not compromise on excellence and Christian values, flow freely from the very lips of anyone who talks about him. Having worked with and for the likes of Danny Nettey, Nii Okai, Pastor Joe Beechem , Daughters of Glorious Jesus, Joyful Way Inc, Rita Adjei, Ike Nanor, Eugene Zuta, The Anointed (a music group based in Takoradi he formed with his friends) and supported many gospel music ministries all over Ghana and abroad, the persistence call for him to come stay abroad comes as no surprise but KODA’s insistence on staying in the now ‘oil city’ of Takoradi where he had lived for the majority of his life baffles many. For him, it is all about fulfilling God’s will and following His instructions and not the many opportunities and benefits that will meet him abroad compared to staying in Ghana- ‘I have a divine mandate to fulfil in Ghana and importantly Takoradi now my ‘oil city’,’ he puts it and jokingly in the end.

KODA has two vocal albums to his credit: the little known ‘Nyame Beye’ and the popular ‘Waye Wie’ which has hit inspiring songs such as title track ‘Waye Wie’, ‘Poma’, ‘Zion’s song’, ‘Amen’, among others. Other additions to his discography include two gospel jazz albums, two instructional DVD on bass and lead guitar and a live DVD of one of his concerts. KODA’s ‘little’ popularity across Ghana’s music circuit is partially owed to his insistence of remaining low profile and rather focusing on grassroots ministry works and empowering others to observe excellence especially young people and keeping compact management of his image. But one will be surprised to learn that KODA won the best Male Vocalist in the first ever Ghana Gospel Music honours for his delivery on Da Project’s album almost a decade ago amidst the above.

Last year’s Christmas season drew the attention of many music lovers to the ministry of this multi-talented gospel ‘wiz’ when his single, ‘Guide Me O’, off a forthcoming album took the contemporary gospel music scene by storm together with his ministration on the packed gospel concerts within the capital. The music video of ‘Guide Me O’ when shot and released will awe many as KODA prepares to make a grand appearance with his forthcoming album likely middle of this year but with the latest news coming in that his wife, Ewurama, also an anointed singer, just delivered the couple’s first child, a baby boy, music plans may be pushed to the end of the year.

KODA is one of Ghana’s best kept gospel music secrets. A singer, songwriter, composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and pastor, KODA is a little over thirty-year-old gospel music minister that is passionate about delivering the excellence in production together with touching messages. His humility and respect for the things of God speak volume of him from afar. Though having accomplished a lot, he still remains a great treasure yet to be discovered by many. This albeit, Kofi Dua Anto (KODA) is a David of our time needs to be celebrated. Just be on the lookout as his ministry unfolds. In the mean time, his facebook page, KODA, will give you a clue as to what to expect.

Source: Paul Azumah-Ayitey (Da Scribe)



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