Graphic Online

Graphic Online 

Lawyer Nti: Humour helped me through dark days

Author: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Lawyer Nti is played by Richmond Xavier Amoakoh
Lawyer Nti is played by Richmond Xavier Amoakoh

In what is proof that well produced local content can receive patronage even in the face of the Mexican and Indian soaps influx, courtroom satire, Kejetia Vs Makola has in a few short months become the toast of many people.

The show, which started on radio and transitioned to TV recently, has churned out so many new terms like ‘distin’ that is fast becoming part of our lingo these days. 

The show’s popularity rests on its cast, from the serious Judge Louis Lamis (although some of the antics displayed in his courtroom can cause him to laugh at times) to the lawyers, the uptight Nebuchadnezzer who never misses the opportunity to prove he was trained at the Ghana School of Law at Makola with his ‘big big’ English and the hilarious Ntikateche Bombay Isaiah whose bad grammar, unlawyerly attire (colourful shirts, overly big or tight jackets and who can forget the gloves) just brings out the laughs in not only those in the courtroom but the TV audience as well. He is so bad that any case he wins is a cause for celebration.

Lawyer Nti is played by Richmond Xavier Amoakoh who describes himself as a creative writer, professional director and content creator.

He has been acting since 2007 but mostly in stage plays. In 2011, one of such productions, Nyansapo’s Gallery of Comedy became very popular but it wasn’t until Kejetia Vs Makola that his comedic talent is really being appreciated.

The story of how Richmond took to comedy is quite a sad one. He had quite a tough upbringing with his single mother, Sylvia Serwaa Akoto Gyamfi, struggling to see him through school. His father, Ted Carmichael Amoakoh, who has passed on, was meanwhile in Accra hustling throughout most of his childhood.

He tells Graphic Showbiz, watching his mother struggle to pay his school fees and take care of him till university was very difficult and it was humour he fell on to help him get through those dark times telling funny stories and jokes to friends. 

Even now, he says most members of his extended family are shocked at his comic prowess but Ricmond doesn’t understand why they should when he started at home.

“I would always crack my family up with my jokes as soon I had something to eat. The more delicious the food, the better my jokes,” he said.

When he is on set, he is animated and won’t stop at anything to draw laughs, but this funny guy says he is shy in his private life. He, however, does not shy away from bringing joy to people whenever he has the opportunity. “I am happy when people see me in town and burst into uncontrollable laughter,” he said.

That is not surprising as his demeanour alone can make people laugh. On his role,  he said they needed something that would make Lawyer Nti stand out “so we decided to go with the colourful costumes.  Essentially, the costumes capture the ‘legally absurd’ nature of Lawyer Nti’s alma mater, the Ghana School of the Law, Kejetia,” he explained.

The objective of the show, according to him is to use humour to address the everyday issues Ghanaians face and he enjoys the role he plays in coming up with some solutions.

 “The basic task of an actor is to create believable characters who respond truthfully to imaginary circumstances. With this understanding, whenever I act, I become the character whose shoes I filled, talk, walk, reason and react as the character would,” he said.

He understands the ups and downs of fame but for now, “I am really enjoying myself. I am enjoying the fact that people see me and even before they approach me, they are laughing.”

Richmond was born on June 19, 1987 in Mampong in the Ashanti Region. He is an only child from his mother but has two siblings on his father's side; Abigail Amoakoh and Trosky Amoakoh.

He has hit the stage in productions like Only In Africa, Love Laugh 1, 2 & 3, Grumpy Graham, The Prince of Egypt, among others all by Liezer-Legacy Productions which is also the brain behind Kejetia Vs Makola.

He is a graduate of the School of Performing Arts of the University of Ghana, Legon. Growing up, Richmond wanted to become a medical doctor but fortunately fate pushed him into helping people with humour and he takes a lot of pride in brightening someone’s day.