Kofi (Paul) Osei
Percussionist, teacher & drum maker from Ghana
Founding member of Akwaaba
"Drumming and music have always been around since my childhood. I grew up with traditional musicians and started performing at the age of nine alongside my uncle, master drummer Wofa Kessie. We performed at ceremonies such as birth, marriage, name giving and initiations as well as cultural festivals. In Africa, drums are used in all important aspects of daily and spiritual life. They are considered tools of communication and are believed to have healing powers. The drum becomes alive when played, as The Creator gives life to the drummers!"
Since arriving in Perth in 1989, Kofi has taught and performed African rhythms in a large number of primary and secondary schools in the Perth metropolitan area. He has also traveled to the Kimberley, eastern and central regions of Western Australia. Kofi has facilitated numerous team building workshops with corporate bodies, federal and local government departments, not-for-profit organisations and private companies. He is well known for his work with schools, universities, local communities, and at festivals and corporate events. Click here to view a list of just some of Akwaaba's past and current clients.
Kofi played as the lead drummer with the dynamic African group Dagomba Ensemble and has performed with many respected artists including Sulimani Keita, Charles Amoah, Kojo Owusu, Ossibisa and Michael Franti and Spearhead. He is the founding member of Akwaaba. In December 2014, Kofi was presented the Pioneer Award from the Celebration of African-Australian's Inc "For exceptional achievements and remarkable contributions to the African Australian community groups in Western Australia through the work of arts and culture display".
We have an experienced and dynamic team of artists from a variety of African countries (including Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda), who make up Akwaaba and assist in facilitating workshops and perform at events. Throughout the year, Paul's drumming students may also join him for some community events and parades.
Sally provides administrative support to Akwaaba. She has a career background in business administration, public affairs and primary teaching. Sally's other roles in life include working part time in the corporate sector, being mum to two delightful young people, and somewhere within the busyness of life trying to maintain a sense of mindfulness and well being.
"Just following up on the drumming workshop we did with you. The kids raved about it and were actually doing the song and dance for days after, even teaching children who weren't there that day how to do it."
Melissa Harrison-Ward, YMCA Kingsley