Akosua Busia, 52, was briefly married to Boyz in the Hood director John Singleton. He passed away on April 29 after suffering a stroke on April 17.
Busia and Singleton got married in 1996 but divorced after just one year. They have one daughter together, named Hadar Busia-Singleton.
Like her ex-husband, Busia also works in the entertainment industry. Born into a royal family in Ghana, Busia became an actress, screenwriter, and director.
Here’s what you need to know about Akosua Busia.
1. Akosua Busia Began Acting as a Teenager & is Best Known For Her Role as Nettie Harris in the Movie ‘The Color Purple’
Akosua Busia began landing professional acting roles when she was still a teenager. According to her IMDB profile, Busia’s first on-screen acting credit was in the 1979 movie Ashanti, starring Micheal Caine. She had a small role and was listed as the “Senoufo Girl.”
Busia may be best known for a role she landed at age 19. She was cast as Nettie Harris in the 1995 movie, The Color Purple. The movie also starred Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover and received high praise from critics. The movie was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but did not win.
Busia’s other acting credits include the 2003 movie Tears of the Sun starring Bruce Willis, the 1986 movie Native Sun alongside Oprah Winfrey, and the popular TV series ER.
Busia decided to take a long break from acting after the birth of her daughter. She made a return in 2016 by appearing in the Broadway show “Eclipse.” Busia played the role of a peace activist during the civil war in Liberia.
2. Akosua Busia is a Princess in Ghana But Spent Much of Her Childhood Attending Schools in Other Countries
Akosua Cyamama Busia was born on December 30, 1966. She is a member of the Yefri Royal House of Wenchi in Ghana. Her father, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia, was serving as Ghana’s Prime Minister when Busia was born. Busia was the youngest daughter in the family.
Busia is a princess in Ghana. But she spent much of her childhood in other parts of the world. Busia attended school in Holland, Mexico, Switzerland, and Great Britain, according to her bio on the Semester at Sea program website; she was featured as a lecturer in 2017.
3. Akosua Busia Co-Founded the Busia Foundation International With Her Sister; the Organization Promoted Human Rights & Democracy
Akosua Busia’s sister, Abena Busia, teaches literature and gender studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Together, they founded Busia Foundation International in 2009. They were inspired by their mother, Naa Morkor Busia, to launch the organization in honor of their father, former Prime Minister Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia. He was credited with helping to implement civilian government in Ghana.
According to a promotional video published in 2010, the Busia’s mission was to promote human rights, democracy, civic education, and “good governance” in Ghana. A clip of Akosusa Busia addressing a crowd was included in the video. She explained, “It was my father’s dream that every child should be well-educated, well-fed and well-housed because he was a great believer that that was the equalizer of mankind. No matter what your background, no matter where you live or come from, if you have the opportunity of education, then you can become anything you want to become. And this was my father’s great dream and focus.”
4. Akosua Busia is a Screenwriter & Book Author; Her Writing Work Included Interviews With Witnesses of the Battle of Mogadishu, Which Was Portrayed in the Movie ‘Black Hawk Down’
Akosua Busia’s career has included extensive work behind the camera as well. Her novel The Seasons of Beento Blackbird was published in 1996. She wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Beloved in 1998. Busia also wrote the lyrics for Stevie Wonder’s song “Moon Blue.”
Busia also has the title “director” on her resume. She directed the movie Ascension Day in 2007, about Ned Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion in Virginia.
Busia’s writing work included interviewing people who witnessed the Battle of Mogadishu, according to her website. The battle was later depicted in the movie Black Hawk Down, about U.S. special forces who had to battle their way out of Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. According to Busia’s website, she was hired by Gotham Entertainment to interview the families of journalists who were stoned to death in the leadup to the Battle of Mogadishu. She attended their funerals and also spoke with other Reuters reporters who had been there. A 1993 article in the Washington Post identified the journalists killed in Mogadishu as “Hansjoerg Krauss, a German photographer with the Associated Press… Hosea D. Maina, a Kenyan, and Dan Eldon, a British-born resident of Kenya, both photographers for the Reuter news agency.”
5. Akosua Busia & John Singleton Were Married For One Year; Busia Filed a Lawsuit in 2016 Claiming She Was Owed a Larger Share of Singleton’s Profits From the Movie ‘Shaft’
Akosua Busia and John Singleton got married in 1996 but divorced one year later. The short marriage produced one daughter, Hadar Busia-Singleton. She is now 22 years old.
Busia filed a lawsuit in 2016 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming she had not received all she was entitled to in the divorce. Busia argued that Singleton received payments for the movies Shaft, Woo, and Rosewood while they were still married, even though the films came out after the divorce.
According to the entertainment website Bossip, Busia alleged that Singleton divorced her because he didn’t want to share his movie profits. Bossip obtained court documents and published the following quote from Busia: “We happily announced the birth of our child, and later that week without any advanced notice, and while I was not aware of any problems in our marriage, John filed a petition for dissolution of our marriage, which I believe was due to his concern that if we stayed married, the significant amounts he would earn on “Shaft” as both writer and director would be community property.” Busia also alleged that she handled the primary care for their daughter, including school tuition, and that Singleton should have helped to pay for it.