Kobina de Graft-Johnson, a multifaceted talent hailing from Tema, Ghana, is a trailblazer in the film industry. With expertise in directing, producing, editing, and photography, Kobina founded Anibok Studios to create compelling content for film, TV, and streaming platforms. His journey, originating from a passion for movies and a desire to impact Ghanaian culture, led him to an unexpected career in filmmaking despite initially pursuing degrees in Accounting and Computer Science.
Kobina‘s transition into the film world was serendipitous. Starting with iPhone photography at after-work events, his talent was quickly recognized, leading him to professional photography and eventually videography. His first foray into film was shooting a friend’s wedding, a moment that made him realize the potential for a sustainable career in filmmaking. This realization propelled him into music videos, documentaries, and web series, eventually leading to the creation of original Ghanaian stories.
Among Anibok Studios‘ notable projects are “Kwesi & Efe” and “Seguwa,” available on YouTube, and “Chain Link” & “Barely Made,” currently in the festival circuit. However, the studio’s flagship project is “KING OF T3MA,” a crime drama series set in Tema, currently in production.
“KING OF T3MA” emerged from Kobina‘s exploration of local stories and his belief in the power of narratives rooted in real events. The project’s conception in 2019 during Kobina‘s visit to Ghana for the Year of Return was fueled by his curiosity about Tema’s underworld, especially its connection to drug trafficking via the Tema port. The script, undergoing several revisions and a change of writers, evolved significantly over time, transforming into a gripping narrative that mirrors the complexity of Tema’s socio-cultural landscape.
The production of “KING OF T3MA” capitalized on Kobina‘s intimate knowledge of Tema. Filming in locations like the Tema port, Mighty Beach, and the Community 4 basketball court, the team enjoyed the support of the local community, which facilitated the shooting process. One of Kobina‘s favorite scenes, a powerful conversation between Alhaji and the King, exemplifies the series’ exploration of power dynamics and brotherhood.
As the film “KING OF T3MA” prepares for cinema release, it is scheduled to be released on local television and streaming channels. Kobina de Graft-Johnson stands at the forefront of a new wave of Ghanaian filmmakers. His ambition is to present authentic, locally resonant stories, hoping that audiences will appreciate the genuineness and relevance of narratives rooted in their own experiences and culture. Johnson’s journey from an accountant with a camera to a visionary filmmaker marks a significant shift in Ghana’s cinematic landscape, offering a fresh perspective and inspiring a new generation of storytellers.