Maame Biama Asante was born in Ghana, to a Ghanaian diplomat and a teacher. Thanks to her father’s profession, she started her education in Brazilia, Brazil. She then had her secondary education at Achimota Secondary School, Accra, Ghana. During this time, she spent her summer holidays with her parents in Tokyo, Japan, where her father had been posted. After completing her 7- year secondary education, she was assigned to work at the State Protocol in Accra, as her national service to her motherland.
Maame also worked at the United States Information Service in Accra before being whisked off to Geneva, Switzerland, by her father. She attained her Diploma in the French Language, in Switzerland. She then came to London, UK where she attained her Joint Hons degree, in Law and International Studies at Middlesex University.
Maame then attended the prestigious College of Law, Store Street, London, where she successfully completed her Legal Practice Course, with a commendation. She then secured a training contract at a firm in London Bridge and finally qualified as a solicitor in January 2008.
Having completed her professional dream, she decided to pursue her passion in fashion. Therefore, outside her legal profession, Maame works on a fashion event called Fashion Mavericks, held during London Fashion Week.
Charles Thompson, the son of a barrister hails from London via Africa and is a graduate of Film & Television Production Techniques from Pimlico Arts and Media. His 20 years experience in the UK film & TV industry includes 3 years as an editor before commencing his career as an Independent Producer with a commitment to new drama by black writers and directors. He has produced over 15 narrative films, with a number winning awards, plus several features and has worked in a producing capacity on important dramas and TV magazine shows.
In 1996 Charles helped found Off the Grove, London’s first live screenplay reading event, a forerunner to the BFI’s highly rated Script Factory. Between 1999-2002 Charles co-founded and served as Festival Co-ordinator & Director for one of Europe’s premier black film showcases, the annual bfm International Film Festival. In 2003 he founded the Screen Nation Film & TV Awards (aka ‘Black Oscars’) and he is currently developing screennation.com an innovative web based media rights company. Future plans include a series of high profile heritage events recognising the contribution black British film & TV practitioners have made to the UK industries since the early 1900’s.
His commitment to black British filmmakers has seen him develop local training and screening programs for local communities across the UK. He continues to consult and work with new writers and directors as an Exec Producer, give talks and he has put several feature/TV projects into development/production, one of which is a global entertainment show featuring the best of black Hollywood, European & African media scene.
Charles is former Chair of the Alliance of Black Media Professionals, a Millennium Awards Fellow, and a member of the Roundhouse Creative Centre Advisory Panel and in 2004 was again honoured by London Mayor, Ken Livingston for his contribution to London life. He can soon be found in the Dictionary of International Biography.
Born in Accra and raised in Wales, Ghana and India, Rhian Benson, the half Welsh-half Ghanaian beauty, is a true beacon to the diversity that can be found in Ghanaian culture and society. One of Ghana’s premier exports to the sultry world of jazz and soul music, Rhian has the perfect combination of beauty, brains and talent.
Having left a successful career in banking to care for her ailing mother, Rhian Benson found comfort and release in her pursuit of her dream to become a singer. After numerous open mic nights and club slots in London, her passions and dreams of a musical career became a reality when she was approached by an executive from Los Angeles based label, DKG, and relocated to America to write and record her debut album ‘Gold Coast’.
Her first album, ‘Gold Coast’ was a soulful and beautiful tribute to Ghana, Rhian’s childhood home. Her passion, pride and respect for Ghana have not changed, and Rhian is often quoted praising the place she considers a spiritual home. After a much deserved hiatus, Rhian will be releasing her second album ‘Hands Clean’ in 2011.
After spending some time away from the industry, Rhian’s sophomore album -‘Hands Clean’- represents a strong evolution of her unique style and ventures into fresh and bold sonic terrain for the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. These confessional tales of love and life represent a new direction for this singular artist as she journeys beyond the ‘Gold Coast’.
The smooth and sultry vibes of Rhian Benson’s vocals drip with the influence of classic soul and jazz greats. Her songs are effortless, elegant and timeless in a way that is rare in this era of music and her honeyed voice is frequently compared to the likes of Sade, Phyllis Hyman and Norah Jones. Combined with a sharp mind (she studied at London School of Economics and Harvard University), Rhian Benson is undoubtedly one of Ghana’s most treasured exports to the global music industry.