Ghana’s influencer industry is growing by leaps and bounds especially after a year that was drastically affected by COVID-19.
Influencers during a time when everyone was asked to stay home and despair loomed, created content that entertained, informed and engaged.
According to a recent survey, at least 4 out of 5 netizens (internet +citizens) who have purchased a product via the internet did so after it was seen on an Influencer or used by one. Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 report indicates that “+50% of users aged 16-24 go to social first to research brands eclipsing search engines for product consideration.” (Dear Google, be very afraid)
A quick Google search describes an influencer a person who has: the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.
Wesley Kojo Kesse, a Public Relations grad from Ghana Institute of Journalism and a bona fide socialite totally encapsulates the concept and idea of Influencership. Since the boom of social media apps such as Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, Kesse’s name has been on the lips of many, kind courtesy of his style, modelling gigs, rib-cracking content and punditry on entertainment topics.
His brand and popularity specifically saw a boost in 2020, when his TikTok content and mimicking of Ghanaian talk show host, Delay garnered traction on several media platforms and even received praises from the celebrated Day-Time host who called it “Funny and Ribcracking”.
The likes of Funke Akindele and Simi have all been portrayed by the budding influencer in his skits on his verified TikTok account.
“Wesley is funny and talented,” says a childhood friend of the talent “It’s interesting to see the world finally come to appreciate him for his versatility”.
Since then he’s landed a number of Influencer and virtual hosting gigs which has not come as surprise to us. These days, however, StarBoi Kesse is making a shift to unchartered territories as a full-time Chef and food entrepreneur under his titular brand, Kesse Cooks.
Kesse Cooks which first begun as a hobby quickly became a fully fledge online business as most of his orders came strictly from Snapchat and his Instagram page.
“Wesley loves food. I would always check out his page for the latest eateries or most popular dishes in town but after a while I could see him taking cooking classes which was later followed by him cooking and an announcement that he had started a food business which I patronised from time to time,” recounts a customer.
The Birth of A Brand
The brand is noted for salivating Ghanaian dishes with a contemporary touch including meals such as ” Angwa Mo” with salted beef and fried eggs alongside kpakpo shito as well as many other delicacies.
Despite the success of the brand, there were times they went off the radar leaving clients and customers stranded.
“The were times I wanted to order but they were unavailable which was quite disheartening because the meals were worth the hype and very tasty,” another virtual client said.
In 2021, Kesse Cooks means business as they have fully come to stay. After experimenting with flavours, business ideas and virtual orders only, they are now a brick and mortar eatery.
Sharing the news on social media to his 42K followers, Kesse wrote: “To God be the GLORY!🙏🏾❤️ @kessecooks kitchen is opened now!😍😍😍Just locate us in East Legon American house inside @thebackyard_gh swipe to see our menu guys❤️😍🙏🏾“
Kesse like any young millennial entrepreneur in Ghana faces several challenges including the risk of launching a business, taxes, expensive loans and these days restrictions in public spaces due to COVID-19 protocols.
From all indications, these challenges will force him to quit any time in the future as he consistently tries to define Ghana’s hospitality industry with a distinct and creative service.
Influencers like Kesse also have a lot of goodwill and insight on their side including building a sense of trust for their audience and understand the needs of the consumer.
For this influencer-turned-entrepreneur, as far as there are hungry stomachs, he’s ready to fill them up.