In complete darkness we are all the same; it is only our knowledge and wisdom that separates us. ” KOD.
He is the owner and Chief Executive Officer of the Nineteen57 fashion brand in Ghana which has styled major top officials in the political, religious and entertainment sectors.
Kofi Okyere Darko formerly Richard Aidoo was born in 1978 at Winneba, a town in the Central Region of Ghana to the late Mr. James Aidoo, former director of the Ghana Prisons and Mrs. Margaret Aidoo, one of the founding members of the 31st December women’s movement. He said, “Having a father who worked in the security agency of Ghana resulted in instability of our pattern of settlement since he was always being transferred and so, in 1981 we relocated from winneba to Kumasi. We finally relocated to Accra where we stayed till he went on retirement. I am the last of seven (7) children and my childhood was characterized with lots of pampering and comfort. After my parents had six (6) children they decided to come to a halt but ten (10) years down the line, I popped up”¦ my siblings were much older when I arrived and so I got to enjoy the whole love and pampering package from my parents and all my siblings because they had already fought away the hardships in our family. I had my elementary education at Winneba and after coming out with distinction in my basic certificate examinations, I gained admission to Nifa Secondary School in Adukurom but prior to that I studied at Harvard College in Kokomlemle with people like Sydney of Nananom fame, Jon Germaine, Ded buddy and Zeal of VVIP. I later rounded up my education at the Ghana Institute of journalism in Accra. Back in secondary school, I was the calm type; I always made sure I never got into trouble until I found myself at an odd hour and at a wrong place with my friends. Regardless of my innocence, I ended up getting suspended for half a term and that was tough because I missed a lot of lesson periods and that greatly affected my academic performance in that particular term. Life at Nifa was pretty interesting for me and I think it contributed to my shape up in the media industry. I was nicknamed ‘vanilla eyes’ back in school because of how weird my friends thought my eyes looked and also because of how well I could sing vanilla Ice’s ‘Ice baby’ song. Whenever I came home on vacation, I worked in a music store which was then run by Daddy Lumba but was managed by Osei Kwame Despite and father Dickson in Accra.”
KOD first worked as a production assistant for a TV show on GBC for a short period of time and later left to join the then budding and vibrant radio Gold. He left the shores of Ghana later to England to seek greener pastures and to explore other opportunities. He initially aspired to be a model but unfortunately got hired as a security person and was only posted to fashion houses like Ted Baker, Paul smith etc. On one such duty posts, the manager at Paul Smith spotted the sharpness in his outfit and urged him to quit his job as a security guard and apply there as a sales person and seeing the huge opportunity opened to him; he quickly applied for the position and was successful. After two (2) years of living in England, he came back to Ghana to continue working with Radio Gold.
Kofi is married to the beautiful and intelligent International fashion designer, Ophelia Crossland with whom he has two (2) amazing daughters.
Speaking on the birth of the Nineteen57 brand he said “My appreciation for fashion is legendary. My wife upon realizing how I was respected and projected as an icon in the world of fashion urged me to create and make a career out of a brand which would cater for the style conscious people who shared in my passion and today, The Nineteen57 brand stands for liberation and the freedom to be who you are and what you want to be and we have catered for top officials like the late president John Evans Atta Mills, Emmanuel Adebayo among others and I must say that I have no regrets whatsoever.”
He is grateful to Kwami Sefa Kayi, Kweku Boafo Agyeman, Shirley Frimpong Manso and Mr. Baffoe Bonney for being instrumental in shaping up his media career.
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