African Star: Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo


To some, he is a demigod. Others describe him as a legend of his era. But what all of us can concur with is that the man deserves global recognition. Why so? Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka is Ghana’s first car manufacturer. Kwadwo Safo is a preacher, Chemist, Physicist, inventor, Biologist, agriculturalist, innovator, philanthropist, and founder.

He sees himself as God ordained to liberate Ghana from its scientific and technical poverty and consequently lead to industrial development. However, his liberation scope has spread to cover the entire African continent, hence the name “African Star.”

Early Life

Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo was born on 26th August 1948 at Bekwai, Amansie East District of Ghana’s Ashanti Region. He was the son of Opanin Yaw Safo (a farmer) and Madam Akosua Amoanimaa (petty trader), both deceased.

His name Kwadwo is an Akan name for children born on Monday, while Safo is his family’s name.

One significant thing about his birth is that he was born with a light skin complexion and curly hair. This contradicted people’s expectations since both his parents were dark-skinned, the child had to follow suit. His difference in stature, structure, and complexion from the rest of the family made his father label him ‘abnormal’ and also despised him (Kwadwo Safo).

Growing up, Dr. Kwadwo further cemented his physical appearance by applying chemicals to curl his hair and bleached his skin to resemble white men, although he resented white people.


Apostle Kwadwo has four children: Israel Safo, Kwado Safo Jnr., Sarah Safo, and Adwoa Safo. However, it cannot be ascertained the number of children or wives he has.

There has been a lot of assumptions about his marital life. Most of these assumptions point to him practicing polygyny.


He went to a local authority primary and middle school in Bom near Bekwai for his basic education between 1954 and 1964 and obtained a Middle School Leaving Certificate.

His parents could not afford to further his education. The frustration and desperation back at home made him go to Accra to fend for himself.

In Accra, Apostle Kwadwo met a Syrian who put up with him. The Syrian, who was a welder, taught him welding.

After two years, the Syrian, who was now his guardian, enrolled him at Ghana Teaching Training Center to continue his education from 1965 to 1968. He then obtained a certificate as a professional welder from this institution.

The rest of his education, both religious and secular, he attributes to divine inspiration.


An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. True to the saying, Apostle Kwadwo’s first occupation was farming. His father imparted to him the art and skill of farming.

After graduating from college, he worked as a senior welder with Kaiser Engineers, a welding company in Tema. He worked at Kaiser Engineers for two years. He later moved on to work with Volta Aluminum Company (VALCO), still a senior welder.

It was at VALCO that he got his divine calling. In 1969, Apostle Kwadwo received a message through a dream saying;

“I want you to be my witness and propagate the Gospel, for you are the one I have chosen.”

Through subsequent dreams, he got the revelation that he had to quit his Job at VALCO.

After three months of recurring dreams, he quit his welding job and went to preach. This was a response to the divine call. He attributes his religious knowledge to divine power.

His preaching career was evangelical, lasting for five hours daily, in different places, including the market place, school compounds, buses, shops, and the roadside. With no salary nor anyone funding him, he faced difficulty and depended on donations of people moved by his teachings.

After four years of evangelizing, he established his church with only 12 converts.

Kristo Asafo Christ Reform Church

This was and still is the name of Apostle Kwadwo’s church. During its formation, the church was repentance centered, and the members were expecting the imminent coming of the Lord. His first church was in Bantama.

A great number of the new converts were students and those who had just completed secondary and were not yet gainfully employed, making them fully involved in the church’s missionary and economic activities.

The beliefs of the church are: the members of the church believe in one God, they also believe in Jesus Christ as Lord, as the second in the Godhead. They also believe in Apostle Kwadwo Safo (the Founder and Leader) as a true man of God sent by Christ, and he should be accorded the same respect and dignity given to God’s prophets and Apostles.

Other beliefs include God’s healing power, observance of the Sabbath day, the ascension of Christ, the scriptures, prayer (with major praying times being third, sixth and ninth hours), and that women are not to pray in the presence of men.

Economic ventures

Due to the economic and financial challenges that faced him and his congregation, he went back to his roots for a solution. Apostle Kwadwo started making soap, a skill he learned from his mother. After preparing the soap, he would divide it proportionately among his followers and carry them on their heads for sale. Through this, he supported himself and his followers.

After preparing and selling soap, he ventured back into farming. He divided the members of his congregation into four groups. One group continued selling the locally manufactured soap, and the second joined him on the farm, the third undertook fishing, while the last focused on spreading the gospel. In this manner, he was able to intertwine his economic activities with religion.

The proceeds from these economic undertakings were used for evangelical works, and the rest divided equally among the members.

Apostle Kwadwo later acquired large acres of land within Ghana and cultivated them. He moved from rain to irrigation and from fishing in rivers to constructing fish ponds.

After a time, Apostle Safo then had another divine revelation that instructed him to move beyond farming and fishing and venture into manufacturing. With his prior knowledge of welding, he ventured into manufacturing in 1985.

A business Man

He is the proprietor of Apostle Safo schools, including pre-school, primary, junior and senior high, and Technological Training Center. The schools have branches in Tafo, Akyease, Kumasi, and Awoshie.

Apostle Safo also owns a transport company called Great Imperial Company Limited, a fashion company, a chain of shops dealing in electronic items, and a media company.

Moreover, he owns a hospital that treats diseases using traditional herbs

Philanthropist and Charitable

Apostle Kwadwo and his Kristo Asafo Christ Reform Church have integrated social action into their mission work. He says that it is not enough to preach God’s word and win souls for Christ; their physical needs also should be met.

He can be described to be forgiving since he did not take to heart the not so good treatment that was accorded to him by his family. Nevertheless, he fully cared for his parents until their demise. His siblings also received good treatment from him.

In 1983, he fed stranded Ghanaians who had returned from Nigeria amidst bush fires and famine that had ravaged Nigeria. He helped some of these returnees find their way home.

Through his charity event dubbed ‘charity show,’ he gives food items which include tubers of yam, cassava, plantain, cocoyam, palm fruits, rice, maize, groundnut, pawpaw, milk, bread, vegetables, cooking oil annually to all institutions that take care of the deprived in the society.

Institutions that benefit from his charity include rehabilitation centers, Bolster Homes, Social Welfares, all prisons in Ghana, Children’s Home, a school for the deaf, schools for the blind, special schools, Hospitals, and Psychiatry Homes. An example of such donations includes an Urvan bus donation to Kumasi Children’s Home.

In 1997, the church donated sixty-two million Cedis to the University of Ghana, and five million Cedis to the Ghana Universities Endowment Fund.

In 2008, he donated a sanitation vehicle machine to Accra Metropolitan Assembly to help them work in the department of waste management.

All these, among other charitable ventures, have earned him the name ‘Father of the needy.’

Kantanka Automobile

This counts among the top business ventures by Apostle Safo. He established the company in 1994. Kantanka Automobile manufactures its first complete built unit in 1998, with75% of local components.

In 2006, the company manufactured its first SUV, the Onantefo. The company has since diversified into building armored vehicles.

The company’s current CEO is Kwado Safo Jr., who is out to revolutionalize Ghana’s automobile industry. When questioned about their vehicles’ high pricing, Apostle Kwado boasts of the luxury that their vehicles give the users.

Currently, the Ghanian Government is their number one customer.


The University of Ghana awarded Kwadwo Safo an honorary doctorate degree for his humanitarian assistance and contribution to Ghana’s education.

In 1999, he was awarded for volunteering service by the department of social welfare.

In 2000, the Government of Ghana awarded him for Technology ingenuity and profound concern for humanity.

The Government of Ghana again gave Dr. Kwadwo an award as the Best Philanthropist in the Humanitarian category during the 2006 Millennium Excellency Award.

The story of Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo is quite a long and interesting one. Still, it can be best described as the humble evolution of a welder to being one of the most influential and protected men in Ghana.



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