Van Vicker (born: 1 August 1977; Age: 45) is a Ghanaian actor, film director, philanthropist, communications consultant, public speaker, marketer, entrepreneur, and businessman of Dutch and Liberian descent. He is best known for his roles in Divine Love (2004), Beyonce: The President’s Daughter (2006), and Providence Island (2017)
The Ghollywood/Nollywood multi-award-winning actor and father of 3 has been able to seamlessly interpret roles in crime, drama, and love stories. Beyond acting, Vicker is married to Adjoa Vicker and is an owner of a series of businesses such as Vantastic Grills in Ghana, the School for Performing Arts in Liberia, and Sky+ Orange production. He has built his popularity around his philanthropic prowess and excelled in the entertainment business.
Where is Van Vicker From?
Born in Accra, Van Vicker holds Ghanaian nationality, but his father was a Dutchman who died when the actor was 6 years old. His mother, on the other hand, is a Liberian-Ghanaian named Betty Prat Toe.
Vicker was raised alongside his US-based sister and mother of 3, Felicia ‘Phylicia’ Vicker (now Anderson), by their mother following the demise of their father. He spent his early years in the Netherlands and most of his adolescent years in Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia. He later moved to his birthplace, Ghana, in the heat of the Liberian war in 1991 when he was about the age of 14, and after he almost lost his life on 4 different occasions.
Van Vicker’s Education and How He Earned a Degree 21 Years After High School
Van Vicker attended several schools before moving to Ghana, where he attended the Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast Ghana – the same school actor Majid Michel attended. He graduated high school in 1995 and had to hold off with tertiary education as his mother couldn’t afford it. At the time, he had the dream to become a gynecologist.
After graduating from New York Film Academy, he later went back to obtain a degree in July 2021, about 21 years after graduating from secondary. The actor completed from African University College of Communications, Accra, Ghana. He drew attention for earning a first-class degree, best graduating student, and best communication student awards from the department of Strategic Communications of the institution.
The Actor Started His Career as a Presenter
The Ghanaian actor’s career began in 1997 when his wife, Adjoa Vicker (then girlfriend), saw an advert in the Daily Graphic newspaper for TV3, Ghana, a free-to-air television network that was just launching and requiring entertainment presenters at the time.
Interestingly, he got the job and spent 2 years as a TV personality with the station. In 1999, he left TV3 Ghana and started to evolve into radio. He first worked as a presenter at Groove 106.3 FM for a year, and from 2001 to 2004, Van worked with Vibe FM.
Around the same time that he was working as a radio presenter, Vicker also juggled a job with a TV station, Metro TV.
He Made His Acting Debut in 2004
Van Vicker’s big break into the movie world came in 2004 when he played the supporting character of Maxwell Asamoah in his first film, Divine Love (2004). The film also starred acts like Majid Michel and Jackie Appiah.
The movie came right after he appeared in the TV series Sun City (2002), which was shot at the University of Cape Coast and University of Ghana, Legon, portraying university life. Prior to that, some recordings claimed that the actor had appeared as an extra in the 1997 movie Waka Pass where he played the role of a French-speaking man in only one scene.
Fast forward to 2006, Vicker’s fame and acting skills became more visible with his portrayal of Raj in The Return of Beyonce. The Frank Rajah Arase-produced film also featured A-list stars such as Nadia Buari, Yvonne Okoro, and Yvonne Nelson.
The same year, he appeared in other Ghanaian films such as Darkness of Sorrow, Mummy’s Daughter, Beyonce 2: The President’s Daughter, and Wedlock of the Gods.
Van Vicker Transitioned from Ghallywood to Nigeria’s Nollywood
The actor started his acting career in Ghana before featuring in Nigerian films. One of his earliest features in the Nigerian movie industry is Slave to Lust (2007). The film also contributed to the fame of Nadia Buari, and it featured the likes of Ini Edo, Mike Ezuruonye, and Olu Jacobs, among others.
At a point in his career, he featured more in Nigerian films, and it was rumored that he was no longer welcomed in Ghana. However, the actor revealed in an interview that he was indeed welcomed in his country but had more work in Nigeria. This, according to him, was because while acting a role, he got to meet other directors and producers who would ask that he be featured in their works, and it almost became a cycle.
He Has Featured in International Movies Scenes
In 2017, Van Vicker appeared in the Australian movie Cop’s Enemy, directed by Prema Smith. The actor was involved in the production design as well as the actions of the movie. He played the role of a villain named ‘Shadow.’ Also starring in the movie were Burundian-Austrian actor and filmmaker John K-ay and Australian actor Jean-Pierre Yerma, among several others.
Additionally, in the same year, he co-wrote, assisted in directing, and produced a movie indigenous to Liberia and its history called Providence Island. It featured top-notch personalities such as Hollywood producer and director Roger M. Bobb, who served as an executive vice president of Tyler Perry Studios, and American actress Lisa Wu. Other local actors like Juliet Ibrahim and Eddie Watson were actively featured in the movie.
He Has Worked as a Producer and Director
Apart from acting, Van is also a producer and director whose works date as far back as around 2008. In his acting career, the Accra-born actor took a break, and it was rumored that he may have retired. However, he announced that he was still active but was trying to step up the game on a different pedestal as a director and producer.
He is most famous for directing Friday Night (2008) which features actors such as Nana Ama McBrown and Fred Magma. In 2011, he directed, produced, and starred in The Hands of Time. Many of his productions are done through his Sky + Orange Production media house, which was founded in 2008.
In addition, he runs a YouTube channel called Van Vicker TV. Through the platform, he releases some of his works as well as other videos depicting his passion.
Van Vicker’s Awards and Nominations
- 4th Africa Movie Academy Awards for Most Promising Actor (Nominated, 2008)
- 4th Africa Movie Academy Award For Best Actor in a Leading Role (Nominated, 2008)
- Afro-Hollywood Award for Best Actor (African film category) (won, 2009)
- Best Caribbean Actor (Won, 2009)
- Best Actor African American (Won, 2009)
- Ghana Movie Awards for Best Actor Leading Role (Local Film) (Nominated, 2010)
- Ghana Movie Awards for Best Actor Leading Role (Nominated, 2011)
- Pan African Film Festival for Africa’s Channel’s Creative Achievement Award (Won, 2011)
- Nollywood Movie Academy Awards For Best Actor in a Leading (Nominated, 2012)
- NAFCA for Best Comedy Movie (Won, 2012)
- NAFCA Best Director Awards (Won, 2012)
- Ghana Movie Awards for Best Actor (Local Film (Won, 2013)
- Best International Actor Award at Papyrus Magazine Screen Actors Awards (PAMSAA) (Won, 2013)
- Ghana Movie Awards for Favourite Actor (Nominated, 2014)
- NAFCA for Best Actor in a Leading Role(Diaspora film) (Nominated, 2015)
- Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for Best Actor Drama/Series (Nominated, 2016)
- Nigeria Entertainment Awards for Best Actor/Non-Nigerian (Nominated, 2016)
- KumaWoods Awards for Best Collaboration (Won, 2016)
- Ghana Choice Awards (Honourary awards) for Movie Personality of the Decade 2021
Other Businesses and Works Van Vicker is Involved In
Van has pushed himself beyond neutral grounds to gain solid sitting as a communication consultant, public speaker, entrepreneur, marketer, businessman, and philanthropist.
As a speaker, he has graced many stages within and outside of Ghana. His work as a philanthropist is one that has brought attention to him. The Van Vicker Foundation was launched in 2010 in Ghana with the aim of helping to grow new talents in the movie industry by investing in low-budget films.
The Foundation further has the objective to help Ghanaian youths through education, sports, and music, among other key things. More to this and in his works as a philanthropist, Van Vicker actively participated in 2014 in helping victims of the Haiti earthquake alongside Miss Haiti, Sarodj Bertin. The public speaker was also named a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) ambassador.
Van Vicker additionally has a School of Performing Arts with a campus on Benson Street in Central Monrovia, Liberia. It was launched in 2017 with a mission to educate and promote talents in Liberia within the fields of fine and performing arts, film/stage, music (voice coaching), and broadcasting, as well as other sectors of entertainment.
Who is Van Vicker’s wife?
Adjoa Vicker has been the wife of Van Vicker for 18 years. She is also the mother of his 3 children. 45 year-old Adjoa was born on 24 January 1977 and is about 6 months older than her husband. Although she was raised in a broken home, she lived with her father as the first child among seven children while visiting her mum on vacations.
As regards her career, in 1999, at the age of 22, she went into pageantry for lux. Over time though, Van’s wife began to build a strong educational and career background for herself.
The wife of the famed actor is a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, where she bagged a Bachelor of Arts from 1997-2000. She holds two master’s degrees in International Affairs (2002-2003) from Legon Centre for International Affairs Diplomacy while the other is from London South Bank University in International Development Studies (2015-2017).
Serving concurrently as a Human resource generalist for about 17 years, she has served as a director of Human Resources Management and Development under the umbrella of Ghana Education Services, Accra (GES). Adjoa is now a Senior Professional in Human Resources International at Human Resource Institute.
What’s more, the mother of three has worked with Camelot Ghana Ltd (2004-2011) and Shalina Healthcare (2012-2015) as Administrative Managers. Following in her husband’s charitable footsteps, Adjoa volunteered as a social service administrative assistant with RNIB from 2015-2017 while simultaneously working on the Poverty Alleviation Program with the WaterAid UK initiative in the same years.
How Van Vicker Met His Wife
Adjoa got married to the actor on 16 October 2003. The couple met on May 2, 1994, and at the time, the couple were both 17 years of age and attending separate high schools. Their meeting was not the usual as it happened on a bus when Adjoa incidentally sat on Van’s favorite seat while he sat next to her.
On alighting from the bus at Kaneshi, she eventually had to help him due to an ankle injury he sustained from a basketball tournament in a cab. In appreciation along with her address, he began writing her letters first of which was delivered by his sister.
Subsequently, they formed a relationship over about two to three years and grew closer from being just pen pals.
Van Vicker’s Marriage Has Produced 3 Children
Their marriage has produced 3 children, 2 girls, J’dyl Vicker (born: 27 February 2004; Age: 18), Ji-an Vicker (born: 25 May 2006; 16), and a boy named Vj Vicker (born: 21 October 2008; 13).
Despite the success of the marriage, Van Vicker has also been linked to a number of women in the movie industry. First, he was rumored to be dating actress Nadia Buari, but the claim was refuted. Subsequently, he was linked to Nigerian actress Chika Ike.
According to him, his relationship with the 2 women is professional, and perhaps the stories may have come up due to the fact that they may have appeared as lovers in movies.