Ghanaian royalty lives life in Ohio in brand new series


The Agyekum sisters are bringing their royal lifestyle to Columbus and the big screen. 

“Royal Rules of Ohio,” produced by Entertainment One’s unscripted business, a division of Lionsgate Alternative Television, follows three sisters in Columbus who must navigate life in their 20s while also upholding their family’s reputation as descendants of two of the wealthiest and most powerful Ghanaian kingdoms.

The documentary portrays how the lifestyle of these young women often clashes with family and social pressure to behave according to royal standards. With that comes loads of drama, betrayal, and cultural criticism. 

“The most entertaining part is going to be how traditional the African culture is, especially Ghanaian culture, and the way we have to carry ourselves in a way that we’re not disrespecting the family,” Brenda Agyekum, one of the three sisters, said.

“After you finish watching the show, everybody will be an honorary Ghanaian.”

The Agyekum family maneuvers life in Columbus while abiding by their rules within the Ghanaian community. In the first episode, the sisters navigate watchful eyes at Brenda’s graduation party and get into some trouble at the after party.

Who are the Agyekum sisters?

Thelma (27), Nana (25) and Brenda (23) Agyekum are the children of Akili Bobo, a wealthy businessman and real estate investor, and Olivia Delali Agyekum, a registered nurse.

Thelma graduated from Ohio University with a degree in pre-physical therapy and owns Tely Fitness LLC. She is also a licensed realtor in Ohio for eMerge Real Estate.

Nana also graduated from Ohio University with a degree in business administration. She currently attends drama school while also working as a patient-care coordinator for the family’s home-health company, New Millennium Home Health Care.

Brenda graduated from Kent State University with a degree in criminology and justice studies and is a certified victim’s advocate.

Thelma, Nana and Brenda Agyekum, the stars of Freeform's new series "Royal Rules of Ohio," attend an intimate dinner at Teranga in Harlem, New York. The series premiere of “Royal Rules of Ohio” airs May 15 at 10:30 p.m. on Freeform.

Bobo’s real name is Yaw Owusu Agyekum. He was born in Amakom, Ghana, a suburb in the Ashanti Region of Kumasi. He graduated from Prempeh College in Kumasi and has degrees in nursing and respiratory therapy from the United States.

Alongside his wife, Yaw co-founded the Yaw and Delali Foundation, dedicated to promoting health and well-being in underprivileged communities.

Though Yaw’s net worth is not public, the family lives in a 12-bedroom mansion in Ohio and enjoys the lavish life that is to be portrayed in the series.

“We’re going to teach you guys how to be royals,” Brenda said.

Why Columbus?

The family initially settled in California, where the two older sisters were born, but moved to Ohio for a simpler lifestyle. The sisters said in a previously aired interview there are plenty of activities they enjoy in Columbus, including exploring the Short North and Scene 75.

“We have the Short North, which is like the New York of Columbus,” Brenda said. “You meet so many people when you go to downtown Columbus, so I feel since we’re a fast-growing economy, you’re always going to meet somebody different.”

The Dispatch previously reported that although Ghanaians make up 0.07% of the population in Ohio, the population of African immigrants has grown in Ohio, with a population of about 61,000 in Franklin County.

“Royal Rules of Ohio” premieres Wednesday, May 15 at 10:30 p.m. on Freeform and the following day on Hulu.