Due to the simplicity of the story-lines carried out by most Ghanaian script-writers, watching a Ghanaian movie has been an issue of the recent-past, when my saturday and sunday evenings were set alight by good Ghanaian movies, which were worth re-watching unlike today, when repetition of movies has become more of a rudimentary programme line-up than a colossal home-away from home experience. We aren’t spoilt for choice, ie television-wise.It’s either channel A, B, C, D or E. The evolution comes back to itself, that’s its fulcrum of origin after futile attempts.I have not been an advent fan of the Ghanaian movie industry or set-up due to some certain but quite obvious reasons until recently; surprisingly most of the story-lines are more or less the same, it’s either the ”rich’s” pursuit of the ”poor” amidst obstructions or vice-versa, ie mainly circling around the city-life. Others who try to make the movies appear more Ghanaian , who I christen as the other side of Ghallyhood, may add salt to injury, most of their productions are either filled with ”obscenity”, what they call ”comedy” or an expression of mordern-day ”’monopoly of intentions”, what they call ”dynamism”. Lucidly, it has been very revealing how a very few are trying to bring and showcase the true definition of versatility to its barest bit of understanding with regard to the movie industry. Names wouldn’t do much, since those in question are quite notable, at least to those who relish the Ghanaian movie industry’s spectacle. In the midst of this assessment, which gradually but assuredly has lead to this article, I chanced upon subsequent but obvious traits which I think it is the criteria most directors/producers use in grooming and selecting casts for various roles in a movie; i.e what they look out for. I still stand to be corrected though. Arguably, to be able become an actor/actress nowadays, is but so simple; i.e being fair or light-skinned is a first guarantee, being able to find your way through today’s global English rhetoric, which I believe many a people do, but is immensely vexed with grammatical errors and quantified but falty diction.
Right before our very own eyes, we’ve witnessed many individuals who for no tangible reason or the other have starred and as a result risen to ”suicidal fame”, what they call a ”celebrity”. I point out this with no disregard to the fervent and apt personalities who are doing their very best to put this nation on the map. Once again, names will be of no importance, in a country where almost everyone knows the gurus and creme de la creme in the movie industry. So, what happened to the school of performing arts and NAFTI ? Are students who graduate from the aforementioned institutions apportioned to the theatres alone? It’s as perspicuous as ever, but a few may disagree that majority of the actors/actress in our movie industry, have no idea of the chronology through which this very art is defined, not literally but figuratively expounding. Applauds to the few, who believe that education further enhances talent, for their is excellence. A notable saying in Dutch reiterates that ”Talent alleen is geen garantie voor succes”, which literally translates into English as ”talent alone is no guarantee for success”.
It’s high time, the graduands of the aforementioned schools and their affiliates are fairly groomed and given the opportunity to proof an honest point to refute the critics and sound a caution but a remarkable trend to the ”act-at-all-cost” personalities. There’s no need to draw comparisons, since the evidence is clear for all to see.
To the few directors/producers, who are bent on giving the younger ones opportunities to catapult them to prominence, fare thee well. Although progress is being made, there’s much to be done. Within this observation, elaborating on the movie industry without highlighting the shortfalls of the other parts of the entertainment industry, which collectively ”connoisseurs” may render as ”Showbiz”, would be like an African map without Madagascar, conspicuously incomplete. Many are the channels through which the so called ”celebs” are made, for one to plunge to fame is as simple as never; firstly Accra must be your residence, next, it’s either you present a programme with a TV station or a radio station, most preferably an English-oriented station since others have been coloquially designated and labelled as being too local. It’s right before us, the masses/audience, who have been made to believe that Accra is the only answer.
In spite of it all, the most hilarious catalyst to rise to fame as a lady, is to date a ”notable” media personality within the auspices of Accra, who coincidentally augur well with the whims and caprices of the queen’s language, all too soon their birthdays will be a constant reminder on our screens, pin-pointing to venues where the celebrations are being held. To the demise of it all, you’ll then see many firms/organizations, pouring in finance to assist these programmes which within a very pragmatic context, is but futile. To the very few, who are real celebrities, doing their very best to light up our screens and set-up good examples for the younger generations. I say ”Ayekoo”. Your undertakings are well-cemented on our gumptions. Now I wouldnt be surprised, if that friend of mine, who within the Ghanaian context, is reasonably favoured to be of either Middle-eastern or European descent, who has no idea as to what acting entails, but eloquent enough to spell out ”floccinaucinihilipilification”, even in a hurry, who reiterates that she’ll blast into stardom with the next couple of years. Can I begrugde her, in a country where the criteria have been wrongly drawn? Your guess is as good as mine. So, what then happens to that brother of mine I met in Senior High School, who isn’t of a Middle-eastern or European origin, but he was the very best in literature class, who for this honour performed above reproach during our Literary Group (LG’s) nights and curently is in the school of performing arts? Is he guaranteed a place ?
Last not least, I do strongly believe in dynamism, i.e within a salient connotation and its epistle of its definition, but many are those who have exceeded their limits; when owners of renowned public places are made to host programmes; i.e red carpets and the likes. When we all know that they are naturally uncomfortable for such a jurisdiction, I tend to wonder. Names wouldn’t be of relevance; in a country where unbelievably partakers of a pageantry or a reality show end up as ”celebrities”, what I call ”suicidal prominence”. More must be done.
Until these debilitating channels are fairly controlled while the media houses remain astute to exhibit much professionalism, the demise of our creative industry wouldn’t be an issue of the past.
Within this surprising simpleton, I am maybe just a sooth-sayer, wording the thoughts and inclinations of the masses, of which all is but a part. Until then, we’ll forever be mistakenly replacing cinemas with theatres or vice-versa. To all who bore a sudden relish to this article, many are the concerns yet to be voiced. We should raise our words not our voices, just like nature, it’s rain that sustains flowers, not thunder. After reading this, just google ”Ghallyhood”, then select ”images”, you’ll know where we are heading.