We choose which situations suit us at a particular time and behave as saintly creatures when we share opposing views to things we detest. Most of the Kumawood actors who demonstrated against the influx of telenovellas on Ghanaian television are hypocrites.
It is true that we are having too many telenovellas on Ghanaian television at the expense of our movies. It is true that most Ghanaian movie producers are not able to do a lot of productions of late because of the recent hiccups of the film industry.
It started with the English-language movies; they suddenly atrophied and got virtually missing on the scene. Now the Kumawood ‘industry’, which has the biggest market and was doing very well even when their English counterparts were down, is also saying telenovellas dubbed into Twi are taking people’s attention from them.
The Petition to Otumfuo
On Thursday, 14th September, 2017, some movie makers in Kumasi embarked on a demonstration against the proliferation of telenovellas in Ghana.
They ended their demonstration with a petition to the Asantehene Otomfuo Osei Tutu II.
They were concerned about the fact that the telenovellas are dubbed in the Twi language. According to them, a foreigner ‘speaking’ Twi has the propensity to corrupt0 the Ghanaian culture. How?
I agree with the fact that these telenovellas are becoming too many on our screens but the Twi-dubbing argument does not make a whit of sense. It is positive for an Indian to ‘speak’ Twi in an Indian movie than to speak an Indian language. It tells the ‘ignorant’ film watcher that “someone from another country can speak my language, so I should also be proud of it”
Did they exhaust all avenues?
I find their petition to Otumfuo quite problematic. They have explained that Otumfuo is a custodian of Ashanti culture, hence they wanted him to add his voice to the matter but I believe they could have petitioned the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Creative Arts Council too or the National Commission on Culture.
I wonder if the petition to Otumfuo will yield any positive results. Nana has appointed a team to meet the leadership of the Film Produces Association of Ghana but I am quite pessimistic about the outcome.
They also mentioned the passage of the Broadcasting Law. I think that is a good call. In fact, stakeholders of the industry have trumpeted this call for a long time and it is hoped that when passed, there will be strict regulation of the amount of foreign content that must appear on radio and television. If that 70% local content as against 30% foreign content should work, we may be making headway.
It is also hoped that the Legal Instrument for the Film Act will also be put in place to ‘operationalise’ it.
…but these actors are being hypocritical
I have personally seen a lot of actors on Kumkum Bhagya before. They go there to discuss episodes and scenes of the movie. Nana Ama McBrown has been there before. Lilwin, Emelia Brobbey, Yaw Dabo, John Dumelo, Majid Michel and lot of Ghanaian actors have been on that show.
I agree that sometimes some of these actors are put on ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ show on Adom TV to plug their events because that is their flagship programme for the station but if they truly resent telenovellas as they portrayed in their demonstration, they would not accept to be on, let alone join the discussions.
Consistency is key in advancing causes like this. You can’t go sit on ‘Kumkum Bhagya,’ advertise your programme on it, discuss the movie like you wrote the story and later come tell us that “yɛɛgye y’adeɛ.”