Hello LALI readers. Not too long ago, I was thinking about our beloved Ghana, and all the achievements we as her children can display like medals of honour. Afterall, was Ghana not the first sub-saharan african country to gain independence from the British Colony? And can we not boast about never having a civil war? And have we not welcomed great political and historical figures into our country such as Maya Angelou, James Baldwin and Barack Obama? The list of achievements is simply endless, and I could have sat there for hours on end, smugly ticking them off. It makes you proud doesn't it?
It seems we have so much to be happy about, yet we have allowed our film industry to evolve into a tatesless, cheap, over-sexed monster. Yes, I'm talking about you, Ghollywood! (Gosh, I hate that name!) I know most of the time art imitates life, and it's not as if I don't know that people don't have sex in Ghana. But I don't really need to see a campus babe performing fellatio on a randy sugar daddy to get the gist of a film. Once upon a time, our films were authentically known for being family friendly. Now, I'm finding the industry's shift to soft porn totally overwhelming. And the swear words too! The writers need to know that the word "fuck" does not sit well in a sentence of Ghana English at the best of times. I practically have to watch a film alone first before making the decision to watch it with others!
Personally I blame the Film Censors Board for not adequately giving the films their rightful age rating (or for allowing these films to be distributed at all!), the smarmy producers such as Abdul Salam Mumuni and Socrates Sarfo (Yeah. That's right.I said it!) And the desperate actors and actresses that are so willing to play in these degrading roles. (I think I will hold off from naming and shaming here. It could be someone's son/daughter!)
Let me not be unfair, there are a few writers/ producers who know how to deliver a great film. (You go Shirley Frimpong Manso and Leila Djansi!) And let me just throw in here that Life and Living It, written and directed by Shirley is one of my fave Ghana films)
Here are the top three films that go on Afrocentric's Ghollywood Wall of Shame.
1. The Heart of Men
2. Hot Fork (Even the name of this is just embarrassing)
3. Kiss Me If You Can
Can Ghana's film industry, please, for Heaven's sake, spare us the details? We don't need to see it. And can we please return to a time when our films were not cringe worthy and porntastic?