In Ghana, almost all the television stations have allotted a time on their various networks to telecast movies from Mondays through to Sundays during both day and night.
Aside the Western movies, most of the time, the television stations have a segment for “Africa Movies” which to my mind means movies that are produced in Africa or are made by Africans in Africa with mostly an African cast.
But from my observation of TV stations over the years, the kind of movies they screen during an “African Movies” time should not be tagged as such. I will say boldly that, that the “African Movies” tag is not suitable to most viewers.
The reason is simple! What do the stations mean by African movies, when in actual fact about 90 percent of the movies screened on their networks are Nigerian movies?
Nobody can dispute the fact that the Nigeria movie industry by far is the best on the African continent. Currently, everything shows that, they are the best and there is nothing wrong in the television stations showing such movies.
But does it mean that, television stations in Ghana should be projecting the Nigerian movie industry most of the time in Ghana’s backyard during an “African Movies” time?
What happened to sharing the slot among the vibrant movie making industries on the African continent? Perhaps, the Ghana industry is not doing something right. My problem really is not the fact that, they hardly show Ghanaian movies, I’m more confused about them not telecasting other movies apart from the Nigerian and few Ghanaian movies.
Just last week Thursday, Sadeeq Abdulai Abu, the Head of Own Productions/Executive Producer at Viasat1, a private television station in the country posted something quite intriguing on his Facebook page about the fact that, foreign, especially Nigerian movies are dominating the various television stations in the country.
According to him, he finds it very interesting and disturbing why from Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 9am to 1pm, television stations telecast to its viewers Nigerian movies and nothing else. Couldn’t the viewers have wanted something else apart from the Nigerian movies?
He posted: “Almost all the major TV channels at this time, including the one I work for are all showing Nigerian movies at this time and this happens Mondays to Fridays between 9am-1pm. Looks like something went wrong with our thinking or sense of pride.
“I need to find out from my research guy what makes all of us (TV channels) think Nigerian movies should be on-air at this time. Won’t the housewives, shopkeepers or those we think will be watching TV at this time be interested in something else than Nigerian movies or telenovellas?? The “Ghanaian-ess” in me is making me feel someway paa oh, lolz.”
According to a comment posted beneath the status, there is nothing wrong in showing Nigerian movies at the expense of the Ghanaian movies since it’s difficult to differentiate between a Nigerian movie and Ghanaian movie.
“What are we doing to promote the image of this country? It is even sad when you watch Ghanaian movies and they no longer portray what is Ghanaian.”
Another one also commented saying that, “How much of “true local content” is on TV? Where are the documentaries? The answer to questions like those above must be found first before some of us launch attacks at you. The business of doing things in this country by our generation leaves no room for patriotic exploits.”
Taking the above into consideration, then it is just right to say that, Ghanaian television owners or Programmes Directors or Managers at the various stations do not simply think outside the box.
According to the Viasat1’s Own Production Head, Programme and Content Executives at the various stations are not thinking outside the box. He said instead of thinking outside the box to bring out new strategies; they are blindly following a strategy that had worked for a particular channel.
It appears it is not only in Ghana that Nigerian movies have taken over their television screens. There were lots of such complaints from journalists and media personnel from other parts of Africa when I was in Mauritius for the MultiChoice Africa Content Extravaganza which was under the theme Only The Best which attracted over 50 television and music celebrities who appear on various DStv and GOtv channels.
What Ghana needs now is the passage of the Broadcasting Bill that proposes 70 percent of local content and 30 percent foreign content which is being pushed by the Communication Ministry into law.
For now, what is happening on our television screens are not something to be whatsoever proud of. Even if the Broadcasting Bill is passed into Law to ensure Ghanaian content gets more attention on television in Ghana, something has to be done right away because it’s not funny seeing all the television stations in Ghana showing Nigerian movies at the same time.
I don’t know about you but for me, I think everything is wrong with that and the earlier something is done about it the better. I’m not asking for a ban, what I’m asking is for stations to share the time slot for African movies well. We can’t be watching Nigerian movies all the time you know.
Let’s think outside the box.