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The Ghana Movie Industry and self-owned productions!

MOVIE productions in Ghana look like a lucrative venture now.  This is akin to what obtains  in Nigeria, where most of the actors and actresses are shifting into movie productions. Our Ghanaian movie stars are also doing same.

First was Selasie Ibrahim with ‘The CEO’, ‘Shackles’ and ‘Secret Burden’. Then came  Lydia Forson with ‘The Masqueraders’ and Yvonne Nelson with ‘Single and Married’  and ‘House of Gold’.

Van  Vicker followed  with ‘The Hands of Time’ and ‘Joni Waka’;  Yvonne Okoro with  ‘The Contract’;  Kafui Danku with ‘Letters to My Mother’ and Bibi Bright with ‘Lost in His Glory’.

Now Juliet Ibrahim is ready with her much-hyped and talked-about movie ‘My Number One Fan’,  and more will soon follow from the camps of  Zynell Zuh and Eddie Nartey who are  working on ‘When Love Comes Around’ and ‘Could This Be Love?’ respectively.

Lil Win and Majid Michel

Lil Win and Majid Michel

Cross-border collaborations

For most of these productions, the actors and actresses go to the extent of featuring actors based in Nigeria, South Africa and other countries beyond Ghana.  One other interesting twist is the introduction of popular comedians, musicians, their friends and siblings and now Big Brother housemates. One of my recent discoveries is the inclusion of some characters from the Kumawood industry.

Perhaps this development  is in response to the incessant pleas for English and Twi movie actors to work together or as a way of reaching the Twi audience in Ghana, who seem to enjoy more  of movies in the Agya Koo vein. In Zynell’s upcoming flick, it is reported that Nollywood lover  boy Jim Iyke is to be featured, while Eddie Nartey’s flick features Twi  actor Kwabena Nkansa, known as Lil Win; Confidence Haugen and good old Mikki Osei Berko.

This will be the first time that the ‘Golden Boy’ of  Ghanaian movies, Majid Michel,  will be acting alongside a Twi actor and the other characters aforementioned.  I am actually wondering how that will turn out and the medium they will be communicating in. My guess is that it will be a replica of the ‘Joni Waka’ saga by Van Vicker where Agya  Koo spoke Twi while Van portrayed the American boy.

Are the multiple roles necessary?

This advancement in the movie industry is a plus for these actors and actresses, but it is beginning to look like a competition, especially on the part of the females.  I wonder if their aim in shifting into movie production is either to prove a point or just to follow the crowd.  It beats me to see  actors and actresses turn producers and starring in their own movies. As one entertainment journalist friend of mine queried, ‘Is it a must for them to be in the movie as characters or is it that when they are not part, then  the movie will be incomplete?’   The picture is compounded when one considers the fact that  the actors are the directors as well as the producers of the same movie! How does that work? (I certainly would need some sound  education on this.)

On the other hand, I am tempted to ask the actors-turned-producers  if they ever wish to be considered for such roles by other producers. This is because if they are indeed producers, who would want to consider them for an acting role in a movie, or even a ‘waka pass’ one at that?

On the whole, these self-owned productions are  generating  lots of competition in the industry, fostering collaborations between our Ghanaian stars and movie stars from other countries.  A marketer tells me, ‘It is helping the sale of the movies in our neighbouring countries and, above all, attracting the Twi market’.

My wish  is that diligent work would be done in connection with  these productions so that there will be variety in plots.  I believe there are yet more stories to tell and more discoveries of ‘wanabe’s’ to be done!

By Eyra Doe

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