The Ghana movie industry has gone through the mill and now we are gradually getting there. With big production houses starting off, now we have the actors and actresses themselves changing the phase of the industry.
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’.
Juliet Ibrahim also came in with her much-hyped and talked-about movie ‘My Number One Fan’, Zynell Zuh, Salma Mumin and Eddie Nartey have followed with ‘When Love Comes Around’ and ‘Could This Be Love?’.
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 flick, it is reported that Nollywood lover boy Jim Iyke was featured, while Eddie Nartey’s flick featured Twi actor Kwabena Nkansa, known as Lil Win; Confidence Haugen and good old Mikki Osei Berko.
Another Twi and English actor collaboration was ‘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!