Instead of importing and showing more foreign telenovelas and Soaps on our television channels, why don’t the television stations go back for our old television series?
I feel ashamed to call myself a Ghanaian or an African child, each time I tune in on various television channels operating in Ghana and all I see are television series from Mexico, India, Brazil, Italy, Asia, Australia, France, USA, UK, and the like. The very television station that has disappointedly caught my attention for this piece is TV Africa; owned by one of Ghana’s Pan-Africanist Mr. Kwaw Ansah. TV Africa touts itself with the corporate catchphrase “Projecting African Values,” yet, you watch TV Africa lately and they’ve also started showingforeign television series.GTV, a television station set up by Ghanaians with all its associated expenses paid for by the same Ghanaians, shows these foreign telenovelas back and forth as though it was established for foreigners.
Are Program Managers of our various television stations implying that if they announce to the general public, asking them to submit well shot series for their channels, they can’t get quality series for their channels? Granted the new Ghanaian series are not intriguing, what about our old quality and fascinating series’ such as; Ultimate Paradise,Things We Do For Love, Dada Boat, Thursday Theatre, Inspector Bediako, Sun City, Taxi Driver, and others which does not readily comes in my mind. Some have even advocated for the bringing back of children television programs such as: By the Fire Side, Chechekule, Kokroko, Fun World, Teleclass, etc. onto our screens.
One interesting thing about watching these old series today is how we will get to compare and contrast the acting skills and personalities of our celebrities then and now. Some few months back when I watched Ultimate Paradise, I could not help laughing at Kwami Sefa Kayi whose neck now looks like a beam but looked like a giraffe’s neck in the 90s. I really had fun watching it. We need a flashback of who we were and are now; not foreigners on our screens who may not be that popular or relevant in their countries or continents.
The justification from management of the television stations could be that: “from our research, the public likes them that is why we show them and gets revenue from sponsors to run the station.” That alibi by management of the television stations is shallow and puerile! Fact is, Ghanaiansdid not mop up or took guns to any television station, threating them to show television series from Mexico or India. It is the television stations that gave the tasteand preference for watching foreign series against Ghanaian television series. In fact, as media people, we should always bear in mind that we set the pace or agenda for the public to follow and not the other way round! The television stations should know that they can always change the taste of the people to love what is Ghanaian.The most disappointing observation is that, it is the very Ghanaian companies which operate in Ghana that sponsors such foreign television series.We enrich foreigners (whites especially) against our own.
I have spoken to many production houses who have shot quality series but can’t get sponsorship. Their creative works are simply decaying on CDs. When they take their works to the television stations, it’s either they are given unfair business terms or avoided for poor work; yet some of their works are by far better than the foreign ones we are bombarded with. I will always quote South Africa’s celebrated musician Hugh Ramopolo Masakela each time I preach for Pan-Africanism for our creative art industry. He said: “with the fast rate at which Westernization is fruiting in Africa, someday, you will sit with your children in Africa (say Ghana) but they will look at you in the face and asked you; father, is it true we once lived in a place called Africa? What will you tell your children?”
Each time I meditate upon Hugh Masakela words, I get moistened eyes. What kind of human beings at all are we; who despise whatever is ours or our own? Is it God who created that inferiority complex into our genes?Oris it our folly and stupidness that makes us behave so? I feel sad as I pen down this piece. Management of our various television stations should go back for our old television series,or better still, announce to the general public to submit well shot ones; because quality productions are residing on people’s computers crying for viewership. Until then……MOTWUM!