Award-winning Ghanaian actor, Psalm Adjeteyfio, says the Ghanaian movie industry now has become foreign to Ghanaians.
In an interview with Showbiz last week, he stated that because Nigerian filmmakers and movies have become prominent in this country, Ghanaian sensibilities are gradually diminishing in Ghanaian films though this country has its own cultural values that must be portrayed in movies.
‘‘A number of the movies are directed by Nigerians. When you watch a lot of the local movies now, you see that fetish priests for example, are portrayed like the Nigerian fetish priests.
“This is because the actors are made to wear red beads and other accessories which do not exist in Ghanaian culture. Is that how the Okomfo Anokyes and others dressed in their days? Where are the Ghanaian values?”, he questioned.
He pointed out that it is sad to note that certain Ghanaian words like ‘onukpa’ (elder), ‘awotse’ or ‘agya’ (father)’ have been thrown away and replaced by the Nigerian word, ‘oga.’
“Some of our actresses speak some funny English in our movies and wield pistols which is also foreign to us. No wonder most of the armed robbers arrested these days are young people because they watch things foreign to us, ’’ he added.
According to Adjeteyfio, there are good filmmakers in Ghana, though they are few. To him, the Nigerian filmmakers have more resources to work with and that is why they have virtually taken over the industry here.
‘‘Ghanaian artistes travel to Nigeria to work and come back with good sums of money because the Nigerians pay better. The well resource Ghanaian movie makers don’t come for people like us because of the fees we demand. They prefer to blacklist us.
“A true filmmaker knows the value of a good actor and would negotiate a fair deal. The Nigerians can afford to come here and make us act like Nigerians. The true Ghanaian filmmaker cares about what values are projected through the screenplays about Ghana.”
Adjeteyfio’s view is that many Ghanaians who call themselves movie directors are simply businessmen who don’t mind casting young people as old folks so long as those young ones can say some lines and make some gestures.
“You see a man with grey hair but with shiny skin like that of a 30-year-old man. Such things result in poor movies. Directors even make the actors learn their lines on set, which is unethical, ’’ he added.
Adjeteyfio advised budding filmmakers to humble themselves and learn the ropes before stepping out to call shots on the film set.
“These days, people come proclaiming to be directors after some few weeks of training. Schools like the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI) and others have veteran actors and movie directors as teachers and those places are accessible to those who want to learn. People simply don’t want to learn and they have no excuse to make for that,” he concluded.
Psalm Adjeteyfio has featured in over 500 movies and productions including Who Killed Nancy, Shadows from the Past, Stab in the Dark, Tears of Womanhood, Adults Only among others.
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