GHANA: WATCH THE VIOLENCE ON OUR SCREENS!
They have inundated our screens lately. The violence they communicate to viewers cannot be overemphasized. And yet, no one seems to bother.
Information communicated to Public Agenda from Nigeria suggests most movies that have found a place on our screens here have been barred from the screens of Nigeria.
But what do we see here in Ghana. Our Television stations show many of these movies without regard to the possible negative effects such movies will have on Ghanaian youth.
From mid morning to late night, every Ghanaian Television station, including the national broadcaster finds it conducive to show a violent Nigerian movie.
Some depict "contract-killing" and others depict witchcraft. Yet many more depict "pray for me." They usually come in series (part one, two, and three, etc.); and all of these negative tendencies are believed to be a cause of rising rate of crime in Ghana now.
Cast your mind back to the "contract-killing", the witches conference, armed robbery, and killing of policemen; suddenly Ghana has embraced these crimes.
As for the police, one Nigeria friend said of them: "in Naija we see them as the nothing people." She explained, we do not regard them because we do not see their use.
And believe me; this perception is gradually creeping into Ghanaians. On any day, walk the streets of Ghana and ask people about whether they respect the police.
So one will ask, why will people not kill a police man if they see people murder the keepers of peace in their favourite Nigerian movies all the time?
We cannot stop the producers, actors and all the people involved from acting those movies but we can stop these movies from reaching the masses if we do not show them on Television.
As for the actors, they are professionals and they would always act for the money, suggests Segun Arinze, a.k.a. "Black Arrow", one of the true Nollywood veterans. The trained actor recently opened up on the Nigerian movie industry and his 'bad boy' image.
How do you react to the general view that you always play the bad boy role in the movies you star in?
He replied, "That is a misconception. I am an actor first and foremost, a professional actor. I keep saying that when you cast someone in a movie as a devil, it does not mean that the person acting is the devil, neither is the person playing God. Somebody has to do the dirty job.
I am first and foremost an actor, primarily that's my major concern and I want to deliver, I want to see my self doing my job; whether you begin to look at me as a bad boy, that's your own business, it is your cup of tea. For me I have done my job and I have gotten paid and gone away. Check this out, all over the world, people who play the bad guys are the nicest people in reality and the guys that play the good guys are the meanest."
Asked whether he asks for these 'bad boy' roles, he replied negatively. "I don't ask for them, it's just the lack of initiative of producers and directors. They are very lazy. They don't want to explore and look for new talents."
He added that there are thousands of Segun Arinzes out there; there is a thousand RMDs, Ramsey Nouahs, Genevieves, Omotolas, and Desmond Elliots all over Nigeria that you can seek and get out but because they (producers and directors) are lazy, they want to stereotype you; they will say who can play bad boy? Get Segun Arinze; who can play wicked woman? Bring Patience Ozokwor; who can play good boy? Go and get RMD.
"It is crazy. They need to explore."
After inflicting these negative ideas on society what do actors and the movie industry give back to society?
Segun spoke for himself, "I do charity events once in a while. I also go on seminars to teach and to educate people, the younger ones especially. I tell them to keep to the straight and normal path."