...Sounds on da ground and seens on the see-ins
When I first heard about the 'Ka wo nan to so' movie, the first thing that came to my mind was Okomfour Kwaadee's song of the same name. It warmed my heart to think that the work of hiplife artistes was making its way into the film and movie industry. Once I got to Ghana and saw the many flyers and posters for Ghanaian movies, I had to watch 'Ka wo nan to so' to satisfy my curiosity. The soundtrack was not Kwaadee's 2006 hit and I discovered something else - Agya Koo. He's not exactly the one Praye sings about in their Agya Koo song either. Meet Kofi Adu, the guy leading the surge of Ghanaian films getting back on the market.
Agya Koo is a song from Praye's Nfitiase album about a man who owes people money but still seems to be enjoying life by wearing the latest jeans, etc. It's a funny song and talks about debt, trust, deceit, etc. This blog would discuss another Agya Koo, a popular actor in Ghana who could possibly play that same role in a movie (Eureka!). His real name is Kofi Adu, a one-time Keysoap concerty party stalwart who won comedian of the year after Nkomode and Bob Okalla had disappeared from the scene. He has resurfaced with a big bang as Miracle Films, AA Productions, Venus Films, etc are making movies month in month out (or more).
'Ka wo nan to so' is a movie about a girl who turns to prostitution to support her nuclear family and happens to be picked up by a devout Christian who dedicates his life to win her for Christ because he has been ordered to do so by God. The girl character is played by a beautiful young lady called Nadia Buari (daughter of MUSIGA president, Sidiku Buari) and this Christian character is played by David Dontoh. Agya Koo is the girl's father who supports his daughter to do prostitution since it puts food and more on the table. 'Ka wo nan to so' means you should put your leg on the other connotating you (girl) should sit well, not show your whole geography to the world, etc. The songs for the soundtrack were all made for the movie, which is good, except for the few American songs played in some long scenes where nothing much happens. Talking about 'Ka wo nan to so', does anyone know where Kwaadee is?
I was intrigued by the many movies that were out, saw a good number of them and brought some back to the US as souvenirs. Some include Matricki wo, Wo Nyame som mpo ni, Old school boys, Koti Academy, Asoreba, Otan ne Ahooyaa, Mummy's Daughter, Beyonce, etc. Yes, Ghanaians made a movie called Beyonce and another character in the film is called Ciara. Other popular actors include Koofori, Nana Ama MacBrown, Jackie Appiah, Abusuapanyin Judas, Kofi Adjorlolo, Omar Sherif Captan, Emmanuel Armah, Van Vicker, Kalsoum Sinare, Mavis Adjei, etc. Most of the movies are in Twi. From the examples of Tsotsi and Yesterday, I feel African movies in the languages people are most fluent in are better than say, those in English. Some of the Ghanaian movies had subtitles, which was exciting, but the spelling mistakes are glaring and very bad. I also feel that the language in the scripts is very rich so a lot of work must be done on the subtitles to celebrate the beauty and richness of our languages.
The acting in the movies is okay, but could be better. A lot of these roles are played by those who have been in Akan Dramas, Efie wuras or Concert parties, with no real tuition in acting. What happened to NAFTI? We need to churn out actors from such institutions to improve the quality of the movies. The settings for a lot of the movies are nothing special, local movies = local settings. The times of having one person be the main actor, director, executive producer, score person, props director must be done away with, too. I think the storylines need a lot of improvement to make them attractive to Ghanaians and the rest of the world. We haven't let go of the Part 1, part 2 phenomenon though. The joke around is that if the movie ends and 'To God be the glory' is not shown, then it means the movie has not ended. I'll like to see the industry (if it exists) make excellent movies that are not in parts. Just like Nigeria, we make movies with sequels already in mind. The picture and sound quality must also improve. Our music videos are making strides and our movies should follow suit. Maybe our film houses can partner with the likes of Phamous People, King Luu, Felix Dakat,Abraham Ohene Djan, and Q de Lust to make some good movies, and who knows, maybe some musicals.
I would also like to see the movie theatres revived (Rex Cinema, etc), so that this entertainment would not be limited to homes. When I was in Ghana in early 2006, Ghanaian movies had been sent into hiding by the Nigerian counterparts. The story is different now, and if we invest in promoting them, we may even trump Nollywood.