It is very pathetic how foreign contents are flooding our television screens today suppressing our local content. The situation has created avenue for our own local series and cultural programs to be swept under the carpet.
The multi million question that keeps flooding my mind is;
Does television stations in the US, Europe and North America devote enough airtime to discuss our music, local series or programs and that of our celebrities?
Well you and I have adequate answers to that question above.
These foreign contents are been given so much prominence to the extent that they have eventually collapsed most local shows and contents. Meanwhile, these are our very own which we must be concerned to project to see the light by making it attractive.
The screens of our various television stations are now loaded with various telenovelas which are projecting different foreign cultures. Our students and females especially have become too addicted and used to these telenovelas to the extent that they don’t even want to miss a glimpse of an episode.
Those whose televisions are not digital, have to walk to different neighbors to catch a view of the telenovela they so much desired. I once had an encounter with a lady who had to board a taxi to a different location all because of these telenovelas. Sadly for her, the car got involved in an accident and as at now she has not even recuperated fully from the injuries she got from the accident.
Nowadays, you set out from your house and see the youth following the negative dressing patterns they see in the foreign telenovelas. This phenomenon has eaten deep down into us that the decent way an African and Ghanaian person should look like is vanishing gradually, to some extent some of our youth have started calling themselves with the names of some of the characters in some of these telenovelas.
If we continue to feed our future leaders with this foreign contents which portrays foreign culture, then what are we teaching these young ones?
Robert Nesta Marley aka Bob Marley once said in his music that i quote “IF YOU KNOW YOUR ROOTS , HISTORY and CULTURE NO ONE CAN DECEIVE or LIE TO YOU” .
Some of young talented and underground musicians are trying very well with their high life and afro pop music but are finding it very difficult to get managers and producers to help them into limelight or the foreign world, some have been discouraged along the line by some family members, friends, sound engineers, producers and managers that they have thrown away that burning passion they once had to hold the microphone and entertain others. Most of this producers and managers claim they want foreign contents in the music the musicians they invest in do, honestly they have succeeded in diverting most of the versatile musicians into doing hip hop and RnB which is not the style or genre of music African or Ghanaians do. Thumbs up to musicians like Kwabena Kwabena, Bisa Kdei, K K Fosu, Becca, King Ayisoba who have stood their grounds to project the High Life and Afro Pop music respectively
Sadly, some television and radio stations take pride in playing foreign music on their stations freely without a penny. Meanwhile, young local talents who are struggling to hit stardom are being charged to pay before their videos or music can be played even with conditions.
So are we trying to give prominence to foreign contents than our very own?
It is about time to rise up against these acts that is causing damage to our entertainment industry. Also our musicians need to pump a little more money into their music videos if they want to match the outside world boot to boot, if they want their videos to hit the international screens like the MTV, Channel O and other international platforms since the new trend of music video requires maximum input.
It is going to be proper for our local artists to note that putting your videos on YouTube alone is not enough to get recognition from the outside world because it is not everyone who surf the internet to watch new videos, the musicians together with their managers and producers need to pay good promoters to push and promote their videos across the globe on every relevant screen and platform. Some great musicians in Nigeria and South Africa did same and you can testify the great endorsement deals and collaborations that are coming their way in their music career.
I will edge the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture and National Communication Authority to propose a bill to Parliament so the Media House in Ghana will respect the Prime Time in Ghana. The hours between 5pm to 10pm is meant to set for local Content. But during these time you see most television stations showing telenovelas
I will end this script by urging the owners of the various media houses in Ghana to do their part by controlling some of these things before things gets out of hand because no matter what we do we can never call the foreign contents our own since they never put into consideration our norms and culture. We can do better by reviving our entertainment industry the way we want it and can be proud to call it our own.
God bless our creative art personalities!
God bless our creative industry!!
God bless our homeland Ghana!!!
Columnist: Kwabena Danquah