GHANAIAN ACTORS NEED RECOGNITION AND INSPIRATION
By Michael Akenoo
Acting is one of the most prestigious and respectable professions in Europe and America today! Acting is therefore a lucrative and attractive profession just like any other profession, be it law, medicine, engineering, accountancy etc.
In fact an actor enjoys great esteem and recognition in the U.S. and other advanced countries in the world. To support this assertion, it is significant to recall the reign of President Ronald Regan of the U. S. who had gone down in history as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents! President Ronald Regan was an actor by profession!
It is however, sad and unfortunate to observe that in Ghana the actor is looked down upon as a block head, a liability or failure in life. In Ghanaian situation therefore, an actor is held in low esteem and recognition.
It is against this background that the recent meeting between Mr. S .K. Boafo, the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, and the Actors and Film Producers Association should be appraised in the context of the impact that it will make on the image of the acting profession in the country.
At the meeting, the Minister expressed his appreciation for the contribution that Ghanaian actors have been making so far to move the country forward in development. The Minister observed the following among other things: “The Film industry in the country has a large market and it is one of the best means by which we as Ghanaians can sell ourselves to the outside world.”
The Minister’s action in meeting with the Film Actors and Producers Association will definitely boost the morale of our actors and film producers in the country, and consequently inspire them to be more committed to their calling as professionals. By being committed and working with much zeal, Ghanaian actors will improve upon their skills, and a result, raise the standard of acting in the country.
At the moment, it is significant to note that, Ghanaian actors are doing well, although there is more room for improvement. For the past eight years or so, there has been a considerable improvement on the acting scene in the country and Ghanaian actors can now be compared favorably with their Nigerian counterparts, which was not the case some years back. On the current film market, Ghanaian films are at par with Nigerian films, and there is keen competition now between the two countries in this respect.
It is an indisputable fact that Ghana is more richly endowed in acting and film production business than Nigeria; even though at the moment, it appears Nigeria is making more on the international scene of acting and film making.
This disparity which exists between the two countries is the result of three major factors which Ghana has failed to address as far as acting and film productions are concerned up to now.
The first major problem militating against the development of acting and film production in the country is the lack of huge investments.
The second is lack of respect and recognition for the acting profession and the third but not the least, is the lack of morale support or inspiration for actors in the country.
In order to make it possible for huge investments to be made in the acting profession and film production business as well as boosting the morale and image of actors in the country, I will appeal to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture to take the following actions:
- A national forum should be organized for all actors and teachers of acting in the country during which various shades of opinions that will be discussed on his subject will lead to the establishment of a national permanent committee which will work in close touch with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture. This committee should be autonomous and solely responsible for film production and the interest and welfare of actors in the country. The committee should become an advisory body to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture on all matters concerning the acting profession and film productions in the country.
- The committee should forward national journal on acting and also produce annual reports and recommendations on the state of acting in the country. The annual reports and recommendations should be submitted to the Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture for study and action. In short, the national committee should be tasked with the solving of the three major problems that are facing Ghana as far as the development of the acting professional film production and the country are concerned.
From all indications, it is clear that the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture is highly committed and has high vision for Ghanaian actors and film Makers. And for this reason the Minister should be assisted in every possible way to realize his lofty vision for the benefit of the country.
In my opinion, Ghana can achieve the best in acting and the film making arena to boost her economy if she will be able to solve the three major problems that have been identified in the foregoing. And this will depend to a large extent on the kind of planning and strategy like what I have suggested in this presentation.
It is highly necessary that Ghana should take steps to improve the image of her actors and the film industry so that she can make significant strides in her economic development. The Ministry of chieftaincy and Culture must demonstrate its capability of achieving this arduous national task in the interest of the country; for actors are indeed great national asserts and indispensable to any progressive country.
The Ghanaian Times page 11&14 Saturday, September 6, 2008