28 May 2017

Ghana: Stop Mocking Kumawood

Popular Kumawood actor, Kwaku Manu has slammed those who look down on Kumawood and its actors just because the language of communication is a local dialect.

He believes such people should rather praise Kumawood for saving the country's movie industry from drowning in the influx of Nigerian movies at a time when the Ghanaian film industry was still struggling.

Although he admits some of the productions from Kumawood are substandard, the Am Love You actor says Kumawood has been holding the fort for the industry in the past 10 years.

Talking to Showbiz on Tuesday, Kwaku Manu said "The likes of Agya Koo and other senior actors worked very hard to reduce Nigeria dominance in the film sector in this country.

"These people set the trend and gradually won the confidence of Ghanaians to appreciate their own productions. Many years down the line, these 'saviours' of the industry are still belittled because they don't speak English. This really beats my imagination," he stated.

"In 2008, former President John Agyekum Kufuor honoured Agya Koo with a grand medal for his service to national development in the area of arts. Prez Kufuor should be applauded for recognising the efforts of Kumawood", he said.

According to Kwaku Manu, it is mind-boggling that at a time when countries such as Nigeria, South Africa among others are promoting and championing their local languages through movies, Ghanaians want to be more English than the English, therefore, branding Kumawood films as 'uncouthed'.

"I don't think speaking your mother tongue makes you an illiterate but it seems that has become the norm now.

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"Kumawood was able to dethrone Nigerian movies because we used Twi which is well understood by the majority. That's the bitter truth. The Akan language is virtually spoken and understood by most Ghanaians. So what is embarrassing about adopting it as our mode of communication in our movies?" he queried.

"Meanwhile, the latest trend is that TV stations are even dubbing foreign telenovelas in the Akan language because that's what the majority love, yet, these same people would not give the needed recognition to Kumawood. It's quite disappointing," he noted.

Kwaku Manu is of the view that if Kumawood is accorded the needed professional help and not treated with contempt, it would go a long way to win laurels for not just the Ghana movie industry but Ghana as whole.

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