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Recent Ghanaian Movies: Signifiers of Surging Inferiority

Sat, 30 Oct 2010 Source: Mensema, Akadu N.

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

I. HOLLYWUDIZING LOCAL MOVIES

Recent generic Ghanaian movies

Happily pontificate Hollywood

Non-African cultures

Of celebrating violence

Of brutalizing women

Of prescribing gun-toting heroism

Of depraved sex/sexuality

Of dignifying drugs, alcohol

Of promoting gangsterisms

Of foreign weddings

Of foreign modes of greetings

Of imitation of foreign accents

Of slanging! Gurl, gurl [girl]

II. SCRIPTING THE NEOCOLOY

Ghanaian movies scream it all

Oh! Inferiorized Ghanaians

Oh! Neocolonized Ghanaians

Oh! Benighted Ghanaians

Oh! Enslaved Ghanaians

Ghanaians without roots

Ghanaians accept anyone

Anything non-Ghanaian

Anything except our own

Ghanaian movies are a mirror

Our jaded mirror of hopelessness

Of our dearth of inventiveness

Copy, copy copy oh, oh

Of always imitating others

Those who deride us

Those who neocolonize us

Those who disempower us

Those who otherize us

Those who misrepresent us

Those who ghettoized us

Oh! Inferiorized Ghanaians

III. LIGHT-SKIN SYNDROME

When film-makers parade stars

They parade light-skin stars

Biracial is the choice

Light-skin tones are the norm

Bleached skin tones

Contradictory skin tones

Bleached forehead area

Opposing unbleached ears

Light-skin is akin to heroism

Dark-skin is akin to villainy

Light-skin is upper-class

Dark-skin is lower-class

Light-skin offers advantages

Dark-skin offers disadvantages

IV. WESTERN NAMES

Film stars wear Western names

Strange lackluster names

Their badges of honor

As a badge of Westernization

As a badge of education

As a badge of social class

Westerners don’t use our names

Don’t know our names

Don’t care about our names

Oh! Ghanaians! Lost Ghanaians

In the crucible of neocolonialism

In one Ghanaian movie

These strange names abound

Not a single “African” name

Not a single Ghanaian name

All these slave names:

CLARA, TRISHA, SIMON

PATRICK, JAMES, PAUL

THEODORA, BOND

SILAS, VERA, SYLVIA, ROSE

EDWIN, ANN,VALENTINE

Where did local names go

Amma, Memuna

Afi, Adzo, Yaa, Yawa

Kofi, Kwasi, Yao,

Oh! Inferiorized Ghanaians

Oh! Neocolonized Ghanaians

Even in our postcolony

We adore Westernisms

We now adore Chinanisms

V. FASHION

So they wear dog chains

Big crucifying chains

Chains of imitation

Gangster-rap chains

Chains of enslavement

So we wear wigs

Our women adorned

Manufactured hair pieces

Pig, sheep, dog, goat hair

Blonde hair, brunette hair

Our local hairstyles are gone

Oh! Ghanaians! Inferiorized

VI. EPILOGUE

Oh! Ghanaians Africans

Oh! Neocolonized Ghanaians

Oh! Benighted Ghanaians

Oh! Enslaved Ghanaians

Time to be proud as Ghanaians

Time to stop imitating others

Time to showcase our cultures

Champion our rich cultures

Our vibrant rich cultures

Let us come into our own

Let us pioneer our own sun

*Akadu N. Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained

oral historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in

Pennsylvania with her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college

in Maryland. In her pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist

hyperbolic, satirical” poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.