A legion of Ghanaian actors, often branded as ‘English actors’ are joining the so-called ‘Kumawood’ industry and some hell is breaking loose already.
The news of Juliet Ibrahim, Prince Dave Osei and some others going to Kumasi to shoot movies have been met with mixed, no, frosty reaction from some major stakeholders within the ‘Kumawood’ fraternity.
The frigid welcome given to such ‘English’ actors to ‘Kumawood’ is quite understandable because, these actors who star in the English-oriented movies have been accused incessantly by their counterparts in ‘Kumawood’ of always looking down on them.
They have even claimed that whenever there’s an event that involves all Ghanaian actors, the ‘English actors’ debase them, and intentionally stay away from their company.
Interestingly, when things seem tough in the film industry, it is Kumawood that is helping these same ‘English’ actors stay afloat.
Kumawood looks like a Saviour
In the last couple of years, the Ghanaian film industry has faced challenges – issues of economic hardship, power-related problems, low sales, poor distribution and lack of interest by patrons.
However, the sector that has faced the biggest wrath of industry challenges is the ‘English-oriented’ sector, what they call ‘Glamour films’.
Many producers/directors in that sector are now into television, others are into other ventures while the actors are either redundant, doing theater or garnering prominence on Instagram.
In the midst of the spiral run of the industry, Kumawood still survives, producing movies, selling good units and providing impressive revenue and providing a platform for these actors.
It therefore comes as little surprise that the ‘Glamour’ actors are now finding solace in Kumawood. They no more feel shy to associate themselves with Kumawood actors and they do not frown on their photos appearing on Kumawood movie posters.
In fact, to them, there’s nothing like Kumawood and ‘Glamour’; they are now acting to survive and stay relevant.
Phenomenon Not a New Thing
Contrary to what the critics think and say about the sudden exodus of ‘Glamour’ actors to Kumawood – this is not the first time they are taking center-stage in that film sector.
Over a decade ago, Jackie Appiah, Van Vicker and Nadia Buari, during their prime, starred alongside Agya Koo in the ‘Kumawood’ movies, ‘Ka Wo Nai to So’ and ‘American Boy’ respectively.
In fact, in the last five years, one of the highly-revered actors, Van Vicker, has produced and starred in more ‘Kumawood’ movies than the English-oriented ones, both home and abroad.
The infiltration of the likes of Prince Dave and Juliet Ibrahim is an attestation of how better Kumawood has been over the years in terms of following and patronage; and how resilient it is has been with regards to surmounting economic and industry challenges.
Some ‘Glamour’ actors are said to have even relocated to Kumasi to get close to getting roles and others are said to have the contacts of directors and producers on speed dial.
‘Glamour’ Actors Must Project Kumawood on Social Media Too
There’s no doubt that most of these ‘Glamour’ actors are active on social media, where they get to tell the whole world what they are doing at what particular time.
They also use that platform to promote whatever projects they are into, especially movies; however, the same enthusiasm some of these guys use to promote films they starred in which were produced by Nigerians or Ghanaian ‘Glamour’ directors/producers – is not the same for Kumawood.
It seems they feel someway pushing and promoting Kumawood movies with poise, vim and alacrity like they do the others.
If you are gracious enough to accept roles in Kumawood, then you should be bold enough to help push it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Common sense says that, once you help promote Kumawood, it sells more, that industry flourishes, the production houses generating more revenue and more roles would be made available for actors.
Improvement on Quality
Kumawood may be on the pedestal in terms of market, but, there’s no denying the fact that, it lacks quality, something that could be rectified if it opens its doors to the ‘English’ actors, directors and other technical experts.
The reasoning for these ‘Accra-based’ actors’ rejection of Kumawood in the past has been the sub-standard production churned out from that side of the industry.
Allowing them to join would see them bring along that quality or insist on ensuring that such productions are of high quality.
Once we are able to work on the quality of production, the packaging of the movies for the market as well as the distribution mechanism, the industry would soar to higher heights.
Such a move would be beneficial for every stakeholder and patron of Ghanaian movies; we’d have actors on all divides starring in quality movies together and the unity of the fraternity will be strengthened.
Arnold Asamoah-Baido, www.entertainmentgh.com