Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Renowned Ghanaian Movie producer and director Socrates Safo has said that the recent influx of foreign content—movies and soap opera—on our local television stations, will cause an inevitable catastrophe if not attended to.

Speaking to Nii Ogbamey Tetteh, the controversial ‘Hot Fork’ producer admitted that currently “we are losing our identity us Ghanaians as a result of the increasing number of Mexican, Spanish and Latino telenovelas being shown on our TV stations”.

“It is just unfortunate that we have come to this point where we are seeing the decline in local production and it is very dangerous. This is a reflection of what the powers that be, who are supposed to think for the nation, are doing. It tells you that they are not thinking right in terms of the industry because when you leave the system for everybody to do what they want, a whole lot of things will be done,” Socrates said.

According to Socrates what was being aired on TV now is a form of infiltration of foreign culture which is gradually taking over the Ghanaian culture “and as a nation, when you lose your culture then it means you have lost your identity and it very dangerous.”

“These Telenovelas that we see on our screens were shot about five or six years ago. The producers have made their money already so it comes as cheap as sometimes $20 per episode. A lot of the stations don’t even pay for them; some even download them from the internet for free. So they don’t see why they should partner Ghanaian producers to come out with something that talks more about our culture,” he said.

He further urged the authorities to put in place laws that will ensure that majority of the content of these local TV stations were local based.

“We have so many television stations which is as a result of the fact that we have opened the airwaves but where is the regulation that is governing the airwaves?” he quizzed, adding that “there is no law governing the airwaves. All they did was to open a licensing department and they have regulations about licensing but there is no legislature for operation. Anyone who wants to dispute it should come out and give me that legislature.”

Ghana in the past produced some very educative and entertaining TV series including ‘Things we do Love’, ‘Ultimate Paradise’, ‘Inspector Bediako’, ‘Taxi Driver’ among others. But now it appears these Ghanaian productions have gone extinct.

“Now, it is economically suicidal for you as a Ghanaian producer to do a local television series because the TV stations are not ready to fund such projects. Also if you manage to get sponsors, some of them turn not to honour the contract you signed with them. Most of these stations are just selling their airtime and they are prepared to do whatever it takes including turning away local production for these foreign ones.”

Socrates Safo is currently putting together a new television series called ‘The Game’ which sources say will be telecast solely on UTV.

By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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