Monday, October 13, 2014

AWARD WINNING movie producer Shirley Frimpong-Manso has told the world she hopes to use the stories in her movie  to change the role of women in Ghana and in Africa at large.

“I feel very responsible, I do. Nobody in particular gave me that responsibility. I just felt I needed to do my part, especially when it comes to young women in Ghana. I think I have come across a number of young women that have a lot more potential than they have been made to think and it makes me extremely sad. And I like to use my stories to change that perception and let the young Ghanaian woman understand that there is a lot more than, perhaps, just going to school and getting married and just settling,” Shirley told CNN’s Sori Methu during an interview for the station’s Inside Africa.

The interview, recently aired to a global audience, was on Shirley Frimpong-Manso rewriting the future of women in Ghanaian films, with particular reference to her new production, V- Republic, which focuses on four women and the complexities of their relationships.

The 37-year-old Ghanaian movie producer is one of the few from the country who have earned international recognition, respect and acceptance in the movie industry.

Shirley, a working mother and inspiration to many women, told CNN what inspires her advocacy for women issues:

“I have been a strong advocate for women and women issues. I think this has been because, growing up, I mostly spent time with my mother and my sister so we were like the Three Musketeers sort of thing; and I sort of got to see the kind of things that my mom went through as a woman who was trying to work and still be able to take care of two girls. I guess that was where it all started.”

“Where in the past, it used to be the father who was making all the decisions on where the child is supposed to go to school or what classes they are supposed to take during vacation. When I take my son to school in the mornings, I see a lot more women who are actually on their way to work and are dropping their children and stuffs like that,” Shirley added.

Also captured in the CNN interview was award winning actress and TV host Joselyn Dumas, who has played leading roles in several of Shirley’s productions.

Joselyn spoke about her working relationship with Shirley: “we did not see that many female producers and directors until she came on and she pushed the boundaries. She tells the stories really well and she tells them tastefully. Even if there is a love making scene or some scene that is a bit uncomfortable, Shirley has a way of handling it and it does not even look too bad and it is tastefully done. I can see that a lot of people are following in her steps because most women are quiet shy and they hold back where pushing the boundaries are concerned.”

Shirley Fimpong-Manso happens to be the first female voice on private radio broadcasting in Ghana, a former model, a former organiser of the Miss Ghana Beauty Pageant, and the one taking credit for some of Ghana’s best movies ; Life and Living It, Scorned, Perfect Picture, A Sting In A Tale, Checkmate, 6 hours To Christmas, Adams Apple, Contract, Potomanto and recently addedDevil In The Detail.

By Halifax Ansah-Addo (Twitter: @HalifaxAnsahAdd)

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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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