Actors, producers and directors in Kumasi are planning a demonstration against the influx of telenovelas onto local television stations.
In a petition addressed to Otumfuo Osei Tutu II outlining their plans, the movie industry players say the influx of these foreign language soaps translated into twi is not only inhibiting the growth of the local movie industry but is also eroding Akan culture and implanting foreign ones on it.
The demonstration is slated for the 31st of August through the streets of Kumasi, with the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG) at the forefront of its organization.
There has been a running war between local movie producers and the influx of foreign soaps translated into twi which have become immensely popular, with the Ghanaian producers arguing it hampers their industry.
Recently, FIPAG announced it is in talks with government to limit the broadcasting of such soaps to just twice a week.
Read petition below….
“HIS ROYAL MAJESTY,
OTUMFUO OSEI TUTU II,
THE ROYAL HEAD OF THE ASHANTI KINGDOM
HIS ROYAL MAJESTY
PETITION TO STAGE A STREET DEMONSTRATION – Ref: The Influx of Telenovela Programs on our TV Screens
The National Executive of FIPAG would like to stage a public protest in Kumasi on the ………. Day of ……….. 2017. This move is to appeal and prevail on His Royal Majesty, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II about the current incessant influx of diverse telenovela programs on our national screens which indent on the progress of the Local Movie Industry of the Nation as well as having bad repercussions on the Akan culture.
The planned demonstration is scheduled to take place as per the above stated date, at ………….am/pm from the …………………… street to ………………….where ourfinal petition would be presented by the Group President/Secretary.
We humbly submit this petition to His Majesty and a subsequent notice be served to the Regional Commander of Police in compliance with the Public Order Act 1994 (ACT 491) Section 1 of Ghana that makes it mandatory for everyone or group or organization who wishes inter-alia to stage any Special Public Event to notify the Police 5 days before the said Special Event.
The concerns of your royal subjects that have induced this envisaged demonstration are as per the details below mentioned;
1 Telenovela Programs on our TV screens are being deciphered into Akan Language of which Twi is the major one used. These programs interpreted into Twi are destroying the fibre of the Akan Language Culture. Language communicates through culture and culture also communicates through language: Michael Silverstein proposed that the communicative force of culture works not only in representing aspects of reality, but also in connecting one context with another. That is, communication is not only the use of symbols that “stand for” beliefs, feelings, identities, or events, it is also a way of bringing beliefs, feelings, and identities into the present context. They emanate from foreign lands with utterly opposite cultural dispensation and settings, which aren’t part of ours. For example “public s*xual acts and plays; kissing and fondling with the opposite s*x” are no part of our culture as a people. The telenovela programs which are shown at the times when kids and school children are home are having very bad ramifications on the cultural values and norms of our new generation. We vehemently believe that if nothing or no measure is done to mitigate the rights of these foreign folktales, drama and love series to use our native languages to sell their contents to the on –the-screen viewers, then few years to come, no cultural setting and Kingdom in Ghana can boast of its unique culture imbibed in the richness of our local languages.
2 Telenovela Programs on our screens have negatively impacted on the local movie industry which has a very serious upshot on the economics of the Nation. Since their programs are interpreted into Twi and other local languages, they have served as a perfect replacement to the Ghanaian local movies within the movie market. Gone are the days when you can see an old “uneducated” person of Ghana watching foreign movies notwithstanding the degree of comic in them. However, it’s not so presently, since anybody at all (kids, young, adult and oldies) can give you a brief summary of all the telenovela programs they have watched over the years. They are using to power of our indigenous languages to sell their culture and intellectual properties to our nation as we look unconcerned whiles our own local movie industry that has entertained the entire country for some years back are being left to go down the drain. The local movie industry has over 500 film producers and each film’s production needs at least 60 casts to have it done. Meaning the industry gives employment to at least 30,000 people, not considering the food, stationary and other inputs we buy. Telenovela programs shown in our local languages on our TV screen has contributed to the spate of unemployment in the country.
The above two concerns are very eminent that need swift mitigations and interventions to save our rich culture which is deep seated in our Akan (Twi) language. Culture is a fuzzy set of attitudes, beliefs, behavioral conventions, basic assumptions, and values that are shared by a group of people and that influence each member’s behavior and each member’s interpretations of the meanings of other people’s behavior. And language is the medium for expressing and embodying other phenomena. It expresses the values, beliefs and meanings which members of a given society share by virtue of their socialization into it. Language also refers to objects peculiar to a given culture, as evidenced by proper names which embody those objects. Byran posited that “a loaf of bread” evokes a specific culture of objects in British usage unless a conscious effort is made to empty it of that reference and introduce a new one.
Language is culture and culture is language. Language and culture have a complex, homologous relationship. Language is complexly intertwined with culture (they have evolved together, influencing one another in the process, ultimately shaping what it means to be human). In this context, A.L.Krober (1923) said, “culture, then, began when speech was present, and from then on, the enrichment of either means the further development of the other.”
So, we can conclude that language is a part of culture, and through it, we can express cultural beliefs and values, and that the specific usages of a given word are peculiar to a language and its relationship with culture. And these Telenovelas when transcribed into our local content language flouts and go beyond the boundaries of our Akan Language usage.
We therefore humbly beseech the Royal Majestic Throne of the Ashanti Kingdom to help us channel these two major concerns of FIPAG to the concerned authorities of the nation so that the necessary mitigation actions are taken to avert the dire consequences of their impact.
We remain thankful to any assistance that your outfit could deliver to us by making this our envisaged peaceful protest, as pacific as we thought it to be.