What is happening to our Dagbani Movie Industry

By Rahamatu-Lahi Zakaria 

Movies can be used to end war, it can also be used to end youth unemployment while also improving the development in the community. Movies can also be used to preserve historical events in the society for future generation

In the late 90s and 2000s, music and movies in the northern region were developing at the same pace but currently as I write this, the music industry has far developed and gone far as compared to the movie industry.

This new development can be attributed to the mentalities that these two industries have. Northern music is all about worldwide domination while the northern movie is all about family consumption. Though the music industry is facing a lot of challenges, they are making effort to be heard at the national level.

We have great talented actors and actresses in the movie industry but the mentality of these individuals is what is delaying the progress and development of the industry. Almost three decades of production of movies and it is still the same strategies, thus to sell to family members.

Showbiz is nothing without promotion. Steurt Henderson Britt said ‘’ doing business without advertising is like winking at a woman in the dark, you know what you are doing but nobody else does.’’

The fact of the matter is that these producers do not see acting as business hence the lack of packaging, marketing and promoting.

It is time for local movie producers to see acting like a business that they can make money from and be gainfully employed.  They need to spread their wings in other to be known and patronized nationwide just like Kumawood. They feel comfortable in their comfort zone and so the promotion is done only on radio and now the two major stations in the region, NTV, and Sagani TV.

At this age, social media is free and it all depends on how you are able to leverage it. You go online to find articles on stars and there is nothing to find because they do not see the need to pay people to blog about them.

In the world of showbiz, language is never a barrier. As far as I can remember in the late 90s and early 2000s, my friends and I rushed home to watch the journey to the west without understanding the language.

Content is not a problem, it all boils downs to packaging and promotion. Most of these our glamourous movies that are produced in Accra do lack content, but it is the packaging that let people want to watch them and nothing less.

I have seen the recent development of premiering movies and I would like to applaud the new development but premiering and not involving media is useless. In this digital age, you should not do anything without involving the bloggers, because they are the link between you and the larger audience. I am not undermining the radios and TV. But TV and radio are just for the locality while the bloggers can reach a large audience who do not reside in the vicinity to get the chance to know about the industry and also serve as a reference point for the future generation.

It is so frustrating when you are doing research and go online to get information about northern Ghana movies and only to get disappointed because there are no stories about it. And this led me to ask myself the question, can I get Sari Gunko to watch again?

Are we preserving our movies? That will be another place to look at. We need to have an archive that tells future generation how we started and how far we have come as an industry and the way forward.

When you travel outside the northern region, you seize to see our movies. The only place you see our movies outside the region is a location that is occupied by northerners.

Travel outside the northern region and ask random people about the stars in our local movies and you will be surprised that, they will not be able to mention a name. But come up here and ask people who are the stars in Kumahood, and you will hear them mention the names like they are reading from a book. That is how low we have reduced our industry.

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