The World Needs (Ghanaian) Stories

Filmmaker Pascal Aka. Photo via

The short film form seems almost alien in Ghana where producers prefer standard runtime options, sometimes even stretching beyond bearable lengths. Ghallywood and Kumawood are fast becoming household references even though the names suck but hey, these movies abound in the market, on the streets and online. However lackluster in writing, acting and production quality, the films can not be easily dismissed due to a growing audience on the continent and in the diaspora. Of course there are a few exception depending on whose opinion you’re seeking.

I’m happy to tell you today, folks, that a storm – a really robust web storm – is brewing and I can only hope it results in a hurricane, the likes of which never before seen in the Ghanaian movie industry.

Oh right, I haven’t said anything yet. I actually don’t have to – see for yourself.

Ghanaians love a good laugh. I fear maybe too much, but while this film provides plenty humor, Thief also deals with serious issues, reminiscent of the FOKN BOIS’ music.

Think about life in Ghana right now and you have to laugh to keep from crying with ever increasing fuel prices, a struggling economy, a failing health system, gender based violence, and chale, the list goes on. Our very humanity is called into question at this moment. Somehow the filmmaker’s able to tackle all of these hot button issues, invoking a call for camaraderie in a very subtle, concise and almost inconspicuous manner in just seven minutes. Hats off to Ramesh Jai, CEO of Apex Advertising for such insightful writing and directing.

Then there’s this web gem also by Jai which features music artist, Deborah Vanessa.

And there are reports on TV that romance is absent from the lexicon of Ghanaian men, ha! Date hits the nail on the head by showing the awkwardness of first dates and the limits of self-control.

Also check out music video director Pascal Aka’s own shorts from about seven months ago. Banku Chronicles takes us on a returnee’s dangerous quest to fill his stomach and he’ll let no one get in his way. Ghanaian musician E.L. features in this video.

The world indeed needs stories. Even more so, Ghana can only benefit from developing full-fledged portrayals of what life is like and how we live, think and dream.

What better way to put ourselves out there than by telling more stories? It’s important to create our own stories no matter how short.

By Kadi Yao Tay

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