Good Product. Bad thinking - Focus on a Ghanaian movie

If I were to ask this question – ‘What really defines taking African movie industry to the next level?’ I’m sure I would get so many answers that point in terms of quality; technological enhancements, camera shooting techniques, special effects among a host of other things that would add interesting output to any movie.

But do sex scenes in movies really define taking the industry to the next level?

I know some people will argue that it is but I beg to disagree. It is not the amount of sex in a movie that makes the movie a classic masterpiece.

Okay, before I digress, let me go straight to the reason for writing this. It has to do with a Ghanaian movie that was released sometime earlier this year; I’m talking of the movie ‘Kiss me if you can’ which starred Prince david Osei, Martha Ankormah and was written and directed by Kobi Rana.

I just got to watch the movie on video recently and was thinking of doing a review of it but out of curiosity decided to find out what people really said about it. From my findings I discovered a lot has been said about the movie. Before it was shown, a trailer came out on Youtube and what people saw was shocking – it had explicit sex scenes spliced all over it. This was surprising because it was very misleading; it gave the movie the image of it being ‘soft porn’ and instantly all over the internet people condemned it, it was reported that it would get banned in Ghana.

The trailer also failed to give any storyline or tease synopsis – which I believe is why a trailer is produced in the first place. Instead it was just scenes of sex, faces, people running here and there and action that says practically nothing. True, you need to sell your movie but do you have to sell the sex and forget the main content?

I say this because the actual story was quite interesting – it’s about two heartbroken people whose paths cross; the guy wants to be involved with the lady but she’s not interested. The guy would do anything to get her and goes through hell to try and win her love till his friend convinces him to go the ‘jazz’ route.

They get a love potion from a female shaman which requires that he makes sure his love interest eats the food laced with it. Unfortunately, it’s the lady’s brother that eats the food and all hell breaks loose because if lover boy neglects the person who took the potion, he would run mad and die.

Yet the trailer never gave any hint about this. Even the movie poster managed to echo the actual story with the haunting question: ‘What is the worst thing you could do to save your life?’

Then in my search I came across an interview session on of one of the film’s stars, Martha Ankormah and director, Kobbi Rana, who also wrote and starred in the movie. The interview was quite an expose in the sense that it revealed some things, especially Kobbi Rana’s mindset that explicit sex scenes was the next level in African movie making.


Here are excerpts from the interview. My reactions to the statements are in yellow.

The host asks a question concerning Martha’s role and about the movie and at a point she says this:

Martha: It’s a family movie. People think it’s rated 18 so people under 15 and 16 can’t watch but I can promise you, they can watch because it doesn’t have that much of sex scenes in there.

Hmm…but you had a trailer that’s saying otherwise? And the movie does have vivid sex scenes which won’t be palatable for family viewing. It even starts with a sex scene!

Host: Where are we going (the Ghana movie industry), which direction, where do we want to go with all this? It looks like we keep projecting…

Kobi: (cutting in) Actually it’s simple – Hollywood. Its about time, gone are the days we had clothes on the floor, we pan from the clothes to the bed where we have people having sex and the big blanket…come on, Ghana has come of age…

Come of age in what? Soft Porn? Is it the sex scene that shows that the industry has moved forward or rather gotten sleazy? Is it sex scenes that would make Hollywood check you out?

Host: How does it feel Martha, with your tongue in (the mouth of) a man you’re not going out with. I want to understand…

Martha: Okay…let me come…

Kobi: (Cutting them short before Martha could respond) I was naked with that girl.

O-k-a-y! Dude just confessed but he seemed so eager to do it!

Host: You were naked in that movie with your buttocks, I saw it!

LOL! @ the way he ephasized buttocks!

Kobi: It was acting. My character was naked with that girl in the sex act.


Martha: If you know what she…

Host: (his attention is caught by kobbie’s statement)

Kobi: With the ‘Kiss me if you can’, the sex scene with the Farida character, we were naked…and we were doing it.

Host: You didn’t have pant on, nothing.

Kobi: Nothing. As you saw in the trailer, on youtube right now, we were naked in that scene, we had the entire crew in the room; from make-up artiste, make-up girl to costume girl to camera person to lights man…

Errmm are we to give a standing ovation to that? WTH??

Host: Is it the right way to go if you want to …talk about best productions, if you want to say, we’ve come of age. Are those the signs…?

Kobi: …It’s about telling the story fearlessly…

Host: So you think that’s a direction?

Kobi: It’s a directorial concept. If we had done it with the blankets or with the boxer shorts on, the same audience would have said, ‘Ghanaians are too fake’…

Directorial concept? Gimme a break! Is that a concept or just being plain explicit?

Host: (facing camera) Definitely you’ll need to catch them at the National theatre if you can…because they are trying to tell us that this is where we (Ghollywood) are now...

LOL! I sensed some slight sarcasm there!

Later Kobi says towards the end of the interview…

Kobi: And the message (of the movie) is simple; no matter what your ambition is, don’t stop at nothing. Go for it.

Wrong! That’s not the message of the movie. Rather it’s simply this – ‘Stay away from Jazz. It will either ruin your life or kill you!’ Haba! No be you write am?

At this point I'd like to note that this is not the only Ghanaian movie that perpetuated the act of shooting and filling up it's trailer more with explicit sex scenes. There are others which I just won't mention out of the disdain for movie makers who delight in turning a good storyline into a soft porn fest.

On the whole the movie had a good storyline with fast paced action that kept you on the edge of your seat; like an online journal put it – ‘It is an amazing trio of comedy, thriller and tragedy’. Also the dialogues in the movie were well developed and matured in nature. It wasn’t therefore a surprise to me when I gathered that it took the writer 3 years to put it together. I guess it paid off.

Still, as far as I’m concerned, the movie would still have been real good if you removed the sex scenes!

13 Screamer(s):

Timi Walks!

I stood there in the Church Auditorium, my wife with my daughter, Timi, and Tony, a friend of the family standing next to me. The Bishop was about to close the service and he usually does that with prophetic utterances.

I never take this moment for granted. It s the moment of truth; a moment for the birth of a testimony, it’s the moment God’s touch would come at full potency to act on your faith.

The Bishop began proclaiming blessings upon the congregation then in a spirit-filled moment, he asked those who had come to the church with one ailment, sickness or the other to place their hands on the afflicted part of their body.

I looked my wife, her eyes met mine and she understood and she placed her hands on little Timi’s legs.

You see…my little girl was already a year old and three months and she had not started walking. She could hold onto things around the house and walk while doing that but the moment you made her stand on her own, her little legs would begin to tremble, and she would eventually sit on the floor and resume crawling on all fours.

We were concerned about this. Most especially because other babies who were even younger than her were already walking and running about.

You could see the determination in her little face – she had a strong mind of her own, just like me, her father. She wanted to walk, but she just couldn’t do it. And you could see in her actions that she desperately wanted to move those limbs about the house. She had gained weight as she grew and was becoming quite heavy to carry for a long time. It was time she started walking.

It was time we let go and let God.

As the Bishop began to cry out prophetically, I keyed faithfully into his utterances for me (I had a slight cold) and for my daughter. Our ‘Amen’ rang out loud with each prophetic pronouncement.

When the Bishop finished, the church went into a round singing praises and thanksgiving songs. People came out to testify of their instant healings. At that time it didn’t occur to us to check out God’s touch on us. We just thanked him for performing his wonder in our lives – you see, that’s the secret of total healing. When you show appreciation to God for what he has done, he will be delighted to do more.

Later at the family home we were all relaxed with my parents discussing about family issues when my wife called my attention to Timi who was trying to walk. We took her to the end of a long corridor and made her stand on her feet. Then I called to her. She smiled and took a step, then another, and another…then she walked the whole length of the corridor.

Everybody was ecstatic. My parents sang and danced with joy, wifey was jumping up and down in awe, Tony was just grinning like a banshee in wonder.

I whipped out my camera and filmed it.

Sorry I couldn’t upload the video. My internet was acting up so I just had to upload a snapshot from the video of her walk.

I’m so ever grateful to God for this miracle. I just can’t stop thinking of the whole scene.

I still remember her as the tiny baby of yesterday. Today I'm thankful she's become a bigger and healthy little girl, and also thankful that she can WALK!

Gosh...this is definitely fatherhood blues again.

16 Screamer(s):


Like I said in the earlier part, there's some wisdom in witty words...and sometimes stupid ones as the crazy definition I compiled over the internet continues!

A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river

A person who while falling from EIFFEL TOWER says in midway

A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, istead of the first letter in OPPORTUNITY

A banker provided by nature

A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead

The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present

One who shakes your hand before elections and your confidence later

A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you

A discussion that occurs when you're right, but the other just hasn't realized yet.

Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early

Extreme form of censorship.

A loud voice at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

Teenager who must behave like an adult so that the adults who are out can behave like teenagers.

A convenient deity invented by the ancients as an excuse for getting drunk.

Rear entrance to a cafeteria.

A person who lives poor so that he can die RICH!

A pharmacist with a limited inventory.

The power with which a woman charms a lover and terrifies a husband.

1) Someone who is fed up with people. 2) A guy who goes into a restaurant and orders the waiter.

Killing people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong.

A person employed on a newspaper whose business it is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to see that the chaff is printed.

Someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.

Man who murders his parents, and then pleads for mercy on the grounds that he is an orphan.

A person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.

Law student who marks his own examination papers.

Someone who helps himself because he can't help himself.

The habit of resting before you get tired.

That's about it.
I hope I didn't make you fall off your chair and embarrass yourself at work...or at home!

9 Screamer(s):