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19.04.2007 General News

Ghanaman blames academia

By Daily Guide

Top Ghanaian film star David Dontoh would not talk about the movie industry in Ghana without the mention of the rudiments of film.

In an interview in Accra, the star preferred to comment on our dying concert party and theatre system (performances on stage) instead of the major movie industry.

According to Mr. Dontoh also known as Ghanaman, concert party and theatre were very unique areas of film making which could be enhanced to add value to our arts.

This, he said, was an area where training actors, actresses, technical crews and many other players in the industry was appropriate.

Unfortunately today, he noted, the focus on it has virtually been ignored, and blamed it on the country's academia.

He said none of our universities had instituted an art form like concert party as a course on its academic calendar.

“As we speak now, the School of Performing Arts has been around since 1961, training actors and other people in theater, but they have never seen it necessary to do a course in concert party to improve it,” he stated.

He continued that concert party had been ignored on the grounds that it was not taken serious, and academicians had rather taken to foreign forms of arts.

Describing the situation as unfortunate, he said that should not have been the case as concert party was a peculiar art to Ghana.

In the whole of West Africa, he disclosed, “concert party was a preserve of Ghana, before making strides into Nigeria and Sierra Leone and Liberia.”

It encapsulated Ghana's culture, history, and moral values as well as other important things amidst the fun and economic gains it brought to the people, he said, and lamented, little had been done to project it.

He thus called on those in academia to help rebuild concert party by making it a course area in our schools of performing arts, explaining, it would chronicle our fascinating cultural values to the outside world, for them to come and learn it.

He cautioned that the copying of Western arts must stop since we cannot copy and overtake somebody's originally established arts.

On theater, he mentioned, our academia must devise a means of encouraging young professionals to go into theatre performances since it was a basic platform to be properly trained, and that we must focus on traditional theatre.

He concluded that a lot of actors and actresses we see today are only impersonators; they neither went through theater performances nor were trained professionals.

This, he observed, must stop, else it could cast a slur on the industry.

Source: Daily Guide

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