Gone were the days when owners of Black and White television sets were demigods in their vicinity. Hitherto, most people come from afar to encamp at vantage areas and stay glare at the emitting rays from the TV sets, with all their protruding foreheads and eyes determined not to miss a sight of programmes telecasted on GTV.
Inspector Bediako, Taxi Driver, By the Fire Side, Cantata, Bob Santo and Nkommode’s Concert Party (key soap and Kristo asafo concert party) were the source of entertainment and inspiration for its viewers. No one can imagine the amount of values worth emulating the Ghanaian community folks gained from them.
A generation from nowhere arose who demeaned, blamed and classified their ancestral era as “barbaric”. These critics who we thought knew better rather ended up blindly copying the western cultures and neglected their own. The 21st Century Ghanaian embraces everything “white” as good in its own paradigm.
These days, our local television stations are polluted with telenovelas or better still soap operas like Rosalinda, Veera, Curse by the Sea, Abyss of Passion, Rafaela, Destiny of power, Juana the virgin, Marie Cruz(wild at heart), La gata, La patrona, Daniella, Unforgivable, What Life Took from Me, Shadows of the Past, Simply Maria, Kumkum Bahgya and many others.
As a result of Ghanaians love for telenovelas, indigenous movies are less patronised killing the industry as days go by. More importantly, these telenovelas are impacting and dictating the lives of those who patronise them.
Therefore, this piece will analyse the ugly side of telenovelas on relationships, morality and education in our Ghanaian socio-cultural setting.
Faithfulness in marriage is becoming less appreciated, couples are parting ways, relationships are breaking up while friendships are loosing its relevance as a result of non-flow of communication, deceit and lies copied from other cultures.
The real functions of the aforementioned has been replaced by telenovelas which are shown on daily basis by our television stations. Expectations of our ladies in relationships has risen to the highest level per the illusion and actions of the actors in such soap operas. Meanwhile, there’s a sharp contrast between movie scenes and the realities in practical life.
Our women are expecting their husbands to exhibit the same behaviour and attitude as portrayed by the opera actors. Married women skip their duties to catch glimpses of such telenovelas when they’re on repeat. Sadly, those who’re addicted to telenovelas do not have equal time to things that matter when the durations of such programmes coincide because they’ll always go for the later.
The devil is too smart, telenovelas have gotten transcribers who translates the original language into Twi which makes the majority of Ghanaians to appreciate and understand it better, even the village grandmother.
Nonetheless, every society is well developed by its cultural heritage and setting. Therefore, inculcating foreign culture which is alien to us will definitely do us more harm than good. The setting, costumes and expressions of telenovelas are entirely different from ours.
Although, certain aspects of our culture make provision for cups to be filled by virtue of the uncertain diaspora of life but when the human minds of those who are glued to these soap operas and cannot differentiate between fallacies and realities fall a victim to the tragedy.
I call it a “modern satanic civilization”. It’s in some of these telenovelas that we see married men and women cheating on their partners all in the name of love. Children below the age 16 who are not psychologically fit tends to watch men and women kissing, caressing, and using sexually abusive words in broad day light.
With this, what moral generation are we nurturing? They keep on saying; education is the key to success whereas the priorities of our children in schools are shifting to telenovelas.
The rate at which children of school-going-age has become so addicted to the watching of ‘telenovelas’ with less supervision from parents has become a major threat to Ghana’s quest to ensure quality standard of education at the basic and secondary schools.
Therefore, parents and guardians must regulate the manner at which their school going children watch telenovelas at the expense of their books. It’s absolutely wrong and irresponsible for parents to gleefully watch movies and telenovelas with their kids, instead of instructing them to revise their notes given by their teachers back in school.
Why do you take delight in watching telenovelas like “Kumkum Bahgya” with your children when you know they will not be asked questions about them in their final examination?
As kindergarten kids are being taught to memorise; all work and no play make jack a dull boy! I am not saying watching telenovelas is entirely bad, however, everything must be done in moderation.
Adu Sarpeah (Publicist @Ghbase.com)