Ghanaian actress Lydia Forson has been physically assaulted by a security man and in the video posted online, the outspoken actress is heard, shouting; “I know my right, I have the right to hold my phone and record what the fck I want to record, make calls, me too I make calls”
In a blog post made by the actress in explaining what had happened, she wrote that, she was on location to shoot a scene for a movie and while they were on set, a security man approached them ordering that they had not rights to be there to film. Lydia Forson stated that, they had the permit to use the location and all attempts by their director to calm the man down and explain things to him proved futile so their director decided that they should just leave but just before then, the man who’s a National Security official, started to verbally assault of her crew members and according to Lydia Forson, that pissed her off.
Portions of what happened from her blog, Lydiaforson.com reads:
I was psychically assaulted by a national security official ( or so he claimed).
I’ve heard the stories of the “boys boys” who’ve become oh so powerful because they’re on the pay roll of one “Big Man” (most times a politician in power).
They usually don’t have any real title and no specialities other than the endorsement from their “meal ticket”; but that’s enough to make them feel they can get away with just about anything, it’s enough for them to assault people at the flagstaff house, storm into a court room and assault a judge etc.
But I’ll be damn if I become just another statistic, a number they get to put into their little black book, belch over cheap bottles of beer and laugh about how they “shook her”.
See, I know my rights, and not only that, I’m not afraid to stand my ground.
This knowledge is the ONLY reason why I made it out today; it’s the only reason why only my arm hurts and not the rest of my body.
Filming in Ghana has its challenges especially when it comes to locations, but our determination is what leads us to make do with what we have.
Most filmmakers being aware of this usually try to get the right permits to avoid any confusion; but even at that we’re sometimes at the mercy of passers by, polices and others in authority.
Today we chose a spot often used in movie production( mostly by NAFTI students as it is by their hostel).
A few minutes into the shoot a car drives up and a man with a walkie talkie jumps out and tells us we’re not permitted to be there.
Our director insists that we are, he together with the crew try to reason with the man but he refuses and the director decides that we should just leave to avoid what seemed like a situation that was escalating.
I observed all of this from a distance and noticed the man was fixated on the female crew member who happened to be the one driving. As she turned to leave he started to verbally assault her, why? Because she had “dared” challenge his claim that we weren’t allowed there; he continued to hurl insults at her until I heard him say finally “ you think you are somebody”.
That triggered me.
It’s something I’ve heard more times than I can count, especially when it’s in a confrontation with a man. I’m either “ashawo”, “too known”, or an “unmarried small girl”.
It’s usually comes from a place of disdain, anger and genuine surprise that a woman, who they believe they’re superior to, would even “dare”, stand up to their authority.
I’ve had too many men say to me, “My wife would never speak to me like that”, which is true in most cases, because the patriarchy that exist in our society does give a lot of men this false sense of superiority.
And by his utterances I could tell things were about to get ugly, so I walked up to him and said he didn’t need to go that far, especially since we were already leaving.
He immediately turned on me, like a poked bear ready to devour its prey.
Now before I continue you should know we were just about 4 women there with about 10 men.
Men who were shouting, calling him out and insisting that he was in the wrong, even when one rushed up to his face he didn’t as much as raise a hand to them.
But the minute I stepped in, I wasn’t allowed into the “boys only zone”, I was an intruder and my presence alone was a threat to the size of his balls.
Without hesitation he turned on me and started making threats; I took out my phone and decided to record his actions but that only aggravated him because it meant I had the upper hand, it meant he couldn’t lie about what happened later.
He quickly lunged at me and tried to hit the phone out of my hand, in the process he punched my arm and continued to come for me.
Save for the crew, this man was ready to beat me to a pulp and he said as much.
When I told him he didn’t have the right to, he responded with a smirk on his face “I can beat you if I want, my authority gives me that right and no one can do anything about it”.
Yes, you read right.
But he wasn’t alone, a policeman was there with him and although he didn’t join in the attack did very little to the man.
He said he was only there to “observe” and not participate; when asked if his “observation” meant to watch a civilian being assaulted he asked for “proof” of assault.( he’s the one in the blue,clearly in the middle of it all)
When their supervisor showed up, much to the dismay of everyone there ( and there were several witnesses) the policeman said the officer didn’t verbally or physically assault any of us.
At that moment, watching as these men threw their weight about, I knew that this wasn’t about who was right or wrong, it wasn’t about the law it was all about POWER.
Today’s incident got me to reflect on two things; the never ending abuse women face and the abuse of power in this country.
Watch the video of the incident below: