The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Joseph Osei Owusu is unhappy, to say the least, about the influx of foreign content, saying he finds it offensive the decision by television stations to telecast telenovela.
The lawyer and Member of Parliament for Bekwai made this remark during the vetting of Deputy Minister-designate of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey on June 15.
Osei Owusu could not fathom why there are institutions that could ensure that local content are shown on local channels, nonetheless, little or no efforts have been made in that regard.
He said: “It’s very interesting. I’m not very much of a television person. I hardly watch, apart from news. But anytime I go home from work, what I see is something that is not familiar to me, it’s not Ghanaian even though they are purporting to show it in Ghanaian languages. I find it very offensive so I go straight to stay in my bedroom.
“You have the Media Commission but it is growing. It’s not limited to one television station; it appears to be the order of the day… What happened to the local series? Why have we lost those content on our television?”
In response, Mr. Okraku-Mantey said one of the solutions to the challenge is producing compelling content.
“I remember a few weeks ago when Dr. Awal came here, he mentioned he was going to set up a studio that was going to take care of our film and music industry. We must be ready to compete as a country as well because even if the people of Ghana do not consume via television, they’ll consume via phone because of online activities so we must be ready to shoot films that are exportable, that we can also consume based on our culture.
“At the moment, we are not able to compete because of standards. That is why I support Dr. Awal in the studio that he wants to build…,” Okraku-Mantey said.
Meanwhile, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has said telenovelas are not only corrupting women to the point their husbands no longer recognize them but destroying the country’s culture too.
“The telenovelas of today on our television sets are figments of imaginations, from the cultures they originated from which have developed into storylines. Very often they have no bearings on our culture.
“These become storylines that captivate us to the extent that we are not prepared to miss one episode…my concern here today is about the content and the lessons we pick from them. It is about the content and its impact on us.
“These days I have been talking to a lot of women to stop watching those telenovelas because they are corrupting them to the extent that their husbands may no longer know them,” he said at the launch of a book of former First Deputy Speaker Ken Dzirasah.