No Records To Show For Our Dead Movie Stars

The year is turning out to be a heart-rending one, especially for the movie industry and the entire arts and creative sector in general – with so many eventualities.

The industry is still reeling over the demise of stalwarts like Nii Odoi Mensah, George Williams and Kofi Middleton-Mends, who have left a void that would take years of unassailable proficiency to fill.

Truth is, these legends contributed enormously to the growth of the industry and hit their prime many decades ago.

Most of their fine works were done in the 70s, 80s and 90s, albeit they still remained active in the later years.

Interestingly, there are so many young folks who gawk at persons who reminisce on the good old days of these great actors.

They have no inkling on what these actors achieved and quite disturbingly, there are no recordings of the remarkable works that were done by these people.

No identifier for our legends

As expected, when an accomplished person passes away, tributes and eulogies are heard but for the entertainer, it is always germane that, pictorial or video evidence of their works are exhibited.

I was gutted to realise how television stations failed to show anything in connection to the works of these fallen legends. If Genesis Chapter X was mentioned to be one of the movies that catapulted George Williams to critical acclaim, something on that material must be shown.

If Ultimate Paradise was mentioned as one of the TV Series that made Uncle George overly popular, show something on it!

It took some effort for some bloggers to even get hold of a commercial done by Kofi Middleton Mends to play as a material to remember him by.

That is pathetic, especially for a gentleman who excelled on all aspects of acting, from movies to theater to television drama.

Media not to blame

It is quite unfortunate to realise television stations flounder to provide videos or snippets of movies of dead actors when they deliver news on their demise for their news bulletin and when they discuss on their respective entertainment shows.

Elsewhere, when an entertainer dies, snippets or material of his works are shown when news of his/her death is being broadcast.

When it is discussed at talk shows, more material is shown to the audience – giving them evidence of what the entertainer did in his/her lifetime.

In Ghana, there is no material to show for these legendary actors when they die, so news anchors just mention their works and achievements as lousy as they are written in the scripts, depriving them of the well-deserved appreciation of their works by arts-loving young adults.

The 20 something year olds who never saw Ultimate Paradise, Genesis Chapter X or TV Theater or ‘Time With NAFTI’ - look confounded when the exploits of these legends are being talked-about.

If TV stations had the tapes, they would show them but unfortunately, they don’t! It will therefore be unfair to blame them for their inability to show such materials.

No records available

Keeping records of our best-selling movies, television drama and anything related to the arts is beyond abysmal.

They are now non-existent.

The best productions done over the years have all been lost.

A few years ago, the then Ghana Broadcasting Corporation used to show old movies, especially during Christmas, courtesy of materials provided by the Ghana Films.

One cannot tell where all the archives are: whether lost, destroyed or sold! The reports from persons who seem to have an idea of the situation are always conflicting.

Reality check

With almost all archives of epic productions lost, the reality is that, it will be torrid to have re-runs of some of the famous television dramas that were ever produced.

It would also be difficult to have anything to show these young folks with regards to the beautiful works that were done by these legendary filmmakers and actors.

Most-importantly, film and acting students have virtually nothing as reference materials for the great works that were produced decades ago that set the standards and paved the way. Our history is totally lost!