The word celebrity according to word web is “A widely known person” or “The state or quality of being widely honored and acclaimed”. The word “widely” is also defined as “To or over a great extent or range; far”. There have been several instances where Kwaku Manu, Akrobeto, Salinco and others complained about how people especially “the high class” or English-speaking actors look down upon them when they are at the same public event. According Kwaku Manu, he had tried chatting and mingling with some of these English-speaking actors and the responses he received were quite chilling — quoting him “As though those of us who act in Twi are second-rate”. It’s quite unfortunate when people look down on you as an actor just because you star in a Kumawood Movie — but what seems to be the reasons for this disparity? Do you guys remember the famous 4syte Tv Celebrity Bash which gave fans the opportunity to vote for their favorite celebrities to win a chance to be celebrated in the month of their birthdays? Can you guys recall and tell me how many Kumawood actors were selected and featured on the show to be voted for — if any. Aren’t they also celebrities who deserve to enjoy the same privileges as their colleagues in Accra?
Below are some reasons why we at EonlineGhana.Com believe to be the reasons why these Kumawood actors are not much appreciated by many
1. Some Ghanaians especially other so called glamour-type actors feel they are more educated than them and therefore makes them quite inferior to be labelled as “Celebrities”. They see Kumawood actors as illiterates with little or no education and therefore not their class.
2. Eventhough “Kumawood” movies as at now is the backbone of the Ghanaian movie industry, people still turn to look down on these actors because they feel their roles in such movies are not quite challenging. Anyone could play that role with absolute perfection if given the platform.
3. Others feel playing a role in your own local dialect or mother tongue is the easiest you can get. Most of these actors can improvise certain scenes with ease. Even though a number of Kumawood actors have argued that such roles are quite challenging, people still think their scripts are easy to act.
4. The substandard nature of the movies they produce make it difficult for people to respect their works and even them. It’s no news that a lot of Ghanaians look down on these Kumawood actors because of the substandard nature of the movies they act in or produce.
5. People take their humility to be their weakness. Most Kumawood actors are very approachable, down to earth and very interactive, and most often too friendly around fans. Like they say “if you play with a dog too much it licks your face”, therefore some people look down upon them.
6. Most Ghanaians don’t know how much some of these Kumawood actors are really worth. Some speculate that they are paid very low for the roles they play in movies. Like they say “Money is power” and if those watching you feel they are making more than what you earn per role then your intrinsic value is very low.
7. Their absence from social media limit their fan base. Like I said earlier, a celebrity is a person who is widely known and if you’re popular in one movie or two within your locality then I think your status as not being labelled as a celebrity is somehow justified. Most Kumawood actors don’t make use of the ever growing social media sites and therefore their absence causes people to disregard them as celebrities.
8. Some Ghanaians also have the notion that most Kumawood movies are based on improvising roles and not acting from scripts, they therefore tend to look down on them. Even with this notion, I can say that movie scripts as far as I know are written in English, therefore these Kumawood actors need to be applauded for translating those lines into the roles which you call “improvised” in their movies.
9. Some also feel that actors who only feature in low budget movies do not need to be classified as celebrities. They feel most Kumawood actors can only feature in low budget movies produced only in Ghana and never get roles to play outside these boundaries.
10. Others also feel that their acting skills and knowledge are those that can be used only home-based. Therefore, no Kumawood actor can cross boarders to Holywood or star in any other movie overseas. Simply put, they think Kumawood actors have no future in the movie industry as far as expanding it overseas is concerned!
With these reasons we hope that this great wall of disparity as to who or not deserve to be celebrated needs to be brought down to unite and sustain the movie industry which is currently hanging on a thin line.