All Ghanaians made contributions in making us attain independence from our colonial masters – the British on 6th March, 1957; making Ghana the first country in Sub-Sahara Africa to gain independence. Nonetheless, one man whose charisma, vision, directions, sapience and promises won over the populace to achieve such a noble feat was Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah. Though he had his weaknesses just like any human being, Kwame Nkrumah, undoubtedly, is the best President Ghana has ever had.
Kwame Nkrumah ranks on the same leadership stratum with a man like Nelson Madiba Mandela of modern day South Africa. In fact, Kwame Nkrumah was adjudged the African of the millennium some few years ago. Aside that, Kwame Nkrumah has been celebrated in many other ways and forms but one form which has not been explored is a full feature movie about him. His compeer Nelson Mandela is not only celebrated with songs, publications, herms, etc, but also, with a biopic.
In the year 2009, a movie was produced about Nelson Mandela titled Invictus – written by Anthony Peckham (screenplay), John Carlin (book) and directed by Clint Eastwood, with Morgan Freeman playing Mandela. The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country. The film was met with positive critical reviews and earned Academy Award nominations for Morgan Freeman (Best Actor) as well as other reputed movie awards.
Another movie shot about Nelson Mandela is called Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; with multiple Academy Award winning actor Idris Elba act as Nelson Mandela. It was directed by Justin Chadwick. The story highlights Mandela’s early life, coming of age, education and 27 years in prison. At this year’s (2013) Cannes film festival in France, Harvey Weinstein unveiled The Weinstein Company’s 2013 lineup of upcoming films to attendees and one of the films on the company’s slate was Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
I am aware some documentaries and theatrical performances have been scripted and filmed or performed about Kwame Nkrumah by some individuals in the past, but fact is, they were not blockbusters. They were not blockbusters perhaps due to the weight of the personalities who initiated them. Our movie industry is young. Therefore, to produce a movie about a legendary character like Kwame Nkrumah to become a banger, it requires the backing of a higher authority; that is where the government – whether CPP, NDC, NPP, PPP, PNC, etc comes in handy.
In my opinion, a movie that can be used as a strategy to put Ghana and for that matter Ghana’s movie industry unto the international market should be a movie about Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah sponsored by the government of Ghana. It will slap a strong statement in our history as a people who honour our national heroes. Benefits to Ghana and Ghana’s movie industry and ways of promotion as far as a movie on Kwame Nkrumah is concerned are as below:
A movie about Kwame Nkrumah can be told from many plots – his birth and education in Ghana and abroad; Kwame Nkrumah as a proponent and a leading participant in Pan-African movement abroad; Kwame Nkrumah’s return to Ghana to fight the independence struggle and subsequently becoming the first President of Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah’s reign as a President – positives and negatives; Kwame Nkrumah’s desire and advocacy to unite all Africans; Overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah; his sojourn in Guinea till death. The above are all storylines from which scripts can be screen played for a movie about Kwame Nkrumah.
Ghana is endowed with great actors and actresses to star in a Kwame Nkrumah movie; they can be casted for such a movie. For marketing purposes, actors in other continents or countries – South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, France, Italy, USA, UK, Germany, India, Asia, Australia, etc. could be casted so that their nationals can identify with the movie, appreciate and patronize it. Hollywood and Bollywood actors are highly preferable.
In order for the movie to meet international standards or get international buzz and appeal, the government can strike a collaboration deal between Ghanaian film makers with motion picture studios in other continents or countries – Hollywood, Bollywood, etc. for the shooting of the movie. Expert knowledge and artistry from home and abroad, brought on board, will give the movie the required professional touch.
The government can make a national call on all media houses to share in such a national project by offering their medium to publicize or promote the movie. I strongly believe and convinced all the various arms of the media in the country – print, radio, television, websites, blogs, etc. shall be ever ready to give their august platforms.
SUBMISSIONS TO FILM AWARDS:
A movie about Kwame Nkrumah can be submitted to reputed film awarding and review bodies such as: AMAA, Academy Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, Cesar Awards, ESPY Awards, Golden Globe Awards, NAACP Image Awards, National Board of Review, Screen Actors Guild Awards, WAFCA Awards, etc. Organizers of such awards shall be extremely glad to have a Kwame Nkrumah movie being part of their award scheme, because any non-African who has read about Africa and its heroes, has definitely read about Kwame Nkrumah and his desire and steps of seeing Africans unite in diversity.
SUBMISSION FOR FILM FESTIVALS:
A movie about Kwame Nkrumah can be submitted to world acclaimed film festivals such as: Cannes Film Festival, Zanzibar International film festival, Durban Film festival, American Black Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival, São Paulo International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Marfa Film Festival, San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Boston Irish Film Festival, and the likes for screening. At such festivals, stands and pavilions could be secured to sell CDs of the movie as well as sell some of Kwame Nkrumah’s authored books, auction the movie’s art work or backdrop, and build more contact and networks with film makers across the globe.
WORLD PREMIERING/SCREENING IN CINEMAS:
A movie about Kwame Nkrumah can be toured with in all cinemas for premiering or screening purposes in the whole of Africa, USA, UK, Canada, France, India, Italy, Germany, Japan, China, Australia, and Iraq; all over the world. I will not assume the position of a seer but I can forebode that, movie-goers will flood cinemas to watch a movie about Kwame Nkrumah, and the revenue that will accrue to Ghana will be humongous.
There are some characters who live for a particular time, and there are those who live for all times. Kwame Nkrumah is amongst the latter group. Nkrumah lives on for all times! Nkrumah never dies. Let’s celebrate him with a biopic. Until then…MOTWUM!!