Thursday, April 30, 2009


By David Owusu-Antwi, Kumasi & Samuel Duodu, Tuobodom

NKASEI’S “Tuobodom” song became a hit overnight but not without a fierce controversy that nearly resulted in physical attacks on some executives of the Music Association of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the artistes themselves by some natives of Tuobodom.
But even before the dust on that could settle, a similar controversy has started with the release three weeks ago of “Ye firi Tuobodom” a Ghanaian movie.
Apparently fed up with what they perceive as a continuous denigration of the people of the town, the natives are now threatening court action against Parlance Productions, for producing the movie.
The natives are fuming over why artistes and moviemakers could not display anything positive about the town and its citezens but always try to tell the world that they were primitives.
According to some indigenes and residents of the town who spoke to the Graphic Nsempa team that visited the town last Wednesday, the new film was another move to ridicule the people of Tuobodom.
They stated that every movie or song that does not promote social cohesion but put people in a bad light and also promoted ethnocentrism should be banned outright, and cited the new movie as one of such bad films that should not be entertained on the market.
The people cited the film industries of other countries, which seek to make society better and not to destroy a section of their citizens.
Mr Nicholas Sarkodie, a former assembly member for Dompoase Electoral Area in Tuobodom and an indigene, said the movie was just one of those mediocre and amateurish films produced by some few individuals who wanted to satisfy their self-ambitions at the expense of the entire society.
He said the movie lacked the basic morals and values and the producers of the movie were just cashing in on the name of their town to make money since a group of musicians, who “I have consigned to history” made money out of a similar venture not long ago.
Mr Sarkodie added that every community or town had its own unique history, which could be built on or used to bring about development but a few unprofessionals who find themselves in the showbiz industry were exposing their ignorance through their works.
Mr Yaw Sarfo, a resident of the town, said the film was in bad taste as it portrayed the people of Tuobodom as ‘villagers’ and the town as a village, which lacks modern ways of doing things.
Mr Kwasi Fosu, owner of Hi-Tech spot, a popular drinking spot at Tuobodom, said, “the producers of the film should have gone to the town to consult the elders and get the right information before going out with the movie, since it was a calculated attempt to distort the history of our town and put the citizens in a bad light.”
Efforts by the Graphic Nsempa team to get some chiefs and elders of the town to speak to the issue proved futile, because they said they did not want to react to mediocre works like the movie so as to make it popular for it to enjoy heavy patronage.
Speaking to this reporter over the controversy that had greeted the movie, the producer of the movie, Mr Francis Yeboah Sekyere, said he was shocked that the movie could create such discomfort for the people of Tuobodom.
According to him, the main motive for the movie was to prove the point that residing in a remote area did not mean that such persons could not make it in life and that living in a city or town did not make a person any better than a rural dweller.
“In fact, one of my motivations for producing this movie stemmed from the wrong picture that had been created that those from Tuobodom were primitive.
“This movie was aimed at correcting that wrong perception so it came as a big surprise when I heard that the natives were threatening court action because I had used the name of their town for a movie,” he said apologetically.
The 29-year-old producer questioned whether those angry natives had taken their time to watch the movie and found any offensive scenes.
“I wish that I can go there and try to settle this matter calmly but judging from the fact that they nearly assaulted Nkasei and the executives of MUSIGA, I fear for my life,”he said.
Meanwhile, he has apologised to the chiefs and people of Tuobodom, asking for their forgiveness if he had wronged them in anyway.

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