As we reflect on the past years, has Ghana as an independent country, culture and society lost its way? Has violence, greed and lust taken over our lives to such an extent that it has eroded our morality?

Certainly not everyone falls into this category but there does seem to be a persistent element that continues to play on our fears, desires and faith. Let’s explore some aspects of our modern society that may give us an indicator as to how we may be deluded into thinking ourselves immune to moral decay.

Movies have long been a medium under fire virtually from its invention. Have you noticed the slowly increasing prevalence of violent, disturbing or sexual content on most of the blockbuster Ghanaian movies? Many of the more recent movies have gone so far as to glorify violent criminal behavior and sexual desires. You cannot finish any of the latest Ghanaian movies without having some sort of crime drama and sexual content on the schedule. Increasingly these movies have gotten more and more gruesome and sexually violent. Unfortunately these are the most watched movies as well.

Even Ghanaian sitcoms and soap opera dramas are also constantly pushing the envelope to see which can have the most sexual innuendo. I am not in favor of censorship by any means. I am merely pointing out that perhaps this is one aspect of our lives that can affect us without our being aware of it happening. Our children could watch and discuss themes that can have a lasting effect on their ability to judge right from wrong. Just imagine the recent video of a Ghanaian lady who was supposedly displaying her nudeness on camera, which was all over the internet. Please don’t you think she may be influenced psychologically as a result of the sexual scenes on most Ghanaian movies?

Motion pictures are also becoming more and more brazen and almost desperately violent. What do movies such as the “Kiss me if you can” or “Heart of Men” teach us about ourselves? Does watching a movie that has been classified by the media as “torture porn” truly affect the way people behave? Some would say it’s just another adult movie but I would respectfully disagree. A movie is meant to give you a chill or even make you laugh if the gore is over the top and not disturb you in a profound manner. Granted this genre has always been blamed in the past for popularizing prostitution.

This may be so but up until recently it has never dealt with such strongly immoral themes. Instead of leaving much to the imagination, for example, how will you feel if celebrities like Majid Michael, Van Vicker, Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson and the rest acts movies about the Ghana Empire, Mali Empire, Sudan Empire or even illustrates movies that depicts the lives that took place in Ghana many years ago. This would surely educate the younger generation about what their forefathers did to make Ghana what it is today, History students would surely benefit from such movies.

But unfortunately movies today seem to thrust it in your face. Film sales tell us that more and more are enjoying these types of sexually motivated films. What does that tell us about our society? If sexual acts is okay to watch what is next, Porn? Then another aspect is the healthy practices of these movies. I would want to ask the Ghanaian producers and the movie stars, that before they kiss, is there any medical background check on them, because I know Hollywood stars take tablets to prevent infections before they kiss on stage in any of their movies.

However, in regards to moral erosion no other medium can compare to Movies. At no other time in the vast history of mankind has one thing so gripped us so quickly; that has resulted in film producers making lots of money. Movies can make all our fantasies come true and never has it been so easy to give into our vices. Pornography, prostitution, gambling and sadism are just a few examples that can be easily found with just a quick query in your favorite search movies. Not satisfied with your life then just buy any type of movie and you would so much attached to such movies. I remember watching the whole episodes of Prison Break season 4 within three days. So you’ve realized how one can be gripped to watching television and movies?

But I must quickly point out that there has been an improvement in the level of acting in most Ghanaian movies. I enjoyed watching Heart of Men, Checkmates, and other movies produced by Shirley and Raja, except for the level of sexual scenes in most of the movies. So what sort of conclusions can be drawn from these examples? I know no one can tell the producers and Ghanaian film stars what movie they should feature. But it is my desire that for national and better Ghana agenda, hopefully this article has given them and the society a pause to reflect on this issue. Certainly the days of watching “I told you so” are long gone but hopefully they haven’t been replaced by the Immorality in most Ghanaian movies.

Author: Paul Danquah, University of East London

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