Entertainment of Friday, 17 August 2007

Source: Benjamin Tawiah, London

Feature: Ghanaian Porn Movies


The thing about dirt is that the more you talk about it, the more dirty you appear to be. The more you campaign for folks to part from dirt, the more currency you tend to give the dirty thing. The backlash is that you risk being associated with that dirty thing. It is, therefore, with a great deal of caution that once again, I proceed to talk about the fledging porn industry in Ghana and the very explosive anal revolution our young girl’s are warming up to. This time, however, I wish I would be prescriptive than descriptive, if I have any brains left. The last time I discussed the subject, about five young men wrote to me, imploring me to guide them on how to get ‘the opportunity’ to act in pornographic films. One of them was bold enough to attach a photo of his buliamatali for me to know how generously endowed he was downstairs. Prempeh, his name was. He said it had been his dream since his childhood to be a porn star, ‘so help me Sir,’ he added.

Public relations luminaries prescribe that the best way to solve some types of crisis is to press the mute button on them, and watch them slip by. It means that you pretend you haven’t seen them or you don’t care very much. Gradually, the situation will die down, and people wouldn’t notice how bad it became. And our elders have also said that Opanin due mante mante, to wit: it sometimes becomes necessary to be nonchalant about an important news, if commenting on it will attract folks to talk about it the more. Well, what if the situation is becoming dangerous and threatens to destroy vulnerable people? Do we still feign nonchalance and help people like Prempeh to realize their dream?

Why am I being this suspenseful? Well, in fact, I wish I would sustain the suspense and never get to tread this evil path again. Apart from our electric energy and other socio-economic problems, there are terrible issues that could cause us to ration attention and sympathy on some folks, the same way we are rationing power today. Recently, a middle-aged Ghanaian lady approached me with a laughable but serious problem. A distant cousin had introduced her to me and wanted me to give her some insight into how the asylum and immigration laws work in the UK. I took her to a solicitor friend, and we heard her case together. She wanted to know if it was possible to seek asylum in the UK on the grounds of anal sexual slavery in her home country. She explained that she had been married for some eight years and has two daughters. Her husband had since the birth of her second daughter been subjecting her to terrible anal sex, a regime she had sustained for years against her will. In her bid to end it, she acquired a visitor’s visa and flew the anal persecution. Now, she wants to settle in the UK for fear of her husband’s assault. The lawyer was quite unprofessional; he laughed about it. He explained to her that the best thing for her to have done was to divorce the husband, in which case traveling to the UK would not have been necessary. This will not pass for asylum anywhere in the world, we said to each other, as he advised her on other options.

This woman’s case will look even funnier if you juxtapose it with the reality in Ghana today. It is a booming practice now, and even some teenage girls request their men to have a go at the annex after performing in the main house. A friend who regretted he ever had to cheat on his dear wife, had to deal with this kind of ‘backyard’ invitation when he visited Ghana not long ago. She was a student in one of those private universities. The back is the in-thing now; she was reported to have said. This girl also had an amazing collection of rabbits (sex toys) in her bag. She uses them when she ‘feels for a man and there is no nice guy around.’ In effect, these are men in a bag. And she calls them my ‘sweet rabbits.’ You wonder whether Jesus Christ was really born in Bethlehem, looking at how things are panning out in a country where even a meeting about mosquito fumigation starts with a prayer. What is going on in that West African Christian country?

Since the day a British actress confessed that she uses her electric toothbrush as her rabbit, and brushes her teeth with ‘him’ at the same time, I have become wary of electric toothbrushes. In fact, if not that I have a horrible coffee-stained set of teeth that changes colour like a chameleon, I would have stopped using electric toothbrushes altogether. May be, soon we would be building Amsterdam look-alike Red Light sex districts in Accra, where our ladies could freely go and buy their rabbits. Not that we don’t have them already; haven’t those girls who pose around Makumba and at the Kwame Nkrumah circle, turned those places into red light districts already? You can pretty much get anything you want there. I don’t know whether those women are the retailers who are determined to sell their wares or it is the men who are eager to buy anything. In any case, there is serious business going on, and we all know.

The rabbit revolution had started in Ghana long before there were rabbits. It had started in secondary schools as supi, and now lesbianism is almost becoming accepted in Ghana. In the Esewani porn series, there is a rather distasteful use of rabbits on an almost industrial scale. It is a rabbit revolution gone commercial. Shameless Ghanaian girls flirtatiously thrust sex toys into each other’s akosuamansa with the professional precision of an Olympic javelin record breaker. In the film, one of the girl’s pretends that she hasn’t seen a sex toy before, and the other tutors her on the use of rabbits in Twi. Others join in. Soon a group of girls are seen rabbiting each other in front of cameras, as if the Ten Commandments were given to Moses in an Amsterdam brothel.

Sex educationists would agree that it is not a bad practice for a woman to occasionally use sexual aids like battery powered sex toys to augment pleasure. Even so, it is an unnatural means of arriving at something that is usually mutually induced. So, using them in place of a man is as bad as urinating in a cooking pot because the toilet was engaged and later pouring it away. You would always view that pot with suspicion even if you have to use it again. It is the same with male masturbation. That is also a big rabbit.

So, where are the prescriptions I was talking about? Our plate is full with everything evil: porn, cocaine, heroine, prostitution, homosexuality and a lot of rabbits. Now, there are strip-tease clubs in Ghana, where gorgeous ladies pose before sex-consumed free thinking men and show them the juicy portions of their bottom and bosom. Soon, there will be pole dancing venues in the capital. I think folks misunderstood J.A Kufour when he rechristened the tourism ministry the modernization of the capital and diasporian relations. I have also been informed that Ghana is fast becoming a toyboy destination for some European old women. The Gambia used to be the top toyboy (young men who partner old ladies for sex) country in West Africa. Now the trade is spreading to Ghana. These are issues that are not criminal in nature. If a young guy prefers to fondle with the old-dry-wrinkled breasts of a white woman for couple of pounds sterling and the prospect of immigrating to Europe, why should anybody bother? It is his choice to play with old, morbid grandmother nipples. You can only wish him well. What about homosexuality? It has no place on our statute books, and we don’t intend to recognize civil unions in future. Pornography may be criminal in Ghana. I am still checking with the police. The rabbits haven’t really done anything wrong; they don’t bite very much.

My preliminary investigations have revealed that the Esewani porn series were done in Ghana even though the producers give us the impression that the films were shot in the United States. The films usually start with an interview session, where the interviewer, Owura WapipiJay, asks the girls when they came to settle in the US. The girls have a peasant exterior; they don’t look like people who have had any western touch. Their English is bad and their mannerisms instantly give them away as local folks who live locally, probably at Madina, Mempeasem, Teshie-Nungua or Agbogbloshie. Their costume is not the kind we usually see in the west. The locations where the films were shot do not look like any room in New Orleans; they could be any of the cheap hotels in the Nkrumah circle area. My sources in Ghana say the porn girls are those same Circle prostitutes who are now adopting an aggressive entrepreneurial approach. They have released a part two of the series, and they would be coming out with more.

If vulnerable girls like these could be recruited for such adventures, we risk building a cocaine empire in Ghana. It doesn’t sound very difficult graduating from porn to cocaine. I don’t know which of these two evils is better; they are all byproducts of waywardness and insatiable greed. If they are not checked, we will soon be compelled to legalise both, because there will be too many people involved. Already, we have had too many cocaine cases on our hands, and there does not seem to be an end in sight.

So, how do we check the growth of Ghana porn? We must appreciate that there is a price we would have to pay for warming up to globalization and American style capitalism. Nkrumah’s Ghana in 1957 has changed very much, and the people need to change too, Abi? Sometimes, the change is for the better. Years ago, my mum would sack any lady who visited me at the mission house wearing an anklet. Today, she sees the fashion side of it, even though she wouldn’t have my sisters wear it. Attitudes have changed.

Even so, we need to observe certain limits. Somebody argued that as the Ghanaian film industry develops (see my article on 13/08/07), things like pornography will necessarily come along, so far as prostitution thrives. That is how the porn industry in the west was built. And if we can’t stop them, we should legalise it and allow them to do their business, bearing in mind the economic pressures that push people into such ventures. No

Another person also suggested that the proliferation of the airwaves and the concomitant freedom of speech and association, may have prepared the grounds for Ghana porn. We didn’t have anything like woba ada anaa previously. If we can listen to pornography clothed in adult sex advice, why not make it visually available? What do you think?