Feature Article of Sunday, 28 January 2007

Columnist: Tawiah, Benjamin

Pornography Brewed In A Ghanaian Pot


I will sidestep every ethical and professional consideration to name the porn website again: [....]. All the actors and actresses are Ghanaians. The director is Ghanaian; the camera crew are Ghanaians; the sound crew are Ghanaians; the lighting crew are Ghanaians; they speak Twi with amazing proficiency, and their mannerisms are quintessentially Ghanaian–Ghanaian through and through. Some of them even have tribal marks. It is a hot Ghanaian live-sex cooked in a very native Ghanaian pot, by otherwise respectable looking sons and daughters of our noble republic.

The website shows excerpts of video clips that are for sale for $15. [....] There is also an advertisement inviting other Ghanaians to join the trade. The title of one of the clips is Esewuani Part 1, featuring Wapipi Jay, a shameless electrician who wears his sexual appetite on his sleeves.

Now, let us punch past our Ghanaian reserve and admit just how hung up we have been about our emotional honesty and sexual preferences. Let us not make any more pretences; we are capable of doing the unthinkable. We have enormous capacity for record breaking sexual adventures. There is nothing to hide about our peculiar nature-that dynamite of hypocrisy that will soon explode on our faces and shame us beyond compare. The stench of our decomposing moral standards is smelt everywhere in the world. What a shame!

Not long ago, we were only lucky to have had a gay conference that was scheduled to hold in Accra cancelled. Perhaps, there was never such a conference planned to take place, as we were later relieved to learn. But since then, a lesbian group has successfully held a gathering at a hotel in Accra. There are many Ghanaian men and women willing to defy our national flag with their homosexual impunity. The worst is still to come.

While we ponder on what other misfortune is likely to befall us, let us consider the offering. Note that there is a place called Wakiki in Accra, where any sex hungry man could buy sex with cedis. The US based Wakiki charges dollars and may be the Pound or the Euro equivalent. In a dirty sense, they are promoting made in Ghana goods. Are we about getting a new foreign exchange earner?

It is surprising how such an idea struck the producers. Unsurprisingly, the bad acting and the amateurish directing associated with our Ghanaian films are more than noticeable in Esewuani Part 1. As typical of our women back home, the actresses are naturally gifted with enormous bum, and their body show a fantastic contour distribution, to reveal a succulently small midsection, a huge pair of delicious thighs supporting the weight of the bum, and sizeable calves that gracefully carry the full weight of a voluptuous African beauty. The lucky ones have firm breasts with provocative nipples, while the single mothers only manage with their old goods, showing the usual wrinkles and stretch marks.

The men are like any Kojo Mensah walking the streets of Accra on a fine Monday. They wear the usual unassuming Ghanaian look, and will easily pass for a born-again Christian. They are firm-bottocked and exhibit that stupid ‘Ghanaian masculine obey me bitch’ mentality in the video. They pump away to show their brute strength, often relying on the fake moans and ecstatic yells of the women beneath them, to assure themselves that they are doing a good job. They end up betraying their detached emotional involvement in the activity. But they are strong, and appear skilful in a very crude way.

The series come in Acts and Scenes. Some show disgusting oral sex actions, where the men burry their heads in between the whore’s thighs, and plough the notorious region with their carefully trimmed moustache. The ladies dangle and hold their men’s pestles like a javelin, and they throw them deep into their oral cavity with flamboyant dexterity. There is also a scene that shows girls in a lesbian extravaganza. Our sisters thrust artificial sex toys deep into themselves as they munch and make a loud guitar of each other’s ‘you know what I mean?’ And this chap called Wapipi Jay really lives to his name when they reach a crescendo. It is all too bizarre to see how morality has sunk so low in some of our brothers and sisters.

The amateurish presentation aside, the actors and actresses do not appear to have the courage the American and European professionals display in their porn films. You would always feel that their subconscious is turning against them. They betray a benign sense of gilt on their faces. As they dare to overcome it, their acting becomes very contrite and pitiful. Viewers cannot suspend their disbelief. The dramatic importance is all lost to sympathy and sheer disgust. You almost want to tell them to stop and go to church.

Pornography is not for us. Some people are taking private entrepreneurship too far. We have too much on our plate already: cocaine, corruption, bribery, non performing public institutions, moribund workforce, irregular supply of electricity, illiteracy, overburdening debts, poverty and HIPC. Foreign airports are sceptical of us because we are becoming notorious for cocaine trafficking. Ghanaian diplomatic travellers do not command the distinguished treatment they necessarily deserve, because one of our PM’s is battling with his integrity in a US prison. We cannot graduate from cocaine to porn. This is the ugly side of globalisation that should not be tolerated by the people of Ghana.

The danger we face is not that we have exposed the website and Ghanaians would buy the videos to feed their hypocrisy, the real danger is that the producers of the porn films are still recruiting. Just like the first com-centre, this is one of the first (may be not) Ghanaian porn projects. The same way com-centres spread to every corner of our towns, we risk creating a Ghanaian porn empire if their recruitment drive succeeds. I fear our ‘copy cat’ nature will lead innocent brothers and sisters in Ghana and abroad to try their luck at porn.

The problem is that, our hypocritical way of going about things has not allowed us time to explore the complicated labyrinth of our sexual psychology as a people. We have made sex a sacred activity that should necessarily be made to appear distant until it becomes a religious necessity. We prefer to brand any little innovation on our sexual menus a western influence. Ghanaian women still feel they overstep certain social bounds of womanly modesty when they demand sex from their partners, or even tell a guy they fancy him. Those who show a new skill in sex are afraid to be branded whores.

Sex is biologically driven; it is part of our nature, not our nurture. While we would do well to demystify sex, we should condemn the extent to which the producers of the Esewuani series have expressed our Ghanaian sexual nature. It is a national disgrace that must be addressed by the tourism industry and the presidency. It is the responsibility of Ghanaians home and abroad, to shame the producers of Ghanaian porn films.

May be, the only unique thing about Ghanaians is that they are the only people who name children after the names of the days of the week. We don’t have a unique moral nature as we have always presumed. We are becoming more and more morally bankrupt; we need serious solvent measures to save us a total liquidation of everything we have fought for.

wakiki is on our plate today, how we deal with it will be our legacy.

Benjamin Tawiah, BA Eng, PGD (Gh), TEFL, LLM (UK)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.