Xplore Reviews: GHANA MUST GO
Producer: Yvonne Okoro
Director: Frank Rajah
Writer: Tunde Babalola
Starring: Yvonne Okoro, Nkem Owoh, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Koffi Adjorlolo and Helen Paul.
“If they don’t leave, they should be arrested, trialled and sent back to their homes. Illegal immigrants under national circumstances should not be given any notice whatsoever. If you break a law, then you have to pay for it”. President Shehu Shagari in 1983
There is a history behind the bag and its name, which has inspired books and now it has inspired a film produced by Yvonne Okoro and written by the exceptionally brilliant Tunde Babalola.
Two transnational lovers have to face the consequences of their choices. Yvonne Okoro is Ama and Blossom Chukwujekwu is Chuks. Ama is Ghanaian and Chuks is Nigerian. They meet and fall in love in London, which is the choice country for many West Africans. They decide to come back home to see Ama’s parents and get blessings from them. It seems like a smooth ride, with Ama’s family welcoming them with an enormous smile until Chuks says “I am Nigerian”!.
Nkem Owoh’s return to the big screen is glorious. He straps us with comical humour with the help of his wives Ada Ameh and Helen Paul (not that he needs help delivering humour). Ada and Helen add to the drama. They always have something to say to their Ghanaian in-law. They have not experienced an affluent life just as their in-laws and so it makes for an interesting story. You would want to see what they will do and hear what they have to say. The theme of rivalry is coated with humour and especially love. If the film wanted to communicate a message, it is a message of togetherness, using humour as the best medium to pass this. The tension is communicated but in the most sublime way.
Koffi (Ama’s Father) sets the tone for the film with his pride for his past duty and his inability to let go of all the mannerisms and the strictness of the military. He thinks he has all the authority to do and undo. It shows in how he talks and how he reacts to everything around him, especially his Nigerian in-law, who he was ready to fight physically at a slight provocation. Nkem Owoh (Chuks father) fills us in with the accomplishments of everything around him, he is very happy to be in Ghana but Ghana is not happy to have him and his family.
The film had its hitches, sometimes, trying unnecessarily to be comical when the writer should have just let go. For a film that promised to be a feast of laughter from its trailer, it gave very little screen time to two comedic characters of Adah Ameh and Helen Paul and sometimes dragging between Nkem Owoh and Kofi Adjorlolo. It could have spread the humour to its enormous cast, just as the tension was splattered.
There is still an argument about the difference between Ghanaians and Nigerians, Ghana Must Go above being a film shows that there are way too many similarities even in the differences. It could very well be the film that proves to us that we can all relax and live interchangeably either as Nigerians or as Ghanaians.
Ghana Must Go will excite you, make you happy and above all will make you understand the grievances that Nigerians and Ghanaians have always held against each other. It will also show that there is joy in peace as Ama finally reconciles the families.
Frank Rajah takes no prisoners when it comes to arranging packaging elements in a film and as the director; he served a beautiful visual experience that makes it easier to understand the story being told. Visually we saw Ghana where the film is set, we also felt Ghana.
From me to you, take as many friends as possible to see the film and relieve a little stress as the movie earns an 8/10 from Xplore.
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