Meek Mill

Ever tried borrowing apparel, a vehicle, a rifle or any other equipment from the Ghana Police Service for a video shoot? Or wait, have you ever tried getting their permit to film at any of the Police Stations across the country? I can assure you it’s not an easy process.

1. Write an official letter of intent to the Police.

2. They will respond and request to see your script.

3. You will then be invited to a meeting to discuss the specific scenes you intend to record.

4. If the story doesn’t put them in a good light, you will be advised to rewrite those scenes.

5. Rework the scenes or forget it!

Why does the Police service go through so much trouble just so you can shoot a movie scene? After all, aren’t movies good for us? Don’t movies sell our country? Don’t movies create jobs and help grow the economy? So why should the Police stress Film Makers so much?

Because as Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”

If the GPS does not deliberately insist on taking control of the narratives, they will be giving film makers the tools to “destroy” them or cast them in a bad light. As a Film Maker, I hate it!

But as a Brands, Communications and PR expert, I totally agree with the Police and I commend them for not dropping the ball on this one!

Let me start by commending the President and all other Ministers, Ministries, agencies, departments and we in the private sector for a rather successful December in Ghana!

There’s no denying the fact that gradually we are getting there.

That’s why it’s so sad that after such a great month which could have been crowned with reportage from that beautiful concert at the Black Star Square, a typical “one bad nut spoils the whole” situation has arguably “milled” the shine off that Blackstar Line Concert and possibly all the other great initiatives.

Sad anticlimax if you ask me! The Presidency is eminent! It is the HIGHEST office of our land.

If those around the President and the office as a whole do not hold it in high esteem, if they do not jealously guard and protect it like the way the IGP would protect a Police Uniform, then we are doomed!

I have seen pictures of many celebrities visiting various American Presidents at the White House at various times. Please do yourself a favour and go see the pictures online. They don’t just wear anything available” and they certainly DO NOT shoot music videos there! Hell no!

We’ve seen many Ghanaian artistes visit our President at the Jubilee House. Some may argue that none ever asked to film there. Here’s my response…they did not have to ask! They know it’s wrong! Would Mr Mill dare go shoot a music video at the White House? Let’s not try to defend it in any way. It was wrong! Someone dropped the damn ball.

Look, I am all for connecting with our brothers and sisters from the diaspora. I’m all for the full display of the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality in its best forms. I am all for naming streets, edifices, even villages and towns after whoever deserves the honour.

But for someone to appear before the most powerful man of the land dressed as though paying a courtesy call on our President isn’t a big deal and proceed to shoot a music video at the supposedly most protected building on our soil…the Jubilee House with lyrics that neither celebrate, flaunt nor portray Ghana as a preferred tourism destination whatsoever leaves very little to be desired.

Yes, by all means, let’s open up Ghana to the rest of the World. Let’s embrace our kind from the diaspora and make them feel at home. But please let’s not compromise our national security in the process.

Let’s not even bring to the picture that pathetic narrative naming hypocrites because once upon a time, some people said they would turn the Jubilee House into a poultry farm! That’s just politics.

Of course, they won’t dare.

Life is all about the optics. Maybe we are all wrong and just being needlessly emotional. Rightly so… we are reacting based on what we, together with the rest of the world have seen.

I want to believe strongly that the concept of national security goes beyond just protecting our borders.

This is us, being citizens and not spectators so please allow those who want it rant to rant!

Someone dropped the ball. The question is…who?

What lessons are there to learn and how to do ensure it doesn’t occur again?

One again, kudos to us all for a great December in Ghana. I know it’s hard, but let’s still endeavour to focus on the positives and celebrate our Motherland!

Twa Omanye Aba!