I decided to make last Sunday a fruitless day—by going to the church and then afterwards by watching Kumkum Bhagya on Adom TV.
I wouldn’t want to ‘dent’ this piece with my scrutiny of the church but let me briefly capture this for you, before proceeding to why I am mainly writing this piece.
From my visit, I easily re-established that organised religion hasn’t really changed since my days of active membership.
Perhaps, the stagnation is a reflection of the hovering dogma; the church is entrenched in its ways just as in its ideologies.
Nevertheless, as I have always said; religion and in this case the church offers a refreshing sense of community-ship. This a positive and commendable position churches occupy in the discourse which we cannot undermine. It was invigorating to see old men and women dance to some of the beautiful Methodist songs and chit chat after the service.
But that’s not in anyway an indication that the church’s messages and doctrines are true or that in the bigger scheme of things, it fosters progress.
In a comparative deduction, the church is like Hamaz: Hamaz does a lot of charitable works and offers comfort to several people but that does not in anyway come close to the harm the same Hamaz champions.
After church, I asked that the TV channel be changed to Adom TV for me—I wanted to have a feel of this trending Indian soap opera- Kumkum Bhagya. I simply wanted to know if the tasteless bud that defines entertainment in the mouths of most Ghanaians have somewhat been weakened by the lapse of time, such that the consumption has jumped from mediocrity to a reasonable standard.
But I was deeply disappointed; it seems we wouldn’t move beyond the below par era we reside in—accepting everything, and in this particular case, the Kumkum Bhagya I watched is something only people deprived of good entertainment would find any solace in wasting their time to watch.
As a film critic, one thing that defines the direction and substance of most productions for me is dialogue—the delivery, tone and the language presentation. For this reason, I prefer watching foreign language films in their original language—of course, with subtitles. That’s the only way the characters can stay in tune with the voices and the general vibration.
Whoever was in charge of the voice-over or translation of Kumkum Bhagya from Hindi to Twi ought to be arrested, better, be castrated for such gross incompetence and insult to the intellect of Ghanaians.
There’s something interesting about voices; when you hear a person speak, you can to a large extent and most times rightfully imagine the height and body features of this person. Voices are not absolutely independent; they mostly correlate with age and body type.
In this Adom TV’s Twi version of Kumkum Bhagya, there’s no connection between the voices being served and the characters you see on screen. It’s inherently awkward enough that Indians are positioned as speaking Twi, but when you disconnect the vibration of the voices from the characters in such an irritating manner, only a half baked brain or someone with nothing better to do with his or her time would enjoy and follow the conversation.
The voices are squeaky, especially that of a particular male character; at best annoying and at worst absurd.
The popularity of Kumkum Bhagya both in India and Ghana indicates that, the TV series has what people love—perhaps, a beautifully told story with enough drama and suspense to keep people watching. But the Ghanaian touch has rendered it worthless.
How anyone is able to watch these characters accompanied by those voices and enjoy Kumkum Bhagya is overwhelmingly surprising to me. And who advocated for the setting of the soap opera to be changed, such that, I even heard words like ‘President of Ghana’ being mentioned in there.
You cannot uproot a tree from a farm and fix it on a concrete without the tree losing its magnificence. Only persons who have no alternative sources of entertainment would bath in this Kumkum Bhagya patchiness. With a little professional effort, the Twi voices could have been done perfectly so that the soap opera which is loosely based on Jane Austen’s novel-Sense and Sensibility would wear a reasonable and decent cloak.
It seems the Ghanaian viewing population is inherently stupid and instead of television stations or film-makers changing the taste and conversation with well placed productions, they’ve decided to entrench this offensive idiocy by flourishing it with mediocre.
Within 10 minutes, I asked for the station to be changed; the huge patronization of Kumkum Bhagya to some extent reflects what’s wrong with our society—we are starved at all levels, even in the department of entertainment.
Some good number of Ghanaians must be underprivileged when it comes to quality entertainment for them to be cheerily watching what I could not accommodate for even 10 minutes.
It’s not always right to give the people what they yearn for, especially when it’s apparent that their taste has been screwed by the simple fact that all they are accustomed to have been sub-standard. At least, these TV stations in Ghana ought to have a bit of conscience to try and serve the populace with something of respectable standard.
Adom TV’s Kumkum Bhagya is definitely a big mess!
Out of this, I have deduced a litmus test: when I meet a person, I would calmly ask, do you watch Kumkum Bhagya? The moment the person says YES, I will walk away and not engage the person in any conversation.