Friday, November 02, 2007

As the Week Draws to a Close in Accra…There’s Something Good on TV Africa; DSTV Has a Run for its Money, Whilst GBS Enters Ghana


Akumba Ben is a typical example of an erudite man who carries a quiet confidence. A man with the ability to ask surprise questions, possibly think on his feet. Akumba Ben is the man interviewing all the Presidential aspirants—a good nineteen of them—from the incumbent NPP administration, as well as from the CPP on the Tuesday programme "I want to be President" on TV Africa.

To each candidate, he brings questions—some general, a few, more specific—that get right to the heart of what type of policy the aspirant wants to bring to being a President of Ghana. After thirty minutes of interviewing, the small audience, comprising usually journalists and the like, ask their prepared questions based on what they know or what they have heard of the aspirant at the studios.

These days, there’s something certainly good on TV Africa. Thankfully, it’s not just on Tuesday nights.

Saturday nights are a to-die-for: the highly-acclaimed "Prison Break" is on. It started some six weeks ago, and is riveting stuff. I sent a txt msg to a Ghanaian friend living in Canada the first Saturday I watched it exclaiming it was hit stuff. She got back to me recently explaining that in Canada, they’re in Season Three! Two years is not too behind if you consider how challenged the station was in terms of programmes.


That last two Thursday’s edition of "Graphic Showbiz" had one comment praising the station, as well as a celebration of where TV Africa is going these days underscores the validity and appeal of this growing popularity towards a station that projects itself as promoting "African values".

There’s a refrain on the station that often precedes programmes of African origin: "They ask. Always they ask. What is the story of Africa?"

Therein, in fact, lies a small paradox.

For with a station that purports to promote African values, the values of 24, and "Prison Break" are seriously inimical to the putative African values!

In the long run, it’s all about balance.

Since you cannot have too much of a good thing, then it stands to reason that you cannot have too much African stuff on TV Africa!

DSTV Here Today, Gone…When?

There's a new satellite service provider in town, and I'm sure DSTV isn't too happy, even if it's enjoying its current monopoly like no-one's business. I heard on the radio yesterday that it's slashed its prices to GHC139 (US150) as start-up for its decoder, satellite and whatnot.

Meanwhile Gateway Broadcasting Services--owned by a Brit, Julian McIntyre, -- has been on the African continent for the past six months, and in Ghana for almost a month. It really has been giving people's TVs a new life!;-)

It has fifteen channels, and is aiming to get a "G-Africa" by the end of the year, where it will show African movies only. I am happy to see that 2006-launched NBC hit HEROES, which started airing on the UK's terrestrial station BBC2 only this year is in its 13th episode on G-Prime, which is the major channel by GBS that features movies--both classics (as in popular 80s and 90s films) and otherwise.

Having been brought up to be awakened to the sensitivities of the underdog--whether putative or not--I am happy to say that though there remain some serious catching up by GBS over DSTV, I for one am not going to run to DSTV any time soon!

Enjoy the weekend!!
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