The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has discouraged Ghanaians, especially women, from getting addicted to foreign telenovelas, to help protect their kids against unhealthy foreign values.
The relevance of his advice is found in the occasion on which he gave it, and particularly against the background of the poor reading culture among the youth, as against the swallowing of poisonous social media stuff, and what we find mostly on our independent TV stations.
He argued that because telenovelas cater to the figments of the imagination of those who created the characters and storylines, they hardly tally with realities that bear on our culture as African societies.
To address this pollution of the minds of our youth, he believes parents, particularly the women, who tend to be attracted by these telenovelas ought to strive to be less addicted to such TV programmes so that they don’t drag their innocent kids into those fatal attractions.
Since the Devil finds work for idle hands, the Speaker advised parents to encourage their kids to stick to their textbooks or story books, for that matter, in developing their minds and learning holistically to fit into society as responsible citizens.
Reading, he underlined, is one of the most powerful ways of accessing information, be it literature, history, culture or entertainment, and that the perception that if you want to hide knowledge and experience from an African you should put it in a book is something that must be eradicated.
We share that advice for several reasons, particularly because we believe, as Dr Kwegyir Aggrey espoused, that if you educate a man, you educate and individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a nation.
That is true because women are most of the time with the kids, and therefore tremendously influence the formation of character and general development into responsible adulthood.
Women should, therefore, be guided by the Speaker’s advice in helping us nurture responsible generation, particularly because of the increasing levels of crime, most of which are committed by young people who have clearly been ill-bred.
Tightening of the screws
While we urge women to lead that crusade, we at the Daily Statesman also believe it is time that we regulate the activities of the TV stations to ensure that such fanciful stuff that adds no value to our way of life as Ghanaians be lawfully controlled.
While a modest slice of adult films may be permitted during certain hours of the day, it is our opinion that on account of the attack of these foreign and loose films onto our space, the National Communications Authority (NCA) may intervene in drawing the lines for the sake of our kids and future as a serious state.
Unfortunately for us a nation, we are failing to ignore the stories that we ought to be telling our kids through these all-important channels in preparing them for the future as responsible citizens.
That is why production pieces like telling the story of accomplished citizens like former First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Kenneth Dzirasah, who moved from a typical village to become a leader on the corridors of Parliament, ought to inspire the youth.
As Mr Bagbin himself noted, “It will help chart for them a path that is sustainable, that teaches the values of perseverance and hard work and have a more positive bearing on their attitude, approach, perspectives, cultural orientations, and ultimately, their future.”