Ghanaian Art Writers and Our Immature Use of SUPERLATIVES


I had a duologue with one senior Art Writer last week and the topic of flubs and foibles that Ghanaian Art Writers commit in our write ups – features, articles, news stories, promotional stories, etc. came up; that is, our use of superlatives in our write ups.

Our use of superlatives in our write ups is highly puerile and unguarded! Just a few of such superlatives: the most influential artiste….; the best song ever by ..; the hottest female musician in……; the most sensational……; the maddest…….,  he pulled the largest…., etc.

In most cases, the personalities written about, are not that popular, hottest, best, largest, or whatever superlative that is being used to describe them. Most of them are what I call ‘local champions’ who think they have arrived; because we make them feel so.

Due to our unguarded use of such superlatives in our write ups, we have ended up raising or placing some personalities to statutes or positions we term as Celebrities and or  Stars, but in actuality, they do not deserve to be there or don’t have what it takes to be there or do not understand why they are there!

The sad part of this development is that, after supporting them with such superlatives to reach or achieve what most of them do not even deserve to have attained or achieved, they turn around to insult us. Today, some of these so called Celebrities or Stars have the sheer effrontery to call us lazy journalists, unprofessional writers, haters, dream-killers, uncivilized, etc.

Why won’t they? After crossing the river what next? You have every right to mock the crocodile! Sometimes, we use these superlatives and even look funny or ‘fake’ before our readers! We put our credibility on the line just to promote them to greater heights.

When we were busy using superlatives to hype them, do gimmick, presenting them like demigods, we were their angels in human flesh. We criticize some things they do and all of a sudden, we become sons of Satan; forgetting we are there to play many roles; criticize, condemn, promote, inform, educate, entertain, indoctrinate, etc.

Today, Sarkodie of yesterday has the nerves to say we don’t make sense! Majid Michel once had the audacity to say he does not need any journalist coming to interview him! Prodigal son Bandana of yesterday now has the uppishness to call a writer and his media house nonentities!

I once interviewed one of our so called A-list actors and asked him the simple question; “so usually how long is your character worksheet?” This A-list actor was all over the place; sweating like a tilapia out of water! He does not know what character worksheet is but he calls himself an actor. We also keep presenting him as one of the best actors in Ghana.

Once Yvonne Nelson was banned by the Film Producers Association of Ghana FIPAG for insubordination at filmmaker Abdul Salam Mumuni of Venus films. Out of fury, Mr. Salam said “look at Yvonne Nelson, whom I charitably casted whilst she did not know what a close up shot is, is today walking out on me.”

I am not implying that it’s our use of superlatives alone that make people Celebrities or Stars. It’s one of the very key contributing factors. I have used many of such superlatives in the past as a writer, but, I’ve now come to realization that I wasted my ink, space and energy for a cause that is not worth it. Henceforth, I know how to go about things. To my compeers, let’s caution our use of superlatives in our write ups. Let’s say it as it is. Until then…MOTWUM!!

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