Emmanuel, the guy who works at Metro TV, and I have met on several occasions to discuss documentary film ideas. Usually for quick drink after dinner and before he has to take off with the crew to cover the next story. However, last meeting, Emmanuel suggested we hang out on a Sunday and he'll show me some fun parts of the city and give me an exclusive tour of Metro TV's headquarters (located quite close to my house actually).
So, we made a plan and started the day off with a trip to Bojo beach. I think he was a bit disappointed that he was not the first to show me Bojo beach, but he recovered his pride when I expressed how impressed I was that his media connections got us into the beach for free! It's normally five cedis entrance as the place is considered a resort.
The day was quite beautiful. I ordered some lunch upon our arrival - some juicy tilapia and jollof rice. Whereas this meal would normally cost me a meagre 2 cedis at the chop bar near my work, on the beach it cost me 11 cedis. It was well worth it though as this tilapia was grilled (as opposed to deep fried in batter) and was a lot healthier than the anorexic fish I normally eat in Accra. A shame really, how these young tilapias, these innocent little things, see stick-thin models in the media and starve themselves just to look like one of those bimbo trouts on the cover of "Fishing Quarterly." What has the sea come to?
A strange encounter while digesting tilapia: watching a Bojo beach workers fish for more tilapia.
Now the tilapia these guys were catching were actually really small. In fact, I really don't think they were tilapia (neither did Emmanuel).
You can see in the pictures above that the boys catch sea creatures with a seemingly neverending net that they have spread out along the coast line (this is on the other side of Bojo, not the nice ocean side). Unfortunately they seemed to catch more plastic bags than fish, which they would then launch back into the water. Now I don't normally intervene in cultural customs, particularly when it's in an activity that I have no experience in such as fishing. But I could help but provide my "two Ghanaian pesewas":
"Do you think it might be a good idea to keep the plastic bags and throw them out afterwards rather than placing them back in the water? So that you won't keep catching them in your net?"
Isn't that sentence the perfect specimen of a unsolicited suggestion turned passive-aggressive question? (just like this one following it).
Another great example of this manipulative rhetoric: "you don't want to start dinner before the guests come so that you can leave the kitchen and entertain them? That's funny."
Anyways, my suggestion fell on deaf ears. And by "deaf ears" I mean the ol' "pretend you don't understand English" trick. I encounter that same trick anytime the price for something mysteriously increases from the initial price I negotiated. Prior to setting the price, a taxi driver can improvise a Marxist analysis of the Canterbury Tales but the moment I call him out on upping the price he's incapable of reciting his ABCs. Doesn't happen often but when it does it's annoying.
My final attempt to assist the boys was met with a crab pinching my finger as I tried to unravel the little bugger from the net. I yelped. The older boy punished the crab by ripping off his pinchers and tossing him into the bucket.
The latter half of the day was equally as exciting. As promised, Emmanuel brought me to sit in on a live shoot of the 6pm Metro TV news! I sat in the control room with the director and some of the other technicians. It was so exciting! I've never really witnessed live coverage - it's a lot more exciting than shooting scenes that you can re-shoot as many times as you want. I also got to walk on the set of "Good Morning Ghana" which was a nice treat.
Shots from the control room during the 6:00 News.