J.N.K. Savage:Tracing The Works Of A Great Journalist Behind Computer Age

SAV 6Journalist/Documentary film Producer and Director Justin N.K. Savage and wife Nancy-Elizabeth Savage (Nancy-Elizabeth Hudson) You looking at my mother and father.

Justin Nobleman Kodwo Savage was a professional journalist, documentary film producer and director, born at Cape Coast, in the central region of Ghana in 1932. While in active service, he passed away on January 29, 1976.

At Guinea Press, now ‘The Ghanaian Times’ during the Kwame Nkrumah era, Mr. Savage travelled extensively across the globe, whenever the president leaves the country to participate in world affairs.

At home, Ghanaians were able to receive first-hand information from Mr. Savage, over Nkrumah’s trip overseas, appearing in ‘The Evening News,’ newspaper dominated by party news, CPP, and adulation of Nkrumah.

At Guinea Press, Justin Savage had the opportunity to make further studies in journalism in London, England, but Nkrumah’s interest in communism took him off Ghana soil to many Eastern European countries including Poland, Czechoslovakia etc, and Russia.

In the sixties, the president of the then Czechoslovakia invited African journalists to his country. Justin Savage heads the African journalists from Ghana, but the Ghanaians presence stole the show, because of the native Kente cloth they put on. Kente exposes the rich tradition and culture of Ghana.

Justin Savage filed his press cuts and combined all his publications which appeared in the newspapers as a magazine, naming it “A Mixture Of Periodicals.” These publications later after his death, became my favourite book, assisting me to gain more writing skills when my interest increased to be a writer.

Darkness fell on Ghana when Nkrumah was overthrown-ed on February 24, 1966, in a coup organized by CIA and local collaborators. Chaos and curfews followed amidst jubilation and sadness. Mr. Savage served Guinea press a year more and he resigned.

He followed a course in technology at the Kumasi Science and Technology, where he studied film production. After his course, he entered into Ghana Broadcasting Corporation as ‘Advisor on film for television.’

He excelled in his profession and had promotions. It wasn’t long when Friedrich Ebert Foundation (West German Television Team) established a television project attached to the Broadcasting House in Ghana.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is a German political foundation named after Friedrich Ebert, Germany’s first democratically elected president. Headquartered in Bonn and Berlin, the foundation contributes to social democracy by means of:

Political education in order to reinforce its fundamental values, research and scientific analysis of central policy areas, various forms of public dialogue in order to pave the way for it, scholarship programs for students and Ph.D. candidates, development cooperation aimed at global justice and building bridges of international cooperation for worldwide democracy.

For efficient service and to be familiar with new developments in television production, Mr. Savage was at West German for an intensive course. He returned to the Broadcasting House and was appointed ‘Documentary Film Producer and Director.

At the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, he made a number of documentary films, especially during the exhibition of Ghana and other African products at both the first and second ‘Ghana International Trade Fair,’ in Accra.

Kodwo, the name his co-workers loved to call him, did a number of documentary films, including ‘Ghana At A Glance, Cocoa In Ghana, Backyard Industries and ‘Furnace in a Village’, produced in 1972. I had the opportunity to play a role in ‘Backyard Industries.’

I grew up to see some of his friends such as Mr. Kofi Badu, the Managing Director of Daily Graphic and Mr. Willie Donkor, the Editor of Weekly Spectator, still in the media. In the early nineties, January, I contacted one of my father’s friends called Mr. Ebo Biney, at the Broadcasting House, requesting if he could telecast one of my father’s film on January 29, for remembrance. It came as a shock to me when I learned that all my father’s films got burnt, following a fire which engulfed Ghana Broadcasting Corporation some time ago.

Since then I have been working very hard to see if I can find any of my father’s work online, despite far behind computer age or advanced modern technology. Like winning a lotto, I discovered two. The first is at the website of Len Pole, a Museum Consultant: “Advisor on a film for television, ‘Furnace in a Village’, produced by Kodwo Savage, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, 1972.” – http://www.lenpole.com/I contacted the museum consultant after the discovery of my father’s work on his website. I was delighted when he told a few years ago ‘Furnace in a village’ was shown at Cannes Film Festival.

Then I had a new break through  when I discovered another work at: Selected Bibliography in Communication – jstor by Graham B. Kerr, under the topic- All African governments are committed to development and most wish to …Journalism Quarterly [forthcoming]. ….. SAVAGEJ.N.K. “Ghana Jugend begeistert.- . “Ghana inspires youth.”

The selected Bibliography in Communication is a book published by the Canadian Association of African Studies. Justin Savage writes:

“We must bridge the gap between leaders and masses, between government and people . . No government tells the people everything, but every government must reach the people so as to tell them what they should be told” – Julius Nyerere

Continue reading: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/483601.pdf?

The search for my father’s work isn’t yet over. As time goes on when I discover something new, I will keep on updating this article. I hope readers will enjoy reading it and if any reader has any suggestion to improve it, you are always welcome.

The incredible story of this great writer neglected when he was a child is now available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Writer-Died-Joel-Savage-ebook/dp/B013L54A7O

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Jimmy Cliff’s Inspirational ‘Dear Mother’ Lyrics

Cliff 2Jimmy Cliff’s classic album: Follow My Mind.

Apart from Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Toots & The Maytals, John Holt, Desmond Decker etc, and other early Jamaican musicians that provided a solid foundation for the reggae music, Jimmy Cliff is one of the  musical legends that rose to international stardom with uncountable hits and numerous albums. 

In this article, it’s not my intention to write about Jimmy Cliff’s biography or achievements in the field of music, since there are hundreds of articles about this great musician and perfect gentleman appointed ‘Peace Ambassador’ by the United Nations, but to share some of his inspiring lyrics.

In 1976, Jimmy Cliff came out with one of his masterpiece albums entitled ‘Follow My Mind.’ On this album were “I’m Gonna Live, I’m Gonna Love, Dear Mother, Remake The World, Wahjahka Man, Going Mad, You’re The Only One, If I follow My Mind, Look At The Mountains, No Woman No Cry, Who Feels It Knows It and Hypocrites.”

One of my favorite songs on this album which sold worldwide is “Dear Mother.” From generation to generation, the lyrics of this great song continue to inspire me, to love my mother more and more, since she still lives, after losing my father when he was just 43. Below  is the lyric of Jimmy Cliff’s ‘Dear Mother.’ Enjoy Jimmy Cliff’s great tunes and golden voice in his film The Harder They Come.’

Dear Mother

Do you have a dear mother

Kind, devoted and true
Dear mother I’m sending to you
Best wishes and all the day through
May your days be cloudless and clear
Bringing to you true happiness each day and night of the year

She’s my mother
And I love her so
More than any other
Anywhere I go

Do you have a dear mother
Kind, devoted and true
Dear mother may all that is fair
Come to you right through the year
While I was a child you were my god
You were always dear to me and always were by my side

She’s my mother
And I love her so, yes I do
More than any other
Anywhere I go

Do you have a dear mother
So devoted and true
Dear mother I’m sending to you
Best wishes and all the day through
May your days be cloudless and clear
Bringing to you true happiness each day and night of the year

She’s my mother
And I love her so, yes I do
More than any other
Anywhere I go, talking ’bout my mother

She’s my mother
And I love her so
More than any other, woman in this world
Anywhere I go

She’s my mother

Listen to ‘Dear Mother’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f1WZOZUku4

http://www.amazon.com/Jimmy-Cliff/e/B000AR8LMC

Campaign Art: Every Day, 500 Kids Don’t Make It. But You Can Save Them

LUCPeople, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.

According to World Health Organization figures, 500 children are killed each day in road crashes globally.  In fact, road traffic injury ranks among the top four causes of death for all children over the age of five years.  To raise awareness of this deadly reality, Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the international motoring federation, and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for Road Safety, turned to world renowned film director Luc Besson to deliver a potent message: children face incredible danger when crossing the road!

‘Save Kids Lives’, shows children in the townships of South Africa and in central Paris, France walking to and from school to show that the risks children face are almost universally shared, whether they are due to a lack of safe infrastructure or as a result of heavy traffic. The film is shocking, and may contain images some people find disturbing. But that’s exactly the point, according to Todt, who believes that it will help focus attention on making roads safe for children everywhere.

The film was launched the first week in October to coincide with International Walk to School Day and to support#SaveKidsLives, a UN initiative that calls for action to stop the growing number of road deaths worldwide and for decision makers to prioritize children’s safety.

http://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/campaign-art-every-day-500-kids-dont-make-it-you-can-save-them

Color struck: America’s White Jesus Is A Global Export And false Product

Article By Wesley Muhammad, PhD.

What color was Jesus? Most American Christians—Black and White—would dismiss this question as both irrelevant and unanswerable as the Gospels fail to give us a physical description. The irony is that most of these same Americans in their heart of hearts are pretty confident any way that they know what color Jesus was. They attend churches with images of a tall, long haired, full bearded White man depicted in stained glass windows or painted on walls, and they return home to the same depictions framed in their living room or illustrating their family Bibles.

Further compounding the irony is the fact that America actually has an obsession with the (presumed) color of Christ and has exported her White Americanized Savior around the world, as recently documented by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey in their book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America (2012).

In fact, the world’s most popular and recognizable image of Christ is a distinctly 19th-20th century American creation. It is true that versions of the “White Christ” appear in European art as early as the 4th century of the Christian era, but these images coexisted with other, nonwhite representations throughout European history. The popularity of the cult of the Black Madonna and Black Christ throughout Europe is evidence of the fact that the European ‘White Christs’ never acquired the authority and authenticity that the White Christ now has globally. This Christ and his authority are American phenomena. As a predominantly Protestant nation Early America rejected the imaging of Christ that characterized European Catholicism.

By the mid-19th century, however, in response to American expansion, splintering during the Civil War and subsequent reconstructing, “Whiteness” took on a new significance and a newly- empowered “White Jesus” rose to prominence as the sanctifying symbol of a new national unity and power. As Blum and Harvey observe:

“By wrapping itself with the alleged form of Jesus, whiteness gave itself a holy face … With Jesus as white, Americans could feel that sacred whiteness stretched back in time thousands of years and forward in sacred space to heaven and the second coming … The white Jesus promised a white past, a white present, and a future of white glory.”

As America rose to superpower status in the 20th century she became the world’s leading producer and global exporter of White Jesus imagery through film, art, American business, and Christian missions, and has thereby defined the world’s view of the Son of God. This globally recognizable Jesus is a totally American product. Indeed, he is an American. Warner Sallman’s iconic image of Jesus called Head of Christ (1941) became the most widely reproduced piece of artwork in world history and its depiction the most recognizable face of Jesus in the world.

By the 1990’s it had been printed over 500 million times and achieved global iconic status. With smooth white skin, long, flowing blondish-brown hair, long beard and blue eyes, this Nordic Christ consciously disguised any hint of Jesus’s Semitic, oriental origin—and departed from the older European depictions. It both shaped and was shaped by emerging American ideas of whiteness. The beloved White Jesus of today’s world was Made in America.

What, then, did Jesus actually look like? Despite the absence of a detailed description of Jesus’s physical appearance in the Gospels (though John the Revelator saw the risen Christ apparently with wooly hair and black feet, Rev. 1:14-15), there are non-biblical evidences that actually allow us to visualize the Son of God from Nazareth.

Revelation 1:14-15 – King James Version (KJV)

14) His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15) And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

The first century Jewish writer Josephus (37-100 AD) penned the earliest non-biblical testimony of Jesus. He reportedly had access to official Roman records on which he based his information and in his work Halosis or the “Capture (of Jerusalem),” written around 72 A.D., Josephus discussed “the human form of Jesus and his wonderful works.” Unfortunately his texts have passed through Christian hands which altered them, removing offensive material. Fortunately, however, Biblical scholar Robert Eisler in a classic 1931 study of Josephus’ Testimony was able to reconstruct the unaltered testimony based on a newly-discovered Old Russian translation that preserved the original Greek text. According to Eisler’s reconstruction, the oldest non-Biblical description of Jesus read as follows:

“At that time also there appeared a certain man of magic power … if it be meet to call him a man, [whose name is Jesus], whom [certain] Greeks call a son of [a] God, but his disciples [call] the true prophet … he was a man of simple appearance, mature age, black-skinned (melagchrous), short growth, three cubits tall, hunchbacked, prognathous (lit. ‘with a long face’ [macroprosopos]), a long nose, eyebrows meeting above the nose … with scanty [curly] hair, but having a line in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazaraeans, with an undeveloped beard.”

This short, black-skinned, mature, hunchbacked Jesus with a unibrow, short curly hair and undeveloped beard bears no resemblance to the Jesus Christ taken for granted today by most of the Christian world: the tall, long haired, long bearded, white-skinned and blue eyed Son of God. Yet, this earliest textual record matches well the earliest iconographic evidence.

The earliest visual depiction of Jesus is a painting found in 1921 on a wall of the baptismal chamber of the house-church at Dura Europos, Syria and dated around 235 A.D. The Jesus that is “Healing the Paralytic Man” (Mark 2:1-12) is short and dark-skinned with a small curly afro – see below.

This description has now been supported by the new science of forensic anthropology. In 2002 British forensic scientists and Israeli archaeologists reconstructed what they believe is the most accurate image of Jesus based off of data obtained from the multi-disciplinary approach. In December 2002 Popular Science Magazine published a cover story on the findings which confirm that Jesus would have been short, around 5”1’, hair “short with tight curls,” a weather-beaten face “which would have made him appear older,” dark eyes and complexion: “he probably looked a great deal more like a dark-skinned Semite than Westerners are used to seeing,” they concluded. The textual, visual, and scientific evidence agrees, then: Jesus likely was a short, dark-skinned Semite with short curly hair and dark eyes.

Colossians 1:15 describes Christ as the “image of the unseen God” and in the Gospel of John (12:45; 14:9) Jesus declares that whoever sees him has seen God. What Jesus “looks like” then is not irrelevant as it is in some way a pointer to God Himself.

Do You Ever Dream Of Playing A Role In A Movie?

film 2We all enjoy watching exciting movies and our favorite film stars, to lively up ourselves, as a source of entertainment, after an exhausting day from work or to create a happy union with families, especially at weekends.

We learn a lot from the movies we watch, as they play with our emotions. Sometimes we do cry, get frightened or laugh on the top of our hearts on some films, since some of the films are very hilarious.

As we enjoy watching films or entertain ourselves, have you ever wished or considered to play a role in a film or be an actor? Days back in the early seventies, there was a columnist, “Nana Ama advices you,” in one of the leading Ghanaian newspapers.

That could be the first time I read my letter in a newspaper, when Nana Ama gave me the advice of how to become a successful film actor, after I enquired from her what steps to take to become a film actor.

I watched my favorite television films, ‘Bonanza, The Mod Squad, High Chaparral, Cisco and Pancho, The Sea Way, The Saint, Department S, The Sea Way, The Persuaders etc, without the opportunity to reach Hollywood.

However, one day my dreams were fulfilled locally, when my father, a journalist and a documentary film producer and director,working at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, offered me roles in two of his films, ‘Cocoa in Ghana and Backyard Industries,’ in the seventies. I was very happy indeed.

I believe that everyone has a talent or born with a talent. Some discover that talent early and others late. Unfortunately, some of these dreams can never be a reality, because there is no means, especially when you are born without a silver spoon in the mouth. But we can always contribute to shape the life and pattern of people positively in the society. I am therefore happy to be a writer.

Where Is Clarence Williams III, After The Moud Sqaud?: The Influence of Television Films In Africa

Clarence 4

The Mod Squad, featuring Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III and Peggy Lipton, played a significant role in the entertainment scene in Ghana. 

It is often said that Africa is a continent plagued by war, conflict, poverty and diseases, but the discipline, endurance and the survival on that harsh continent, which have never been the pride of the foreign media, could have been very good education for the advanced world, including Europe and America, to stand stress, frustration and other life turmoils. 

Africans are tough, immune to suffering and can adapt to every situation than Africans in the Diaspora and Europeans. Apart from the influence of the Bible, the role of churches and gospel music, television has played a significant role in entertainment history in Africa. The national coverage of television films from Ghana Broadcasting Corporation helped transformed Ghana.

Ghana was one of the happiest African countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa and still remains a peaceful and God fearing country. That doesn’t mean there is no crime. I remember in the early seventies, foreign television film inspired the first kidnapping story in the crime history of Ghana. Three young men made names for themselves and became fugitives when they kidnapped a car dealer’s son for ransom.

The entertainment scene in Ghana during the 6O’s and 70’s was amazing. Apart from Bonanza, featuring the Family Cartwright, Department ‘S’ featuring Peter Wyngarde and Joel Fabiani, Roger Moore as ‘The Saint,’ David Janssen as Richard Kimble in the fugitive etc; ‘The Mod Squad’ a group of two handsome men,  Clarence Williams III and Michael Cole and a pretty lady called Peggy Lipton, made some groundbreaking advancements in Ghana’s entertainment.

I missed those wonderful golden years; thanks to the birth of technology, making it possible to view those wonderful old television series today. Some of the great film stars may have gone or still living, but the role they played in Ghana’s entertainment and Africa generally shall never be forgotten.

Clarence 3

Clarence Williams III today

One of my dreams is to see Europe and America media, lifting the image of Africa to educate Europeans and Americans on how Africans cope with all the hardships. Why many criticize about Africa’s weak educational system, yet teenage pregnancy, smoking and alcoholism are problems Britain and America are facing today? Why so much suicide in Europe and America than Africa? Because the life of Africans is much influenced by the gospel. Above all the entertainment scene from the sixties in Africa was a key to provide young children the experience, teaching, skills and the critical thinking to survive on that harsh continent.