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

Rolf Harris And Bill Cosby: The Shocking Scenarios Behind Television Entertainment

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Television personalities Rolf Harris and Bill Cosby: They have something in common.

I was just a little boy when I started watching the entertainment program of Rolf Harris, on Ghana Broadcasting Corporation television in Accra. He was a genius and had all the charismatic  powers to make entertainment worthy to watch. The fact that he could produce sound and rhythm out of any object that gets into his hands, made Rolf Harris one the best entertainers in the world.

What about Bill Cosby? Believe me, he was one of my favourite entertainers too.  The African-American comedian, actor, and producer, born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, played a major role in the development of a more positive portrayal of African-Americans on television.

Television builds career and fame, thus; many people use it as a bait to execute their devilish plans. Just as the axiom goes “Not everything glitters is gold,” these two great television personalities used their positions to abused some of the people they invited to participate in the programs they ran.

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months for indecently assaulting young women and girls after the trial judge told the 84-year-old entertainer he had taken advantage of the trust provided by his fame.

“You have shown no remorse for your crimes at all,” Mr. Justice Sweeney told an expressionless Harris, who sat in the glass-walled dock at Southwark crown court. “Your reputation now lies in ruins, you have been stripped of your honours, but you have no one to blame but yourself.”

In the case of three of the four victims, Sweeney told Harris, he “took advantage of the trust placed in you because of your celebrity status” to carry out the attacks. With the final victim, the childhood friend of Harris’s daughter Bindi Nicholls, who Harris began grooming aged 13, the star abused a different type of trust; the trust placed in him by the girl’s parents.

“You clearly got a thrill from committing the offenses whilst others were present or nearby,” the judge told Harris. “Whilst such others did not realize what you were doing, their presence added to the ordeal of your victims.”

News source: The Guardian- http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/jul/04/rolf-harris-jailed-indecent-assault-young-girls

Sex and abuse scandals seem to have no limit, as many sexual abuse allegations are unearthed against the famous African-American comedian.

Bill Cosby

It’s hard to keep track of the sexual abuse allegations swirling around Bill Cosby, with fresh ones popping up seemingly every day and an unusual mix of decades-old accusations and brand new claims all getting a very public hearing in the news media.

All in all, 16 women have publicly accused Cosby of sexual abuse, 12 of whom have accused him of drugging them to facilitate the abuse. Some of those women may be among 13 anonymous “Jane Doe” accusers who agreed to testify against Cosby in a 2005 lawsuit that was settled out of court. Taken together, the accusations span the length of Cosby’s long career in the public eye as a beloved actor and comedian, from the mid-1960’s to the mid-2000’s. They were given new light last month by a comedian’s stand-up routine that caught fire on social media, and new accusers coming forward has led to a drip-drip effect of even more coming forward.

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Both TV personalities Rolf Harris and Bill Cosby fall from grace to grass

Cosby and his legal team have at various times issued wide-ranging, categorical denials or refused to discuss individual cases, with Cosby saying last week that “a guy doesn’t have to answer to innuendos.”

News source: Time- http://time.com/3602131/bill-cosby-sexual-assault-allegations-guide/

Do we need to believe in this Biblical quotation? No matter how long it takes, before or after death: “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.”- Luke 12:2.

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 our hearts out 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 shaping 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

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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.

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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.