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 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.