Popular Ghanaian actor, Clement Bonney, known in the showbiz circles as Mr Beautiful has disclosed doing politics did not affect his acting career.
Mr Beautiful endorsed and campaigned rigorously for then President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2012 and 2016 elections.
Speculations were rife that the decision resulted in movie makers in Kumasi blacklisting him with the excuse people in the Ashanti Region do not patronize movies he is featured in because of his political affiliation.
According to Mr Beautiful, this reason was a mere yardstick and that there’s more to the story than what is in the public domain.
“If you’re in a certain environment which the people you’re in that environment we not matured certain things happen which is very bad.
Honestly speaking, if anyone tells you joining the NDC is the reason I’m not featured in movies, it’s untrue – they’re lying, it’s not true,” Mr Beautiful told Agyeman Prempeh on Power 97.9FM.
He explained a complain he made about the unprofessional way of doing things in the movie industry led movie producers sidelining him.
“I had an altercation with most movies producers in Kumasi because I told them insults like animal, stupid, you’re a fool, leave there. It’s normal in Kumasi, It is not an insult to them. It’s fun. Contrary, when you come to our part of the south and the north. It’s an insult. I confronted them [movie producers] about it. There was a time Ghanaians in the disapora, especially the educated ones, at least University graduate, stopped their children from watching the local movies because it was full of strong language. It was too much. I spoke to them so fought they fought me,” he explained on the Power Entertainment show on Saturday. June 13.
The actor, known for movies like ‘Ama Ghana,’ ‘Made in London,’ among others also mentioned that at a point he was forced to adapt Twi and leave his mother tongue but he resisted.
“At another point they asked me to speak Twi. I disagreed. I’m a typical Fante man so whatever you do I will speak my Fante. So, if for the sake of Twi, I gave them their script.We shot ‘Ama Ghana’. It won many hearts. Along the line, they gave me ‘Akua Agege’ when I read the script it was a remake of the Ama Ghana movie. I expressed my displeasure about it and opt out of the movie.
The only time they saw me sharing a podium with His Excellency John Mahama they used that as a yardstick — ‘We Kumasi people are NPPs if you’re an NDC people won’t patronize your movies. So, we won’t feature you again'” Mr Beautiful recounted.
He added that, “NDC is my blood. I read a lot Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s books. Anyone who wants to know where he or she belongs should read a certain book written by Dr Nkrumah called ‘The Voice of Conakry’ during the time leaders of the NDC toppled him and he was made the Vice-President of Guinea he authored that book. If you read it you will know where you belong.
So if someone tell you joining John Mahama or the NDC led to the sabotage, it’s lies. Local movie producers process was heading towards ditch which would collapse the industry. Imagine sidelining persons like Agya Koo, myself. You’ve reduced the quality of entertainment that your audience have to enjoy. They won’t enjoy it again”
When asked if he had quit acting to pursue other interests, the celebrated comic actor said, “I recently travelled to Zimbabwe to work on a project with the United Nations. A teacher is always a teacher. My happiness is putting camera on me, not when I’m with my wife or my children. There’s no way I’ll quit acting.”
On whether movie producers in the country contact him for movie roles, Mr Beautiful declined to answer but took a dig at them, describing them as “tomato and mobile phones sellers.”
“The problem with Ghanaian movie industry is most of the movie producers are tomato, second-hand clothes and mobile phones sellers.
Shirley Frimpong-Manso is a NAFTI (National Film and Television Institute] product. Any movie Shirley produces sells. Kofi Asamoah was in Kumasi he was my fierce critic but after he graduated from NAFTI he’s refined and now understands what I used to say.
Why does Shirley Frimpong-Manso movies sell and the local movies not selling ?” he quizzed, adding local movie producers, “are not professionals”
According to Mr Beautiful, former president Kufour contributed to the collapse of the movie industry.
The multiple award-winning actor explained that his appointee at GBC increased the airtime for the title sponsor of the Concert Party which produced several top actors including Akrobeto, Agya Koo and himself.