Veteran actor and President of the Ghana Movie Awards, David Donkor has faulted the none existence of a gold refinery and qualified goldsmiths in Ghana for the delay in presenting award statuettes to Ghana Movie Awards (GMAs) winners.
According to the veteran actor, the death of the goldsmith profession and facilities pushed the organizers of the awards to have the statuettes made in India depriving local artisans from profiting from that lucrative job.
The Ghana Movie Awards which held its third edition in December last year had failed to present about 40 award trophies to winners of the last two editions of the event.
There were reports that some winners were not pleased with the development and had cried foul when organizers failed to give a clear explanation for the delay.
David Dontoh speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com after a trophy presentation ceremony at the rlg head office in Osu Friday, said several challenges compounded their efforts at presenting the statuettes to the deserving winners.
He noted that it is rather unfortunate the trophies were “made in India; we would have loved for them to be made in Ghana but we have killed our oil refinery, we have killed our goldsmithing profession so all those craftsmen no longer work but we would have loved to have these things made here so that those monies would have gone to those people.”
“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Ministry of Mines and Energy or [whoever is in charge] to look at that thing again. We have to have a gold refinery in Ghana and we have to revive goldsmithing so that people don’t travel to Milan, London, New York and Dubai to buy jewellery we can do all these things here,” the veteran actor added.
David Dontoh revealed that, “After all the delay in polishing them and getting the names engraved on them, when we were bringing them at Dubai too the police stopped [the consignment] because they thought we were trying to smuggle gold because it is gold plated,” which is not new to awards the world over.
Funny Face and Nana Hemaa with their awards
He noted that when the first edition of the awards was held, the same plaques were all made in India for the award winners “but the second and third edition is where we had a problem with the finishing, because they were awards, the finish ought to be very good.”
The award winning actor stressed that, the Ghana Movie Awards are awards for artistes and “artistes get awards from all over the world.” Due to this, organizers of the awards are keen on the quality of the awards trophy which is gold plated.
The trophy is of the same weight and size as the Oscars and due to its quality, people will begin to respect it, David Dontoh added.
Award winners including, Funny Face, Rahim Banda, and Afia Schwarzenegger (Nana Hemaa of Adom FM), were at the ceremony to pick up their awards for Best Actor in a TV series, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (English Language) and Best Actress in a TV series respectively.
Nollywood producer and director, Andy Boyor was also at the event to received statuettes on behalf of Nollywood actors, Alex Usifo, Desmond Elliot, Caroline Danjuma and Olu Jacobs, who won Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the Nollywood and African film Industries.
Nollywood actress Patience Ozorkwor was in Ghana to receive her award.
David Dontoh told Myjoyonline.com that efforts are being put in place to prevent long delays although there will still be delays due to the fact that winners are only known on the night of the awards and their names are engraved on the statuettes after the event.