Ghana’s screen goddess Selassie Ibrahim turns entrepreneur with her Smarttys Management & Production Company

Selassie Ibrahim’s second coming into the Ghana Film Industry will be as the head of Smarttys Management & Production Company, and interestingly whose first movie production is titled CEO which was premiered on 23rd October 2010. With a bankable cast that includes Desmond Elliott, Nadia Buari, Ekow Blankson and Roselyn Ngissah along with the title role handled by Selassie herself, this new venture would also mark another step in the emergence of woman producers in the Ghanaian film industry, long subjected to the ‘men rule.’

Selassie-IbrahimThe movie, scripted by Selassie and directed by John Inzedomi and Afam Okereke, is about Gloria, a CEO, played Selassie herself. Demanding, brazen,disrespectful, belittling – in short, an alpha-female who even treats her physical desires as a sort of financial trnasaction or necessity. As far as the core of subject is concerned, CEO in Selassie’s words, ” ‘Now, there are a lot of women in the forefront of businesses and majority of these women are so hard that they forget that the other aspects of their lives (families) also need their attention. They are like, ok, let me give 80 percent of my time to my work and 20 percent to my family, with the impression that the family will understand. Such women are however the first people who get suspicious when they think that their husbands have stayed out too late, meanwhile, they themselves are hardly home,’ she explained.

Directed by John Inzedomi and Afam Okereke, the promising Nigerian duo, the project has some of the best talents from Nigeria and Ghana that have worked on both sides of the camera to give the audience a taste of what to expect from Selassie’s new production house, or rather from the new avatar of the screen goddess.

Along with the movie, she has aso launched a fashion and lifestyle magazine and a TV show, both titled ‘Smart People’. A select media fraternity was treated to the premiere of the first episode of the ‘Smart People’ talk show which featured CEO of Unique Financial Services, Mr Prince Kofi Amoabeng. She plans to feature the movers and shakers of the nation, exploring the lives of presidents, businessmen, lawyers, pastors, traditional rulers, musicians and more. The ‘Smart People’ Lifestyle Magazine is meant to celebrate the achievers in the society.

Selassie is determined to make this work and be one of the moving forces of Ghana’s entertainment industry. In sub-Saharan Africa – with the possible exception of South Africa – the prohibitive cost to produce films, the poor state of cinema houses, the absence of governmental support for filmmaking, and the large offer of foreign films have tied many filmmakers to foreign funding, equipment, expertise, and audiences, according to Dr. Alessandra Meleiro, member of the Editorial Board of “Journal of African Cinemas”. African films have been dependent on overseas financial support which conducesalso how some outstanding directors have adopted various formulas to create new markets and attract more audience to their films. According to Dr. Meleiro, ” Ghana and Nigeria are also examples of how new production and business models have been emerging as alternatives, and how developing countries can harness their creative capacities for development gains. These countries are incorporating technological tools to create their own networks for the production, distribution and consumption of culture, detached from the regulated sectors of cultural production.”

Sellassie’s determination is evident when she says, ‘Unless you are not a creative thinker, once you are in an industry, you learn to upgrade yourself. It’s like learning how to sew. You go into learning how to sew and it gets to a point you, like everybody, are using your hands, so let me go and learn how to use the electronic machine and then you move on to learn how to do designing. Once you are in an industry, you have to upgrade yourself. It has been my dream to have my own production because we as actresses can also create employment and give people the opportunity to also exhibit their talents,’ in a recent interview.

The teaser of her latest project CEO, directed by John Inzedomi and Afam Okereke, produced by her Smarttys Management & Production Company.
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