It is evident that Kofi Asamoah directed â€˜Boys Kasaâ€™ series involving the â€˜Adventures of Kalybosâ€™ launched the successfulÂ careers of Kalybos real name Richard Asante and Ahuofe Patri a.k.a Priscilla Opoku Agyeman.
The under 5 minutes skit, chronicling Â the pompous ways of Kalybos in wooing the love of Ahuofe Patri quickly became a toast of many Ghanaians thanks to Kalybosâ€™ queer laughs, mannerism and quirky ways as well as Ahuofeâ€™s stern disposition.
Without a doubt Kofas Media Production had crisp images and plot even managing to secure an Airtel sponsorship which made Kalybos and Ahoufe brand ambassadors.
But as with everything else, the series seems to have lost steam although it has to be said, Kofas Media has made incursions into mainstream movie making business offering its debut movie â€˜Kalybos in Chinaâ€™ a few moons ago and set to premier new work â€˜Amakye and Dedeâ€™ involving top Ghanaian acts John Dumelo, Majid Michel, Kalybos, Ahuofe Patri and others at the Accra Mall and West Hills Mall on March 26, 2016.
Ghanaians must have wondered what next but it didnâ€™t take long for director Solomon Busumtwi Sam a.k.a â€˜Director Impossibleâ€™ to conceive and execute â€˜Junka Townâ€™ a series chronicling the tough life and hustles of inhabitants of Ghanaâ€™s twin and oil city Sekondi-Takoradi.
The â€˜Tango One Films Productionâ€™ is a must watch as it scores high marks in many departments. In actors Too Much, Alaska, Yogot, Ajara Mapouka, Slim Joe, Esi Tiger, Body Talk, Debbie Jackson a.k.a Adi Bo Metsi, Ramen, Esi Critical, C.O Walu and many others, â€˜Junka Townâ€™ without a doubt has introduced a new crop of actors who can hold their own against any challenge.
Too Much real name Ibrahim Idrees is the lead character of this series and for good reason. Possessing a lanky frame and a boisterous spirt, Too Muchâ€™s word play is solid. Having decent command of the Patois language and mastery over Takoradi Fante, Too Much is simply a delight to behold.
A hustler in every sense of the word, he undertakes menial jobs to survive often employing schemes to have an edge.
In one of his philosophical rants, he asserts: â€œthere is too much racism on the part of whites against blacks all over the world. They make white cars and choose to make the tyres blacks just to spite but once teeroll remains white I am good.â€
True there is really no plot in â€˜Junka Townâ€™ as the scenes are random skits cobbled together in just under 1:20 minutes but the humour inspired creations can be educational, enlightening and inspirational as much as entertaining.
Another strength of the â€˜Junka Townâ€™ series is the choice of locations. True there are scenes revealing the city centre, night life through the spots, joints and bases but without a doubt where the scouters impress largely is the choice of the countryside where a lot of greenery abounds. It gives one that feel one gets when watching Jamaican Roots reggae video.
Too Muchâ€™s wooden ghetto is a most appropriate depiction of just how tough life is for good number of people either in Sekondi-Takoradi or other parts of the country. The hustle is indeed tough for both males and females.
The music score of the film is pleasing and to think â€˜Too Muchâ€™ put in some tight music performance of his own is commendable.The â€˜Junka Townâ€™ tune is apt and sets the tone so nicely for the visuals.
One curious thing about â€˜Junka Townâ€™ is the promotionals (free bonto) done for telco giant Tigo Ghana. I cannot say if they have received a handsome sum from the telecom guru but if itâ€™s to woo them to sponsor then the folks at Tigo ought to show love and make huge stars of Too Much, Alaska, Ajara and the others while enabling director Busumtwi Sam to have financial reserves so he can concentrate on writing more gripping scripts.
Yogot real name Osman Idrees is your scammer, confident trickster and plain thief, disguising himself as a land owner, cripple and elderly man begging for alms.Â Yogot portrays a society where some have taken to formats/schemes to dupe others so as to earn bread. Although he does okay one gets the sense that Yogotâ€™s performance could be tighter and crispier.
In â€˜Junka Townâ€™, Takoradi lads dream to travel to Europe is treated where often stow away is their preferred option.
Junka Townâ€™s technical bit although not so crisp as â€˜Boys Kasaâ€™ yet still offers decent effort regarding animation, use of graphics, editing and camera handling.
Another high scoring department of â€˜Junka Townâ€™ series has to do with costuming. How they secure the apparels I cannot tell but it makes for delightful viewing. When Too Much and Alaska are in full gear, with their skin tight and baby tops coupled with curious hats, you must possess such high levels of self-restraint not to burst out laughing.
While Too Much is the boss of Junka Town, unlike Kalybos in â€˜Boys Kasaâ€™, he is not the only boss. In doing his bit to advance the series, the undisputed other boss is Alaska real name Kofi Acquah.
Depicted as a victim of lifeâ€™s cruelness, Alaska by costume, footwear, meal choice, posture, utterances and facial expression would leave you wondering if he is any different in real life. His portrayal of his character is so effortlessly real that certainly Ghanaians would hope to see more of the man so crude that as he himself puts it: â€œI have not changed my oil in 15 years as no lady is willing to lay with me because of poverty.â€
Alaska reminds one of the stellar years of Mr. Beautiful before his involvement in partisan politics reduced his on screen appearances.
Ajara Mapouka a.k.a Mansa Mensah is the sweet heart of Too Much. Proving that when a man so poor as a church rat can still attract love interest with his vim and words, Ajaraâ€™s and Too Muchâ€™s love story gives hope that despite the hustle â€˜brodas and sistrensâ€™ can still show each other love when there is Â genuine attraction.
Ajara shines with her warmth and support for her man despite the nay sayings of tight buddy Priscilla.
C.O Walu is your braggart who unlike any man worth his name cannot fight to save his life but his antics especially his disregard of Too Muchâ€™s low position makes for interesting viewing.
Of course the treatment of various topics wonâ€™t have been whole without treating casual sex. It is here that Esi Criticalâ€™s tango with Too Much gets intriguing while Debbie Jackson proudly proclaims her sexuality through her dress style, nick name â€˜Adi Bo Metsiâ€™ and deeds.
â€˜Junka Townâ€™ offers some compelling and profound statements. Take one by Too Much: â€œWe are in the same game different levels, in the same hell, different devils.â€
One by Debbie Jackson: â€œNo one has the right to judge me because I know what I have been through however I can choose to let it define, confine, refine, outshine me or choose to move on and save the s**t behind me.â€
The ultimate advice to unemployed men however is: â€œAn empty pocket has no right to an erection.â€
â€˜Junka Townâ€™ is a must watch. I cannot tell if any of the mainstream or digital TV channels are airing it but there is every need for such a gripping series to be offered for public consumption as I got my copies from a friend who thought I needed to do a review.