The Witches of Gambaga – A Documentary Film by Yaba Badoe

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to watch a movie titled, ‘The Witches of Gambaga’. The film was shown at the J.H Nketia hall at the Kwame Nkrumah Complex Building, University of Ghana, Legon.

The way I came to watch this film was just by chance as I chanced on the notice at the notice board at Legon Hall. Interestingly, I saw the notice on that particular Friday the movie was to be shown though the film started at about six pm. I had to cancel all other programs I had to watch this film. But there were two major reasons that inspired my interest to watch the film. The reasons:

(I)                The title of the film struck me as I asked myself whether witches were indeed at Gambaga.

(II)             I had at the time read Yaba Badoe’s novel, True Murder and since she was the maker of this film, I definitely knew that she would be there.

In fact, I had to rush back home to pick up my copy of True Murder before going to watch the film. My intention was to have her autograph the book for me and I was glad she herself was in attendance.

Generally, attendance was impressive as the hall was filled to capacity. The time scheduled for the film was six pm and I was glad it started at the exact time. The film was an hour show but with the presence of the film – maker, she could not go without questions thrown at her from all angles.

One interesting scene in the film that drew my attention was the way a chicken was killed and the position at which it died was used in determining whether one was a witch or not.

Also, I was wondering why most of these so-called witches were mostly middle –aged and aged women. At a point, I wanted to ask the film – maker whether she had ever come across teenagers or young adults being accused as witches.

I must confess that the film was indeed an eye-opener and a cavernous revelation as it unveiled acts that many would probably think are non-existent.

In the film, Yaba Badoe asked the chief at the witches camp about how he was able to detect that one was a witch or not. The chief’s response was what triggered some laughter in the hall. He said if Yaba should press her on the issue, he would ask that she stop the interview. You See?

The question I want to ask Yaba is that how was she able to seek the consent of the chief to film? I certainly believe that that must have involved a lot of efforts.

Anyway, all said and done, I wouldn’t allow Yaba to go until she autographed my copy of her book… (YAY!)

I encourage everyone to go watch the film and perhaps read her novel, True Murder.


5 Responses to The Witches of Gambaga – A Documentary Film by Yaba Badoe

  1. I heard of it when she was shooting. And I have to read it too. Recently, there were many children who were accused of being witches and wizards somewhere in Ghana. I believe the movie want to show the discrimination against women and the empowerment they need.

    Where did you get ‘This September Sun’ to buy?


    • Geosi says:

      If children are also being accused of being witches then I am afraid the issue is becoming more complex. Nana, I was even thinking whether we have men wizards in our society too. In fact, the film deserves to be watched.

      And yes… I got it from the publishers.


  2. amymckie says:

    I remember Kinna mentioning this awhile back and marking it down as a film that I need to watch. I’m glad to hear it was well done. I will be watching for it over here!


  3. ALFRED says:

    I hope to see the movie one will be indeed interesting.Yaba Badoe you are indeed an inspiration.Am a level 100 student reading English.I will be very happy if this is shown again this year.Thank you


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