According to him, the journey to make theatre a part and parcel of Ghanaian entertainment was filled with bumps and thorns and very few gave him a dog’s chance of succeeding.
About a decade ago, the Ghanaian entertainment industry suffered a lot. The industry fell under the spell of foreign productions paving the way for the huge influx of Hollywood, Bollywood and even Nollywood productions.
Credited with being one of the main architects who managed to kill Ghanaian’s appetite for foreign movies and content, James Ebo Whyte, popularly known as Uncle Ebo Whyte, says reviving Ghanaian theatre in spite of the numerous challenges has been fulfilling for him.
The 61-year-old writer, director and producer has over the last eight years produced 27 plays – one every three months. His last production, ‘Forbidden’, has been touted as his best yet.
With Uncle Ebo’s productions, one can confidently say live stage drama in Ghana has made an impressive comeback. His productions are noted for creating a strong bond between the cast and audiences.
His productions touch on the core of Ghanaian society and deal with themes such as family, politics, love, business and sports.
The Roverman Productions CEO told the BBC in an interview that, “I knew it was going to be tough but it has also been fulfilling. When you are doing something that you are gifted to do and you are passionate about it, it doesn’t feel like work and so yes it’s been tough.”
“It’s been tough because people did not believe this as possible, it’s been tough because the theatre had been silent for a long time,” the host of ‘Food for Thought’ on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show added.
Uncle Ebo’s exploits have now given a window of opportunity to others who otherwise would have given up on stage productions in Ghana.