Personal Interest

Racism: “Cadbury African Gorilla Personality Tribal Head – Protest Video”

A while back, I fell upon the above video.  I had in fact been searching for the actual Zingolo video.  When I first saw this one, I thought twice about my enjoying the original, but set it aside to review at a later time.  Not only did I watch it, but I read the comments and also did some research.  In the end, I am quite skeptical about this alleged protest.  For one, the video is not very well made, however this must not be a reason for not trusting, as true protest movements do not always have the necessary resources to make a beautiful video.  The reason I felt this was cause for distrust, is not just the quality, but the information and presentation thereof.

Maybe I should back up before I continue.  For those who are unaware, Cadbury made the move in 2008 to fairtrade partnerships with growers in various countries, including Ghana.  This is not exactly the best explanation, but if you check the story on Cadbury’s website (they have since [re]moved the story), you will get more information.  Along with the promotional campaign, the Zingolo video was made, featuring Tinny, a well-known Ghanaian artist.  When I first saw the video, I immediately noticed how it really draws out the happy nature of Ghanaian culture, obviously emphasizing the common love for dance and music, but also as shown through the interaction between the painter and model.  The protest video, by contrast, is a slideshow of a few statements about this partnership and the protest, ending with promotion for another chocolate brand.

There were numerous mentions of some professor Lungu in Japan, who I could not seem to find much information about.  When I researched Ghanahero, though, I could not find anything about the protest on the website, but I did find a link to professor Lungu.  Does Lungu think Ghana needs a hero?  Does Lungu believe Ghanaians need to be saved and protected?  Anyways, I found the lack of information about Lungu to be unsettling, despite my also not being easy to find online.

Around 1.24, there is a claim that the Zingolo video is “despicably racist, intolerant, and worthless thrash”.  This shocked me, as I find the video actually celebrates Ghanaians.  Which also reminds me of the title of the video: “Cadbury African Gorilla Personality Tribal Head – Protest Video”.  Even after seeing this video I do not find the head portrays an “African gorilla personality”; to me the head represents various Ghanaian art forms.  Continuing the topic of racism, though, the statement around 4.34 really hit the spot: let us essentialize Africa, by showing the “true African personality”.  Are you bleeping kidding me?!  According to this slide, you are only a true African if you are/were a Ghanaian president, who has met a prominent American figure.  Personal on-topic side note: I am sick of hearing “true African” statements, as that does not exist.  In fact I could write a series of posts ranting about that one.

When the brand is finally promoted around 3.34, I wonder how any Ghanaian can benefit from this campaign.  This chocolate is nothing more than a brand, that around 4.29, we learn seems to only be sold in Japan!  I add the only, as the way it is advertised gives me that impression, however according to wikipedia, it is also sold in Korea.

In the end, while this post is a bit choppy, I think it is clear that I have issues with this “protest” video.  I would be interested in hearing what you all think, though, as I am sure you have great things to say about it or about what I have said.

Obibini BruniFacebookYouTube

High Spirits Dancers – YouTube Search

Tinny – FacebookMySpace, YouTube

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