Think BIG
 
 

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A review of Think BIG by Johanna Witt

When you think about "better-off" Ghanaians, what comes into your mind? That they live in brick houses as opposed to mud huts? That they have a herd of cows and goats instead of just one or two? Far from it! They have the same plans, aspirations and dreams of a good life as Europeans, and some are living it.

Think BIG showcases five of these people, their living standards, their views on poverty and development in their country and what they think about getting pity from the West.

It is not an unbelievably amazing Hollywood-like rags-to-riches story; it is a documentary which shows normal people, normal lives and normal dreams about developing and improving their country. It cheekily makes you think that all this is right and questions what you were thinking previously about development and the poor in Africa. And it is perfectly right. Rich people and their investments were - and still are - an important part of development and the economy in the UK. Why should it be different in Ghana?

Development, aid and poverty reduction are big concepts that are continuously discussed in the daily press and at world conferences. But it seems like it is always about what the West can do to help these poor countries with all these poor people. Fair enough, but why is it that our solutions are so pitiful for our peers in these countries, not at all matching their aspirations for a good life let alone equalling what we have here?

Think BIG shows you there are Ghanaians who are perfectly able to develop their country; indeed with the right resources they can and are transforming their country: building a lodge, expanding a hotel or starting a film school does not immediately lift Ghana out of poverty but sends it on the way by creating jobs, building up hopes and fulfilling and developing dreams. Development is like a healthy look, the main part should come from the inside (through government and private investment) and not the outside pity of the West looking in and acting as the new missionaries in town.

Watching the big fridges and TVs, plush bathrooms and king-size beds in this film makes you think: why do they need and want a massive plasma TV in their living room while there are people in Ghana fighting to make a living with subsistence farming? But you should be thinking: Why should Ghanaians have different demands and wishes than Europeans? They should not and do not.

You will see when you go and watch Think BIG. It will make you start thinking - BIG!

If you have watched Think BIG we'd be delighted to hear your comments and host your reviews. The film is intended to encourage debate so do email us your thoughts.

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