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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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