“I am bored and I get lonely sometimes” – Veteran actress Maame Dokono

Veteran actress Maame Dokono, aka Grace Omaboe, may consider playing a

role in a movie for free if that is what it will take to entice film

makers to use the services of veteran actors who have been made

'redundant' in recent times.

The 66-year-old veteran actress who is disappointed that old actors

have been sidelined told Showbiz last week Tuesday that she was

willing to render her services for free if the message of the movie is

good. Grace Omaboe

"I love acting and I am ready to work for free if the story is one

that drives home a good message that will bring about positive

change", she said.

"However, when I say I will work for free, it doesn't mean I will bear

my own transportation to and from location, board and lodge among

others. All I am saying is that, I will not charge a fee for my

services. Anyway, this doesn't also mean I will be doing it for free

all the time. I will have to get paid at some point in time.

"I need to go back to acting again because I am bored and I get

lonely sometimes. I miss being on set and being in front of the

cameras. I miss seeing myself in movies and I am finding it difficult

to understand why film makers do not want to use us anymore.

" The last time I played in a major movie was about five or six years

ago although, I played a mother role some seven months ago in a short

film, a documentary of Ananse. And I am not alone here. Almost all the

old actors have been sidelined. They haven't been on set for a long


"Veteran actors are still being used in Hollywood and even

neighbouring Nigeria so why can't it be same down here. Why do they

rather want to use make-up and powder to push young ones into elderly

roles? And sometimes, they even do a bad job of it so why not use

people who are naturally elderly? This just beats my mind".

According to the mother of six and grandmother of 10, she tried

finding out why the old actors were not being used and she was told

they were not bankable.

"From my own investigations, I am told the film makers say we are not

marketable but I don't think that is true because there are a few

films that have featured some of my old colleagues and they have done

well on the market so what are they talking about?

"I also heard we are expensive but that is also not true. So far as I

know, they haven't approached us so how can we charge them? We are not

expensive but they should give us something that will make us happy.

We can always negotiate.

" I think the film makers should reconsider their decision not to use

the old actors. For some of us, that is all we know and it is also our

source of income so being out of work has become very stressful. Most

of us have even fallen ill duet to that.

" You see, going on set can be therapeutic for us. We get to interact

with people. We get to talk, laugh, among others. We become active and

that is de-stressing enough. We also earn some money to keep body and

soul together. This will prevent some of us from going round begging

for money and being ridiculed sometimes in the process. I tell you, it

has not been rosy for some of us" she said.

Maame Dokono who currently runs a school, Graceful Grace Academy in

Adenta said the situation is very bad for some of the veteran actors.

"I am relatively comfortable but I am bored. I get to visit my

children and grandchildren abroad but still it can be boring

sometimes. I spend my time interacting with my pupils when school is

in session but I get really lonely and bored when the kids are on

vacation. I can imagine what my colleagues who used to depend solely

on acting must be going through this challenging times", she said.

Despite the fact that Maame Dokono feel sidelined lately, she has no

regrets at all choosing acting as a career. "Acting has taken me to a

lot of places and I know I have impacted positively on a number of

people especially women and children", she said.

Maame Dokono who also ventured into radio and TV said that she was

trying to get back on TV to do story telling like she used to do with

By The Fireside but it has not been easy. "Getting sponsorship has

been a challenge but I believe there is light at the end of the

tunnel. One needs a lot of money to come out with quality production

and I hope some sponsorship will come my way soon."

Asked if she would go back to politics, Maame Dokono who tried and

lost twice the primaries of the Birim North on the New Patriotic

Party(NPP) ticket said she had no plans of doing so.

"You need a lot of money to do politics and I cannot afford that kind

of money right now. I tried twice at the primaries and lost on both

occasions and I don't think I want to do that again. I think I will

rather help from behind the scenes.

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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