Ghanaian film maker, Leila Afua Djansi has shared her sexual harassment experiences.
The founder of the Los Angeles based production house Turning Point Pictures revealed that she went home unpaid after she rejected a kiss offer by her boss.
The award winning producer recounted that her refusal to accept to kiss her boss left her having to live on empty stomach for days.
Djansi added that she was unable to ask her parents for money because her father was down with stroke so had to depend on friends for food to survive.
Her disclosure comes after Lydia Forson spoke on BBC’s Focus on Africa about her experiences of harassment in the Ghanaian movie industry.
“I’ll share my sexual harassment stories all week.
In Ghana and in America.
When I started out, a TV station owed me money. I met with the head for my payment and he asked me to kiss him first. I said no. Went home without pay. Spent another week without food. My dad was down with stroke so there was no way I was asking my parents for money. Thanks to friends who invited me to their meals.
My previous attorney who ended up robbing me. He said my boobs were too small, industry men will not find me attractive enough to give me deals. His advice was to get a partner with big boobs who’d use her sexuality to get me into rooms.
Djansi’s first film was awarded a 2009 worldFest Platinum Award for the film Grass Between My Lips, a story of female circumcision and early marriage, set in a northern Ghana village.
In 2010, her debut feature, I Sing of a Well was nominated for 11 African Movie Academy Awards. The film won 3 awards: Best Sound, Best Costume and the Jury Special Award for Over-All Best Film. In 2011, Djansi was presented with the BAFTA/LA Pan African Film Festival Choice Award for the film I Sing of a Well.
Djansi’s 2011 film Sinking Sands received 10 African Movie Academy Award nominations, with Ama K Abebrese winning the Best Actress Award and Djansi earning the Best Original Screenplay Award. At the first Ghana Movie Awards in 2011, Djansi’s Sinking Sands received awards for “Best Art Direction”, “Best Costume”, “Best West African Film” and “Best Picture”. Sinking Sands was nominated in 14 categories.