Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home AfricaBib Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Gyamfi's Golden Soap': commodity marketing, reform legitimation, and the performance of cultural authenticity in Ghana's popular theatre
Author:Donkor, David Afriyie
Periodical:Ghana Studies (ISSN 1536-5514)
Geographic term:Ghana
beauty culture industry
multinational enterprises
community theatre
African culture
Abstract:In June 1997, the multinational company Unilever relaunched its Keysoap, a well-known soap product in Ghana, at the National Theatre of Ghana in a 'concert party' play entitled 'Gyamfi's Golden Soap', a theatrical reworking of an Asante legend. In the play, a royal chief offers his daughter to whoever can perform her marriage rites 'in the traditional way'. The winning candidate conjures a giant bar of Keysoap, which descends from above on to the stage. He presents the giant soap to the princess and assures her 'of a cleaner, healthier and better life'. This paper explores how popular theatre and multinational commodity marketing intersected with authenticity, as a national-cultural style, in Ghana during the 1990s. It argues that the interrelationship of popular theatre and commodity marketing is no coincidence, but discloses a process of legitimation. Further, this process reveals the doctrine of neoliberalism that is operating in the socioeconomic, cultural and political context of late 20th-century Ghana. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]