Abraham no ‘Beast’

Idris Elba with Abraham Attah in “Beast of No Nation”

Idris Elba with Abraham Attah in “Beast of No Nation”

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Hello Teenville .Do your homework. Clean your room. Get a job. Go play some sport. Get some exercise. Do something useful. Get off the phone. Maintain reasonable TV viewing. Do you ever study? Do you sometimes feel that all your parents do is nag, nag, nag, nag? You are not alone. A teen got in touch with us and said: Please CLS, do something about teen motivation and enlighten the adults. Do not publish my name. I am one of the victims. But we think that it is not about

the parents only but also about you.

As a teen you need to be responsible. If you do your chores, demonstrate that you are in control of your life, then your parents do not need to be following you up all the time.

We do admit that some parents are just impossible but this space is for teens so let us talk about what you can do.

If you are the one who is supposed to do something like clean dishes after supper, do not wait to be sent all the time.

Just get up and do it already. Keep that bedroom tidy. It doesn’t matter if it is not a designer closet and you share it with five other people.

Most importantly, do make your school work the most important focus of your life, not TV, WhatsApp or whatever else.

Moving on to what’s hip this week:

Congratulations to our boy 14-year-old Ghanaian actor, Abraham Attah dubbed Leonardo DiCaprio of Africa.

His feature film debut “Beast of No Nation,” Abraham has been on the rise on the international movie industry.

Just recently, he bagged a Netflix scholarship, the Marcello Mastroianni “Best Young Actor Award” at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. In his backyard he was awarded “Best Actor” in a leading role, among others in the Ghanaian Movie Awards.

He is also expected to feature in Shane Caruth’s third film, “The Modern Ocean.”

A few days ago, Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare hinted that the “Beast of No Nation” actor will be made Ghana’s Tourism Ambassador.

She said, “We are proud of Abraham Attah at the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and all of us should pamper him and do our best to make sure all he has achieved takes him far.”

This brings me to the question? Where are my Zimbo teens? Let us know how you are putting our country on the map.

Here is a sneak peak from the “Beast of No Nation” movie, I watched it on a DVD, and am not sure our cinemas have screened the movie yet.

“A boy is a dangerous thing”, said the Commandant, who leads an army of young soldiers fighting a civil war in an unspecified West African country.

He’s talking about Agu, a newly captured prisoner and also, potentially, a fresh recruit, who has fled into the forest hoping to escape the violence that has consumed his hometown.

Agu, who describes himself as ‘a good boy from a good family’, seems perfectly harmless — a skinny pre-adolescent whose capacity for malice doesn’t extend beyond pranks directed at his vain, girl-crazy older brother.

But the most heartbreaking thing about “Beasts of No Nation” is that both Agu and the Commandant are right.

The line between innocence and evil is thinner than the blade of a machete.

Written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, “Beasts of No Nation” is based on Uzodinma Iweala’s harrowing, linguistically dazzling novel of a child soldier’s life.

Mr Iweala’s distinctive prose style is sometimes echoed in Agu’s voice-over narration, but the boy’s point of view is more immediately conveyed in the watchful eyes and sensitive features of Abraham Attah, the nimble young actor who plays him.

Agu is numbed by horror and hardened by the brutality he has witnessed and perpetrated.

The Commandant (Idris Elba) trains him and his comrades to be ‘warriors’, which is to say war criminals.

While the film, like the book, does not turn away from the atrocities they commit, it also doesn’t allow you to forget that they’re children.

Till next week, keep swaggering.

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