Television of Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Ghanaian drama series ‘LEAKED’ broke new grounds when it was released.
The series tackles head-on an issue people generally shy away from talking about rape, and its effects on victims.
Produced by the Radio Advertising People Limited, the series has taken on a life of its own.
LEAKED tells the story of Maame, a level 300 student who narrates her ordeal when her roommate and best friend team up with others to blackmail her over her nude photos. The story worsens when she gets entangled in a relationship with her roommate’s boyfriend.
MuseAfrica.com‘s Maritha Brooth caught up with Jay Foley, the writer, producer and director of the series to share the inspiration behind the series, and his plans to create more awareness about rape.
MuseAfrica.com: What is the inspiration behind the series ‘leaked’?
Jay Foley: The core concept of the story was chanced upon. However, the project was deliberate.
The whole concept of an audio series is something I had been trying to work on since 2012, but I guess around 2012, we were not as IT savvy and on the go as compared to now because of digital media.
It came back again last year that let me try and get it out. So I wanted something that could get people on the go, that people could easily listen to…. short audio stories, put it on your phone, anytime you want to listen to it, you can listen.
Then now it comes to the storyline now. I just decided to talk about rape because it was one of those things that indirectly… I think I had been hearing stories about young girls and women who have been victims of rape but unfortunately, they have never been able to speak about it.
And there were reasons they hadn’t been able to speak and that drew my curiosity to start talking to people who, one way or the other had been victims. And I think as time went on the story evolved and I was able to expand it into various variants to things that are very relatable like envy and jealousy.
All these things are ripple effects of things that happened to a victim, a student in the story – a fictional character called Maame who had the experience of a leaked picture leading to blackmail, and then rape.
Basically, ‘Leaked’ was inspired by stories I heard from people that unfortunately people don’t talk about, victims sort of coil back in their shells, and in their own pain. A lot of people don’t hear what they have to say.
MuseAfrica.com: What are the future plans for Leaked?
Jay Foley: The most important thing is creating awareness.
Creating awareness is just one of the things. The other question I was asking myself is how does it really impact?
On July 27, the lead character that’s Maame was raped brutally by 4 guys according to the story.
It’s my wish that July 27 every year is dedicated to stepping out and creating awareness so it gets to the point where women will be bold enough to step away from condemnation and violation. They will be able to name men who have raped them, you can imagine what’s going to happen.
You can imagine 27th July of every year, every man will be afraid to be mentioned. The idea is to create awareness on the memorable day of 27th July which happens to be my birthday. I want to dedicate my birthday to fight to raise the awareness of rape so that people will be named and shamed.
MuseAfrica.com: In what form will this be?
Jay Foley: The thing is that I had no direction when I was writing and producing this.
It just started and has evolved. Where we are at now is creating audio feels, fortunately for us, it is working which I am excited about.
I am hoping that on that d-day, we run a digital media campaign that across various platforms to create awareness about it or an event where we host women who have been victims of rape before in their life to boldly come out and share their stories so people can actually relate to it and understand the pain that they go through and then seek justice. We should be able to do something. But as I sit here today, the story is evolving so if it gets to 27th of July, and this is what we are going to achieve, then so be it.
MuseAfrica.com: What is the idea behind monetizing it?
Jay Foley: Season one was completely free, we don’t intend to charge.
However, this is production and production will always have some cost element attached to it. So what we did was that it is still available on YouTube, that is if you want to wait for the daily updates and uploads to be done.
However, if you are that curious and you want to find out what happens in the next episode just after it airs 8pm online and on Y FM, then you can actually visit our website that is www.trapghana.com and you can just select leaked on the menu button, and then pay 70 pesewas depending on the length of the audio and the number of characters in the audio, that’s how the billing system is.
It ranges between 70 pesewas and 90 pesewas per episode and it is available on all the mobile money platforms. You will receive a voucher code and punch it back into the website on the particular episode you want to listen to, and it gives you two-time access.
MuseAfrica.com: Are there plans to adapt the series into a movie?
Jay Foley: 3 days ago, if you asked this question I will tell you there were no plans, 3 days later if you ask me this, I will say there is something big coming. I don’t want to spoil the surprises.
MuseAfrica.com: Any last words?
Jay Foley: Let us understand that, rape is not good. No woman deserves to be ever raped. Men will have to learn to control themselves regardless and understand that when you rape a woman, you crush her soul so it’s something we have to really look at.
And I pray that the world will reach a point where enough awareness will be created on especially victims or women who have been victims to rape so that we can start finding justice for them one way or the other.