This blog features my first screenplay after completing a course on filmmaking. The story, told in a Ghanaian setting, is about a typical day in the life of a woman who has to balance her personal life as a single mother of two and her demanding professional life advising her government on economic policy issues. I hope you enjoy it.
Title: A Day in the life of Kukua Gyan
Kukua gingerly wakes up to the sound of her baby crying. She picks him up and gives him a bottle. Phone rings…
Good Morning, Dr. Gyan. Sorry to bother you on a weekend. Minister has called for an advisory meeting at one o’clock this afternoon.
Hi Khalil. I thought we concluded the gas pipeline discussions last night.
It’s not about the pipeline. The Chinese are wrapping up their visit in the DRC and have requested for an unofficial visit before they return to China.
Unofficial? Err ok. See you at noon.
Kukua, with baby strapped to her back, prepares breakfast for her 5-year-old daughter, Alexa, who is seated at the breakfast counter.
Alexa, mummy has to go into the office today. I know I promised we would go swimming. But, I have to go to the office for a bit. We will go swimming tomorrow after church, I promise.
I want to go swimming today. You promised.
Alexa, I thought we were going to work on your vegetable garden today.
Kukua throws the nanny an appreciative smile, hands over the baby and rushes upstairs to get ready.
EXT. MINISTRY OF FINANCE BUILDING ENTRANCE.DAY
Kukua pulls in at the security entrance of the Ministry of Finance building. The security guard smiles and waves her through.
Kukua enters the boardroom. She is handed a file and joins five other all male advisers at the table. A few minutes later, the minister of finance walks in.
Thank you all for coming at such short notice. A Chinese delegation will be arriving this evening with a concessional loan agreement for US$ 3 billion. The President has instructed me to sign the agreement. This will be done at the airport when they arrive. You have two hours to review the draft agreement. Any questions?
Minister, I realise the legal department is not present at this meeting. I believe its important to..
There is no time for that. We will reconvene at 3pm. Thank you all.
INT. KUKUA’S OFFICE. DAY
Is there any point to this? As usual, the decision has already been made.
I know. Still, we have to advise. Our professional integrity is at stake.
Ah, Kukua. As always, so naive. [pause] And so beautiful. You didn’t return my call last night.
Kojo, this is not the time. We have just over 90 minutes to page through a 100 page document. I suggest you take the first 50 and I..
No can do. I am reading the introduction, conclusion and the financial tables. That’s it.
Kukua sighs and signals for him to leave her office.
Kukua drops her keys and bag at the entrance hall, shrugs off her jacket and heads upstairs towards the sound of the TV.
Hi Baby! And what are we watching?
Avatar, mummy. We picked vegetables from the garden and made you a yummy dinner.
Oh wow! I can’t wait to tuck in.
Kukua cuddles with Alexa in front of the TV. Moments later, her phone rings. She steps out of the TV lounge and checks in on the sleeping baby while answering her phone.
Hi Mr. K
I guess you’ve heard. Minister has signed the agreement.
What? After all that?
Oh come on. You can’t be surprised. We can still make the most of these nonsensical political decisions and ensure that the funds are used effectively and deliver on services.
Remind me again. Why did I leave academia to join the public service? And what’s worse, I feel like a useless mother.
Dont be so hard on yourself…. Alexa and little Kwame adore you…I wish you were here with me. I’m having dinner at Tante Marie all by myself.
Tempting, believe me. But, I have mummy duties. And now, I am in a foul mood. I can’t bear the thought that we have shamelessly handed over our natural resources to the Chinese for a huge loan that we did not seek and have to repay with very high interest. Anyway, enjoy dinner. We’ll talk tomorrow.
INT. TV LOUNGE. EVENING
Kukua rejoins Alexa, who has now fallen asleep on the couch. She reaches for the remote control to turn off the TV but is struck by the images of the enchanted forest being hacked away by the greedy capitalists to the distress of the inhabitants.
Photo credit:scriptmag.com, indiewire.com