A Contemporary African Screenplay by Nana Boateng

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

INT.BEDROOM.DAY

Kukua gingerly wakes up to the sound of her baby crying. She picks him up and gives him a bottle. Phone rings…

CALLER

Good Morning, Dr. Gyan. Sorry to bother you on a weekend. Minister has called for an advisory meeting at one o’clock this afternoon.

KUKUA
Hi Khalil. I thought we concluded the gas pipeline discussions last night.

CALLER

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.

KUKUA

Unofficial? Err ok. See you at noon.

INT.KITCHEN.DAY

Kukua, with baby strapped to her back, prepares breakfast for her 5-year-old daughter, Alexa, who is seated at the breakfast counter.

KUKUA

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.

ALEXA

I want to go swimming today. You promised.

NANNY

Alexa, I thought we were going to work on your vegetable garden today.

ALEXA

Yaay!

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.

INT. BOARDROOM.DAY

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.

MINISTER

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?

KUKUA

Minister, I realise the legal department is not present at this meeting. I believe its important to..

MINISTER

There is no time for that. We will reconvene at 3pm. Thank you all.

INT. KUKUA’S OFFICE. DAY

KOJO

Hey troublemaker

KUKUA

Hey you

KOJO

Is there any point to this? As usual, the decision has already been made.

KUKUA

I know. Still, we have to advise. Our professional integrity is at stake.

KOJO

Ah, Kukua. As always, so naive. [pause] And so beautiful. You didn’t return my call last night.

KUKUA

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..

KOJO

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.

INT.HOME.EVENING

Kukua drops her keys and bag at the entrance hall, shrugs off her jacket and heads upstairs towards the sound of the TV.

KUKUA

Hi Baby! And what are we watching?

ALEXA

Avatar, mummy. We picked vegetables from the garden and made you a yummy dinner.

KUKUA

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.

KOJO

Hi beautiful

KUKUA

Hi Mr. K

KOJO

I guess you’ve heard. Minister has signed the agreement.

KUKUA

What? After all that?

KOJO

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.

KUKUA

Remind me again. Why did I leave academia to join the public service? And what’s worse, I feel like a useless mother.

KOJO

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.

KUKUA

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.

QUEUE MUSIC…

THE END.

Photo credit:scriptmag.com, indiewire.com