Much has been written and spoken about Bollywood films and their popularity in foreign countries and most recent flicks that have taken on the challenge includes Baahubali and Dangal. But even the television series is no less when it comes to extending the soft power of India in other countries. In one such incident, the whole of West Africa is crazy for TV serial Kumkum Bhagya! The popularity of Ekta Kapoor’s saas-bahu drama is so huge that as Ghana U-17 football team have expressed the desire to meet ‘Pragya’ and ‘Abhi’ from Kumkum Bhagya in real life!
As soon as the team came to know that pre-quarterfinal FIFA World Cup match would be taking place in Mumbai, they expressed their desire to meet Pragya and Abhi of this popular TV serial. This TV soap opera has become a supreme in the world TV shows in Ghana.
Kwadwo Agyemang, board chairman of the Ghana National Sports Authority talks about his and his team’s love for Kumkum Bhagya.
If you’re scratching your head in contemplation, then let us tell you that Ekta Kapoor’s Telenovela has been on air in Ghana since 2015. It has been dubbed in their native language Twi and is available during prime time on TV. In the last two years, the show has become vastly famous among the Ghanaians, that they’ve actually started believing that Abhi and Pragya can fluently speak Twi.
“They can stream it from the Ghana website on their phones to get the translated version, but we have confiscated their phones so they don’t get distracted. I watch the show, so they keep asking me what is happening,” adds Agyemang.
One example from Ghana will surprise you the most. Agyemang shows a video on his phone which was viral in Ghana’s capital, Accra. In the video, an old woman is standing in front of her TV, shouting at one of the characters in Kumkum Bhagya.
“In the scene, two characters are fooling Abhi, the rockstar. So the lady is shouting at Abhi to not believe them. People have become so engrossed in the show that there is a special analysis show now, sometimes with celebrities participating, which happens after each episode. Just like a post-match show for a football match,” says Agyemang.
The show is all the rage in Ghana to such an extent that it attracts one of the highest advertising revenues, approximately $6,500 every month per slot!