The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has set June 28, 2019 as the date for its national elections with regional elections following on October 25, 2019. This will be followed by its 2nd Biennial Conference in Accra on June 25, 2020. The elections will elect a new leadership for the Union after the term of the current executive under the leadership of its President Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour.
This was announced by the General Secretary of the Union, Deborah Freeman at its 1st Biennial Conference in Cape Coast. The conference was under the theme Building a Vibrant Union for National Development.
Speaking as the Guest of Honor at the conference, the Central Regional Minister, Hon Kwamena Duncan assured the Union of government’s support in its work to ensure the welfare of musicians in the country.
Hon Duncan congratulated the Union for successfully holding its first biennial conference and called on musicians to continue to play a meaningful role in society through music that uplifts, heals and guides our nation.
MUSIGA President, Bice Osei Kuffour called on government to reintroduce music education into our basic school curriculum to ensure our youth enjoy the benefits of pedagogy and also create jobs for the teeming number of musicians with teaching skills.
He also called on government to make the KPMG’s Comprehensive Study on the Music Sector, a focal point of its interventions in the music sector. Obour also recounted the work the Union has done under his leadership.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) Deputy Secretary General, Joshua Ansah said the informal sector of the economy has a huge impact on national development and musicians play a crucial in it.
A former president of the Union, Alhaji Sidiku Buari called on government to reintroduce tax waivers for the importation of musical instruments into the country to create more jobs for musicians. Diana Hopeson the immediate past president of MUSIGA who is also 2nd Vice President of GHAMRO explained the different roles the two organizations play in the music sector.
He noted that since MUSIGA is a member of the Union of Informal Workers Association (UNIWA) which is affiliated to the TUC, MUSIGA it will benefit from the technical support the TUC provides.
The conference was attended by regional executives from all over Ghana with a State Attorney from the Copyright Office, Dorothy Habadah present. Solidarity messages were from UNIWA, the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), the Copyright Office, the Ageing Musicians Welfare Fund (AMWeF), Ghana Actors Guild (GAG) and the Ghana Culture Forum (GCF).
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Culture Forum (GCF), Creative Arts Council and Samrit Hotel supported the conference.
GB TV: Kofi Mole – Bestie (Official Music Video)
Director: Yaw Phanta
NGA frontliner, Kofi Mole releases the official music video for “Bestie” off his “Aposor Love” EP . The video stars the sexy looking songtress – Coco Trey.
“I’m The Only Serious, Business Minded Artiste In Ghana. – Shatta Wale
Award-winning dancehall artiste, Shatta Wale, has explained that his constant criticism of his fellow artistes and for that matter, the Ghanaian music industry is because of his desire to see the industry thrive on the global stage.
According to him, the attitude and mentality of his colleagues do not depict people who are serious-minded and business-focused. In a television interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme, Shatta Wale said although his criticisms are hurtful, they are the hard truth.
“My criticism is for change in the industry; change of attitude and mentality towards our work. I believe most of them are not serious when it comes to music. People have sung since time immemorial and have made people see musicians as band boys and so we are not taken seriously.
“I’ve taken music seriously so when I see some artistes pretending that life is good for them, it makes me feel that pain. Osibisa was one of the successful groups globally. When it comes to my colleagues, we have not taken music serious,” he said.
Explaining further, Shatta Wale, known in real life as Charles Nii Armah Mensah blamed the media for compounding the problems in the music industry. According to him, the media has over hyped musicians and have created the impression that “they’ve made it.”
“Presenters make them feel swollen-headed even with a single song and so when they move out there they move with some hype and they think they’ve made it. I’ve been there before. When I came out as Bandana, that was the same thing I went through. But I was living in a single room and I wasn’t making money,” he said.
According to him, what hurts him most is that some of these musicians who are seen playing on the international stage are paid as low as £100 and £200.
“Some of these artistes are paid £100, £200. You’ll see this person is travelling and I go like, when you went there how much money did you make? Do not lie to the next generation. Do not let them feel like travelling and meeting people out there is the business. The business is how much money are you putting in your pocket? How much are you saving? Cos we are all growing…it’s a seasonal thing.
“I’ll grow one day and see that at this age I have to stop doing music so when I stop what am I going to do? So, I’ve started now, doing businesses here and there. If you think that this is going to be forever… that is why you find old musicians coming out and complaining and it makes me feel sad,” he lamented.
In 2018, Shatta Wale was billed to perform at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Awards held at the Accra International Conference Centre but he failed to turn up.
Explaining why he did not perform at the awards, he said he had no contract with CAF and that he wanted to prove to them that “I’m a very serious artiste who takes his business seriously.”
“CAF didn’t sign a contract with me. They didn’t link any of my management team so when that whole thing came up I was a bit surprise that how come they would want to pay me some money without contract.
“It wasn’t because they paid my Nigerian counterparts more than they offered me. It wasn’t because of the Nigerians. I wanted to show them that this is a serious artiste who takes his business serious. If you wanna put me on a show there are procedures that you have to go through,” he explained.
In his opinion he is the only serious musician in Ghana and it was evident from his collaboration with American singer, Beyonce
“I’m very, very serious,” he said.
Asked if there was no other person in the industry he would consider serious, Shatta had this to say: “I don’t know who to mention. I can’t mention any.”
“What I’m saying now is the truth and it’s the hard truth. They will find it difficult to understand. All those names you are mentioning they are names that I have spoken to and I have educated them on how we should move this music thing,” he explained.
According to him, a serious artiste does not “chase” foreign artistes for collaborations.
“All those artistes you are mentioning are chasing Nigerian artistes. I don’t go chasing Nigerian artistes. They come to me. They love me for the work I do so they come to me with a good heart. It’s not just about talent. I take my business serious.
“When you know what you have, you’ll always sit down and wait for the right time. Like I waited for Beyonce’s collaboration to happen,” he added.
“There Are No Greener Pastures Anywhere. — Wiyaala
International Ghanaian Afro-pop singer Wiyaala, popularly known as the Lioness of Africa has advised young people to stay home, seek opportunities and work hard at home rather than go abroad.
She thinks that, being optimistic and putting the same effort into working back at home can equally lead you to achieving greater heights. She said, ‘Europe, USA and even Accra are not all that they are made out to be. I’ve seen many young Africans struggling to survive. It’s a myth to think of these places outside as the promised land.’
Watch the video at https://www.t2tinternational.org/event
Speaking in an exclusive interview with the host of 3FM Drive, Giovani Caleb, she said that ‘‘ young people, especially females who seem to face more problems than the boys, need to work harder and realise that the same energy you use in the big city or going outside you could also use in your regions and towns. There are huge opportunities coming in farming and tourism’
The Lioness also related how the Wiyaala Gala Concert in the UK raised significant funds for Teach2Teach, an NGO which trains unemployed SHS leavers to teach basic education to children in deprived communities in Northern Ghana. This helps reduce youth unemployment and improve primary school education in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
(Source: Nancy Hatie Nwadei)
GB TV: Tinny – Kojo Besia
Label: Bardman Family
Studio: Snare Films