Tinny’s MUSIGA talk childish! [Article]

I will be playing the ostrich to assert that Bice ‘Obuor’ Osei Kuffuor, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) has no blemishes in his administration.

A couple of musicians have criticised Obuor for what they think he hasn’t been able to do for them yet – and they are right to vent their displeasure at what bugs them. I personally believe he could do better, too.

MUSIGA President Obuor

What Obour has not done

What Obour has not been able to do is to strengthen the regional MUSIGA branches. Most of these regional branches just exist by name – and when that happens, they feel rejected and the union doesn’t get national prominence.

He has also not been able to develop the careers of the people that fall within his ambit. Some MUSIGA members have said that they want a studio to be built for them: they also want MUSIGA to get a TV channel so they can have easy access show their music video with less or no charges.

I personally think Obour has been overly concerned about the welfare of the people than what actually affects their talent.

Obuor’s Achievements as MUSIGA President

Notwithstanding all these, there is no gainsaying the fact that Obuor has made the union more vibrant than it was in the past.

Obuor has instituted a fund called Ageing Musician’s Welfare Fund (AMWef) for musicians in the union who have grown old or sickly. He holds the MUSIGA Grand Ball every year to raise funds for the aged. Hitherto, there was nothing on a sort.

Ex-President Mahama & Kwadwo Sarfo at Musiga Grand Ball 2015

There is also an annual Music Week Festival that is also held to give the musicians a platform to perform.

Nana Kwame Ampadu

There has been membership categorisation with accompanying benefits (including  legal advice, facilitation in musical works registration and royalty collection, discounted services eg. health insurance, group life insurance etc), and re-registration of over 1,000 members, establishment of new membership database and increase  in membership by 200 percent.

In collaboration with National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), the union has instituted a MUSIGA Academy to provide professional training and skills for players in the Music Industry.

The union for the first time was able to access government funding through a budgetary allocation of 2 million Ghana cedis in 2012 for research, music fair & peace campaign, capacity building and project administration.

It was through this fund that a comprehensive survey on Music Industry in Ghana to identify the economic contribution of the sector to GDP and also to advise policy direction and public and private investment in the music sector, was done.

Tinny wants MUSIGA ran by foreigners

Rapper Tinny has said on Joy FM that he strongly believes that the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) can only succeed if management of the union is given to foreigners.

According to him, foreigners have the requisite qualities and qualifications to manage the union to the benefit of musicians.

Tinny, known in music circles as Nii Addo Quaynor revealed that he does not follow the activities of MUSIGA because the current management is not effective. “I just don’t want to follow MUSIGA.”

To him, MUSIGA will be better if it is treated like the senior national team, the Black Stars where foreign coaches are mostly employed to manage it.

“Ghana music, I see it like Black Stars. We take huge amount of money to pay a coach from outside Ghana to come and manage Black Stars. We should fire all the guys at MUSIGA,” he said.

He added that “I think we should have people from outside Ghana to come and manage MUSIGA because I believe that their way of thinking is different.”

Tinny’s comment reeks of inferiority complex

I respect Tinny’s opinion but it is reflective of one who doesn’t really know what he is talking about.

Most times when you ask these musicians why Obuor is not doing well, all they say is that is ‘chopping’ money. Yet, none of them has been able to provide any evidence to back their claim.

We live in a country where we defer to orders from foreigners than our own compatriots. Very soon we would ask that a foreigner should come occupy the seat f the President.

He cited the Black Stars as an example of institutions that have for a long time been handled by foreign coaches. Meanwhile, we live in a country where people have always advocated that we use local coaches.

Ghanaians have over the years raised concerns about foreign music gaining dominance in the Ghanaian music industry. We complain about foreigners running big companies in the country yet Tinny is suggesting that MUSIGA be given to a foreign hand.

He rather wants someone from outside the country to come handle MUSIGA so we pay them huge sums of money from our scanty resources. That’s typical black man wizardry.  He will be comfortable if a foreigner takes the money that his fellow Ghanaian does not deserve.

There are a lot of musicians who criticise the union just because they have heard some people do same. That is herd instinct! Tinny claims he does not follow MUSIGA so how does he track what does not go well and what goes well with the union. How can you make an informed opinion of something you don’t follow?

What Obour’s critics should do

Even though I am one of the writers that seriously rooted for Obuor when he vied for the MUSIGA Presidency in 2012, I have bashed him on several occasions for things he had not done right.

For example, I was on their neck when their website went moribund. I pressed on them till they kept it running.

I had bemoaned the ‘unkempt’ nature of the building that houses MUSIGA’s office and have questioned why it had not been painted. Obour, told me government was relocating them to a new place due to the marine project – but they still are there.

MUSIGA Office

I pressed on Obuor to act fast when there was misappropriation of Ghana Music Week funds at the Eastern Region branch of the union.

I did not spare them when due to low publicity they registered abysmally poor numbers at this year’s Ghana Music Week – and I will not hesitate to commend or criticise them when I deem fit.

But Obuor’s musicians-critics have not been able to point out the specifics. They always come out to make vague and infantile statements. If Tinny thinks there is something to do to make MUSIGA better, he needs to be specific.

Ghana can only solve its own problems. Are we no more capable of managing our own affairs? Is Tinny’s way of thinking so weak that he can’t run his own home? Why does he not bring in an ‘Oyibo’ to his house to manage his family for him? Must we always resort to giving out power to the foreigner as the best means to ending our problems?

Obour will not be MUSIGA President forever. His second term will surely be over and another person will take his place. If we don’t learn how to criticise constructively, we may have to finally call God to come and run MUSIGA and maybe Ghana as a whole.

Don’t sit on the fence and make noise. Be part and effect the change you desire. Learn to criticise by suggesting better options.

By: Kwame Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana

(kwamedazzy@yahoo.co.uk)

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