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Musicians Go To School

Musicians in Ghana have been advised to invest carefully as they ply their trade to forestall the challenges that arise due to inactivity when their careers taper off.

This advice was given by Charles Mensa a Financial Management Consultant at the Ghana Music Business Forum as part of Ghana Music Week 2016 at the British Council Hall.

In a presentation on the topic “Managing Your Finances”, Mr Mensa noted that while at the peak of their careers, some musicians earn fabulous incomes however due to improper investments or no investments at all; these musicians blow their wealth and become virtual paupers by the time of their death. Citing examples of musicians who have gone from grace to grass and others who had gone from glory to glory, Mr Mensa advised the musicians to be mindful of how they handle their fame and wealth.

Another speaker at the forum Jonathan Cudjoe, the Licensing Officer for GHAMRO charged musicians who are also composers to take a keen interest in the affairs of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) the organization responsible for the collection and distribution of royalties to musicians. Speaking on the “Current State of Collection Management and Piracy in Ghana” he noted that GHAMRO is organizing a series of interactions with music rights owners across the country so that they are all on the same page in terms of issues pertaining to their rights as authors and composers of music. On piracy, he said GHAMRO is taking steps with the appropriate institutions to deal with the scourge.

An American Tour Manager, Pat Kirby called on the participants at the forum to prepare adequately to maximize the opportunities presented by tours. She said lack of adequate preparation could mar an otherwise successful tour. Reflecting on her varied experience as a Tour Manager, she advised he participants to pay special attention to their technical riders since that could determine the shape and outcome of their tours.

On her part, the deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Hon Dzifa Gomashie called on Ghanaians to celebrate our own and paid glowing tribute to the current leadership of the Union with Bice Osei Kuffour at the helm of affairs.

She also paid tributes to a number of Ghanaian stars including Rocky Dawuni for his Grammy nomination, Reggie N Bollie for their success during the recent X Factor reality show and teenage prodigy Abraham Attah for his award winning performance in Beasts of No Nation. Hon Gomashie also applauded Sarkodie’s recent speech at the Harvard Business School on his music and career.

The UNESCO rep at the programme Carl Ampah noted that the Creative Arts has a crucial role to play in national development and called on practitioners to constantly hone their skills by taking advantage of such training opportunities that would be available to them. He also spoke about UNESCO’s collaboration with MUSIGA on an upcoming jazz project which he said could be institutionalized.

MUSIGA President Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour reiterated the Union’s commitment to ensuring that Ghanaian musicians get their due and are adequately prepared through training to take advantage of the opportunities available to them hence the decision to hold the Music Business Forum as part of Ghana Music Week (GMW) 2016.

GMW 2016 was launched last Tuesday with a call on Ghanaians by the Head of Public Affairs at the American Embassy Danny Fellman to take advantage of the huge potentials tourism offers to the country. He noted that Ghana can be a destination of choice considering the huge attractions the nation offers. Citing the American example, he said tourism is a huge revenue earner for the U.S.A.

The Ghana Music Business Forum was under the theme “Developing the Music Industry to Drive Tourism” with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts and sponsored by the American Embassy, British Council, Gold Coast Securities and Kasapreko with EIB Networks, Citi FM and Radio Gold as media partners.

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