Entertainment Sat, 22 May 2021

Bloggers' Forum: Pundits deflate Sam George's assessment of the arts industry

• On this week's episode, Abrantepa and his guests discussed the MP for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George

• The MP in a recent interview described people in the industry as hypocrites

• The panel also discussed the exploits of some Ghanaians at the 39th edition of the International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA)

The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram, Samuel Nartey George appearing on Starr FM’s Starr Chat with Nana Aba Anamoah described members of the Ghanaian creative arts industry as being hypocrites when discussing issues of the industry.

The lawmaker said, members of the industry were critical of the Mahama administration but have mostly gone quiet despite the failure of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to meet its promises to them.

“The people in the arts industry are hypocrites and do not hold the government accountable. This government during the campaign promised to build a theatre in each region, on the basis of that, all the creative arts players rallied behind that party and four years into the government and not even one theatre has been built. When we ask questions on the track record of the government, you will still have some creative arts people coming to defend it. Even though the theatres have not been built, the creative arts players who will still have a Zoomlion or cleaning contracts or some supply contracts, now become comfortable in their own shoes and refuse to hold the government accountable.”

The MP singled out the Deputy Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey when he accused members of the arts industry of always playing politics and further questioned the competence of the nominee.

“What has been Mark’s input, now that the theatres are still closed? The cinemas are still closed and what has he done with his proximity to Nana Addo to open the cinemas. Before the Cinema was closed more productions were done and people earn their living. We should be seeing Mark championing a charge now. Mark is thinking about just himself. They forget where they came from. After four years you will go back to meet your colleagues.”

Appearing as guests on this week’s edition of GhanaWeb TV's entertainment review show Bloggers’ Forum, Nana Yaw Wiredu of Oneplay Africa and Vida Adutwumwaa Boaateng roundly rejected the MP's position and assertions about members of the creative arts sector.

In her view, Vida Adutwumwaa Boateng averred that the MP was not being fair to the Deputy Minister Nominee and per his statement, he [Sam George] had turned out to be more hypocritical than those he was accusing.

According to her, the MP's statement actually confirmed the notion that people in the political space and governance tend to look down on the arts and entertainment industry.

“His first question was about what Mark has done as an industry person to deserve the nomination and the second thing he said had to do with the fact that, he wouldn’t want us to expect him, a typical politician to fight for creative arts. He questioned the whereabouts of the theatres the government promised and also accused Mark of not holding the president accountable because he has been induced.

"But as we speak, Mark is not a Deputy Minister yet, he has not even been vetted for you to give him such responsibilities. Yes, he can play the role of a designate and when you come to his second question, he said we shouldn’t expect him, Sam George, to come and fight for us. This is telling me why our sector has been underdeveloped for a very long time. Because they feel they are not the ones to come and fight for us. They have roads and agriculture to think about hence they see ours as a second bit," she said.

She pointed out that the arts and entertainment industry is an indispensable sector for which reason the MP must reconsider his position and contribute towards the growth of the sector.

Nana Yaw Wiredu on his part said despite his agreement with the MP on the issue of hypocrisy being present in the industry, the fueling factor has always been the politicians themselves who seek to exploit the industry players for their political gains.

“You see he was quick to point out the fact that one person wants to collect the money and become rich? Who is the one funding the whole thing? It’s them, they know. They know that when he calls you and say Abrantepa give me Nana Yaw and Vida he will say forget them and give me the money, I will pay them. Then Abrantepa will call Vida and say ‘the NDC people don’t have money so let me give you something small and then you do the work.’ So they know, because they are the ones funding those small small divisions in our sector,” he said.

Hosted by GhanaWeb’s Benefo Buabeng (Abrantepa), the Bloggers' Forum panel also discussed the exploits of Ghanaian acts at the 39th edition of the International Reggae & World Music Awards (IRAWMA).

Held in Jamaica on May 16, 2021, four Ghanaians picked up various awards on the night.

Out of the five Ghanaians who were nominated, four won their categories including internationally acclaimed Kwame Yeboah who was adjudged the Instrumentalist of the Year.

Shatta Wale was adjudged Best Virtual Entertainer of the Year award, beating Agent Sasco, Beenie Man & Bounty Killer (Verzuz), Buju Banton and Capleton to win the award.

Rapper Sarkodie beat Beenie Man vs Bounty (Verzuz Battle), Rebel Salute and Reggae Sumfest to win the Best Virtual Showcase/Concert award for his Black Love Concert which was held in August 2020 at the Black Stars Square.

Teen disc jockey DJ Switch also won the Best Young Entertainer award. She beat DJ Whitney, Kailash and Wayne J.

Speaking on the awards, the panellists welcomed the news describing it as one of the good things that prove people like the MP for Ningo-Prampram wrong on their notions about the Ghanaian arts and entertainment industry.

Watch the Bloggers’ Forum show below:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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