Jewel Ackah's predicament: A lesson to foot soldiers and all

Jewel Ackah 123 Jewel Ackah

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 Source: Simon Aikins

Jewel Ackah is one musician who has entertained Ghanaians with his songs over the years and without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best musicians Ghana has ever produced. He is a sight to behold on stage irrespective of his weight.

I have been wondering about Jewel Ackah's sudden departure from the stage, only to be hit by the news that he has been ill for a while. He confirmed it when I listened to him on radio stating he was down with a stroke.

He further added that he had no money to cater for his medical bills. To my dismay, he also revealed that the National Democratic Congress(NDC), a party whose anthem was composed and sang by him had also left him to his faith. He mentioned the former President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama as one of the few NDC folks who supports him from time to time.

Some people have condemned the NDC for abandoning one of their own who has sacrificed his career just to support the party. Many are of the opinion that, as a musician, it is either you are neutral or you stay off politics in order to have a cordial relationship with your audience because as a musician, you appeal to all with your songs.

They believe that the very moment a musician professes his love for one party, it creates divisions in the musician's support base. This affects patronage of shows, sales of records and credibility.

According to Jewel Ackah, since he declared his support for the NDC, he has lost revenue in the form of low patronage of his music and also lost opportunities to be on shows and missed endorsement deals. This he claims has had a damning effect on his finances.

Some have been able to disprove Jewel Ackah's assertion that he has become irrelevant in the music industry as a result of his association with the NDC. They are of the view that if one has a good product and marketed well, it would appeal to the masses and sell irrespective of who is offering it.

This is because the likes of Daddy Lumba, Kwabena Kwabena, and Great Ampong have all done songs for the New Patriotic Party(NPP) and still remain active and relevant in the industry. They believe that Jewel Ackah has passed his prime and has become stale. Hence, his inability to churn out songs to woo people in order to attract endorsement deals that would bloat his bank account.

My issue is, Jewel has been doing music which spans over three decades. I believe he made some good money. What did he do with all the money he made when he was in his prime? Did he have a good management team who advised him on his finances? Good management team is one thing that is missing from the showbiz industry in Ghana. Artistes are only interested in the glitz and glamour at the expense of the business aspect.

Elsewhere, there are people whose duties in the management team are to give sound financial advice to the artiste, manage his finances and plan his or her future because in most cases, the artistes are not abreast with the rudiments of prudent financial management.

It must be stated that some artistes are just not ready to listen to advice especially when they have become the cynosure of all eyes. They grow horns and decide to do things their way when they have not been adequately prepared for the arduous task ahead. They mess up and they blame everyone but themselves.

I believe if uncle Jewel had a good management team in place, he would not be blaming people for his woes.

Jewel Ackah's current situation is a lesson to all footsoldiers who put their lives at risk for political parties with the intention of being offered juicy contracts and freebies should their parties win elections. They should understand that no political party owes them a living.

They would only use them as and when they are needed and dump them when they are of no use to their dreams. It is good to support a political party, but tread cautiously because it is not even guaranteed that your party would win the election. People are given the shock of their lives after investing so much in terms of money and time only to be ditched when they need help.

Invest in your future to avoid despising it when you get there. Life will not always be rosy. There will be road bumps but if you are adequately prepared, they will be effortlessly navigated. Bear in mind that, politicians will always remain politicians. Add value to yourself and they would respect you. They will always have you at their beck and call if you continue to lick their boots.

Columnist: Simon Aikins