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Entertainment of Monday, 11 July 2011

Source: George Clifford Owusu/Daily Guide

Obour Outlines Vision For The Music Industry

One of Ghana’s hiplife artistes, Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour, who is contesting the presidency of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), has declared that when elected to the higher office of the union, he would provide quality leadership that addresses the needs and aspiration of members, the music industry and the country.

Five candidates are contesting this year’s MUSIGA presidential election which will be held on August 18 in Tamale in the Northern Region. The four candidates are Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Obour, Nana Tuffour and Willi Roi.

Obour, who has been in the music business for over a decade, with six albums to his credit, has been working as the MUSIGA Youth Organiser under the current MUSIGA President, Diana Hopeson, since 1998.

According to Obour, when voted into office, he would work tirelessly to improve the living standards of members and musicians in general, whilst ensuring good industry practices and directly influencing policies of the industry that would impact the national economy.

“I have plans to ensure that in the short to long run, musicians are recognized and respected when in Ghana and beyond. I believe musicians, dominated by the youth, would find me easiest (among my other candidates) to approach as their young president to discuss and suggest solutions to making their lives better,” he said.

Obour disclosed that one of his main goals was to rebrand MUSIGA to make it more attractive to musicians, lucrative to members and industry players and beneficial to the country and the rest of the world.

He noted that the stakeholders should stop thinking that by electing a younger person to lead MUSIGA, “we would be degrading the union”. He was of the view that the election of a leader among the youth demonstrated, to a large extent, the confidence the elderly reposed in them, and would encourage others to be responsible and aspire to higher heights even at a youthful age.

“I believe that the more the young musicians are attracted to our union and its management, the quicker we will change the perception that the union is for the old and elderly and not necessarily industry practitioners and experts when it comes to its management. To wipe this perception from the minds of young musicians who form more than 70% of musicians in active practice today, is the main reason why the Obour for President Campaign should be endorsed,” he said.

He hinted that when voted to power, he would put in place an administration that would offer accountability and transparency. He disclosed that quarterly newsletters to publish ongoing activities, reports on past events and upcoming events would be established for the union.

He said his administration would make conscious efforts to create jobs with local and foreign partners, including event organisers, hotels, venue owners, cultural attaches of the various embassy’s and corporate managers across the country.

To this end, MUSIGA would liaise with national and international booking agents to secure gigs for members. Members in the Diaspora will be organized and networks created across the globe to pursue the job creation agenda.

Under his presidency, Obour said his administration would organize periodic seminars and workshops to upgrade the skills of the musicians, adding that deserving executives and members would be sponsored to attend international forums, industry networking and training platforms to acquire the needed skills.

He said that a programme that sought to secure the future of professional musicians would be put in place.

He noted that he would also push for the enforcement of the needed industry policies and engage policy makers to formulate and implement appropriate interventions to help streamline business operations in the sector.