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Entertainment of Friday, 5 August 2022


Slow your roll, Rex Omar!

Rex Omar Rex Omar

My reverence for Rex Omar is immense, first as a legendary musician then as an administrator. Aside his musical prowess, many music lovers and followers are not privy to how radical Rex Omar was in his prime – his ability to alter the status quo and challenge the norm through out his career. The fact is, before Shatta Wale, there was Rex Omar – with the desire to revolutionize an industry.

Unfortunately, the ‘no-nonsense’ persona of Rex Omar the musician and activist is rearing its head into Rex Omar the leader – and that is a matter of concern.

In a recent interview with Joy News, the Chairman of the Interim Directors of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), had this to say about fellow musician and former bandmate, Akosua Agyapong – a longtime critic of his administration;

“Common restaurant you couldn’t run and you want to run GHAMRO; it’s a joke,” – in reference to Akosua Agyapong’s popular restaurant in Accra.

Uncompromising attitude

After assuming office for the first time as Chairman of the organization, Rex Omar seemed cooperative, welcoming, understanding and compromising – willing to share ideas, offer edification and clarity where necessary and would ignore when attacked by his critics – not anymore!

In recent times, the Chairman has become uncharacteristically harsh, intolerant and impatient.

In responding to some commentary run on the organization by Entertainment Pundit, Mr. Logic on radio, Rex Omar referred to his assertions as rants. In another banter on social media, famed broadcast journalist and DJ, Nii Ayi Tagoe, questioned the reasoning behind GHAMRO collecting royalties for non-members of the organization. The Chairman called the DJ uninformed!

For some reason (s), the Chairman has become quite brutish, crude and frosty in his responses and engagements on matters relating to the organization.

Good strides

The challenges of GHAMRO have outlived various Boards and Administrations – with incessant complaints over paltry royalties, a shoddy collection system and a slapdash model for distribution.

In spite of the teething problems of the organization, it has made some progress especially with the increment of royalties offered some members, a refreshing situation that has been corroborated by the likes of Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Celestine Donkor and others.

Some critics labeled the news that shrouded the surge in payments as mere propaganda.

There’s nothing wrong with the Organization’s willingness to put a PR spin on the wholesome change in payment especially when it holds true. Publicity is a good marketing tool and any entity that has gone through lots of backlash over its operations would project that one positive action it embarks on.

The French Embassy, via its indefatigable Ambassador, H.E. Anne Sophie Ave’, has also announced plans to partner GHAMRO to improve its mechanism of collecting and distributing royalties.

Severe criticism

The Rex Omar administration in the last years, have endured some stern castigation by industry players and maybe, his quirky responses to some critics could be as a result of such backlash.

Akosua Agyapong: “Rex Omar is the worst, he’s the worst Board Chairman I have ever witnessed. Now, Papa Yankson too is gone – GHAMRO used to give such legends only ¢100 monthly for something they call welfare. I don’t even know if they still pay the same amount today.”

Hammer (The Last 2): “We handed GHAMRO to Rex Omar but he is worse, he couldn’t do anything I don’t want to lie as if he has done something. He hasn’t done anything for GHAMRO I’m still with my words I said he hasn’t done anything. His leadership is corrupt and not satisfactory.”

Trigmatic: “I feel his [Rex Omar] administration did not do what they had to do. He is the chairman of the board and I won’t blame only him. So, his administration did not do well.”

K.K. Fosu: “We all saw Uncle Rex before he became GHAMRO president. Now look at him, he has grown big because he is enjoying good money.”

Stonebwoy: “Rex Omar And @Ghamro_official please put away the defensive and attack mechanism against artistes stop throwing dust into the eyes of the people. We have had meetings to no avail. This royalty issue has been since you were a young artiste. Are you happy about the state of affairs?”

Show leadership, show respect

GHAMRO is one entity that has always been under such immense scrutiny; thus, overseeing such a unit would not be an easy task. It comes with intense pressure; the burden to get it right and satisfy everybody but that is not possible.

A unit like GHAMRO that deals in the distribution of revenue for the works of right owners would definitely have a multitude of critics and face criticism. It takes leadership, tact, patience, understanding and tolerance to manage such an organization.

Unfortunately, Rex Omar has not shown leadership in his recent engagements with some critics. His response to Akosua Agyapong was lousy, flippant and condemnable, especially when he has also experienced some failings in his life outside GHAMRO.

Where critics are wrong, it is your responsible to correct them. When they are confused, it is your responsible to bring clarity to whatever is generating the confusion and when they are misinformed, you offer education. Ultimately, when they attack your personality, you ignore and show them the work done.

The Chairman should also accord some respect to divergent and dissenting views – the same way other Board Chairpersons in previous administrations gave him the respect to proffer his divergent views. That’s all part of building a society.

Lead, Sir, lead!

Article authored by Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo