Entertainment of Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Source: News-One

President erred and so what – Selassie Ibrahim slaps Socrate Safo

Controversial movie producer, Socrates Safo has kicked against the President’s nomination of Minister-designate for tourism, Culture and Creative Arts Ministry; but industry players have described the criticism as sour grapes fueled by a partisan motives.

The President initially nominated Rashid Pelpuo for the job, but on Tuesday announced that he had reassigned the position to Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare.

According to Socrates, President John Mahama erred in nominating someone who is not from the Creative Arts sector to head the Ministry.

Socrates, who openly campaigned for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2008 elections, with an explanation that John Mahama did not have the best plans for the Creative Arts sector, is now insisting the President must put someone from the Creative Arts sector in charge of the Ministry.

“We as Creative Arts people are a bunch of delicate persons and if we are not handled well, it’s either we will confuse and frustrate you or you will confuse and frustrate us. So it’s about time we got people who are in the industry to work for Creative Arts people. If you bring technocrats, lawyers, scholars, whatever, you will create confusion in the industry. In the end the government will not benefit from the idea and the purpose for which it has established the Ministry,” Mr. Safo told Citi FM and also asked government to confer, in taking such decisions, with persons from the arts sector.

“We are very open, we know what we want, nobody can decide for us,” he noted.

Though several Creative Arts sector players have fumed at Socrates for his position, one of the persons who has openly come out to speak her mind is ace Ghanaian actress and producer Selassie Ibrahim, Chief Executive of Smarttys Management and Production.

“How dare he? What is the rationale of what Socrates is saying? Is he telling us that all the Ministers have specialized training in the respective sectors they were appointed to? So the Minister of Health must necessarily be a Medical Doctor, the Minister of Defence must be from the Armed Forces, the Minister of Agric must own a farm, the Minister of Housing must be an Estate Developer, the Minister of Chieftaincy must be a Chief and so on and so forth.

“I don’t get the logic in what he is saying because this is a good thing the President has done and instead of we encouraging him to help our industry, we have some of our own people questioning his decision on which Minister he thinks would best help achieve his dreams for the industry?

“Why can’t Socrates take his time a bit to wait and see who becomes the deputy Minister but he is in a rush to condemn and criticize? How dare he? Which President has ever shown a genuine and visible commitment to the Creative Arts industry than John? So what is he saying? So he sees nothing positive about the fact that our industry is now being accepted and taken serious at the very apex of decision making in this country? Such attitudes help no one and we must get serious”, an obviously vexed Selassie told News-One in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

On what her expectations of the Creative Arts Ministry were, Selassie said she expected that all the fragmented Creative Arts groups would be brought together under one umbrella.