Wangyims, also known as Phelipe Lyks Wangyims has often averred that the gatekeepers of the Ghana showbiz industry remain its biggest problem. Having dabbled in several online banters, his position has never changed. Phelipe as I like to call him has studied a lot about the systems that sanitise the entertainment industry in multiple countries. His belief is that, until sincerity becomes a foot-stool of those that call the shots, all endeavours will be a furtherance of the quagmire we find ourselves.
Wangyims is definitely entitled to his opinions, however, can we find the truth in his assertions?
Read below what Wangyims has to say about 5 personailities undoubtedly revered by the industry. It’s a Wangyims shot…Lol.
The Ghana entertainment/showbiz industry is quiet interesting. Whether the interests of all stakeholders is truly considered by the many gatekeepers that adorn the industry is a façade or truth.
In dire times when people keep dying, businesses collapsing and economies crashing all in the name of a pandemic, one will be gasping at how the largest industry in the world that only saw a few surges is back running in the developed nations i.e., the creative industry. The creative industry has undoubtedly been the space that the most advanced nations have used to leverage their economic growth, break unemployment numbers, and have made many millionaires but in the case of my beloved Ghana the reality is different.
In Ghana where poverty numbers keep increasing, businesses collapsing in huge numbers even before the pandemic and unemployment has become an association, it still amazes me why policies are ignored and those that exert the powers to use this multi million-dollar industry would turn the other cheek. This article is to profile the face of mediocrity, the “who and why”, the do-little’s that stand in the way of growth and change of the Ghanaian creative industry. If you hate the truth pay no heed to this publication and save yourself the trouble ready further.
The industry gatekeepers according Wangyims
1. MARK OKRAKU MANTEY
This name is not a stranger in the Ghanaian creative industry and in fact this individual is the Head of the “Ghana Creative Council”. This individual has been able to acquire a resounding respect for himself as a knowledge basket because of his once strict critique on a music talent show but the reality is, he has no knowledge of the industry he prides himself as a stalwart. It is sickening to see his very knowledgeable cronies wish on him to be made a deputy minister for the Ghana creative industry but its not surprising because he happens to be the boss of most of them, and or some are looking to have greedy favors from him when he annexes the office. This is a man who as a channel manager operates the most imported content on the platforms that he oversees, his channel can spend time and efforts to make voice overs on imported contents notable of them is the Indian soap “KUMKUMBAGIA” and on his radio platform cannot in data terms explain how they pay for the music contents that get used by the channels. How does this Mr do-little get to be a State Minister when even content management and appraisals for paying intellectual properties he has failed? And if you want to drive this argument into, he does not oversee the royalty collection agency of Ghana then my question to you is how involved has he been in rectifying the rot in the royalty agency as the chairman of the creative council? I’m sorry to say that he is not in any knowledgeable position to change the dilapidated nature of the Ghanaian creative industry and it’s always going to be a merry-go-round whiles he walks around in his all-important “skinny” trousers. And to his praise singers; I do understand your positions because in the land of the blind the one eye is the king.
2. REX OWUSU MARFO (REX OMAR)
Another loud mouthed, greedy, corrupt and selfish personality affecting the growth and wealth of the Ghana creative industry. Note the key word “wealth” because he has seen lots of it due to his huge cashing out on a broken system that he and his board at Ghamro have deliberately kept it that way. This was a man that cried foul and carried machete to the office he is occupying now in a Museveni of Uganda style in getting rid of a said Idi Amin. And like his mentor Museveni; he has been able to financially enrich himself and his board members whiles keeping the rest of the musician members impoverished, swimming in poverty whiles gasping at their intellectual properties being used without any reasonable incentives. He has not only used his position as the chairman to misappropriate the funds of the Ghana music rights organization; he has also used his position to ward off any intervention that seek to see the office run as a proper royalty collection entity. Its 2021 and his office has no means to track channels using artist music and still receive moneys through a hunting and gathering era methodology. How cynic can he be to see most of his musical peers die of poverty when their works impact could have served them well in their present old but for this greedy Mr. Omar the broken system is his paradise; the broken system he refuses to fix is his gain. He has other cronies that have made this robbery of an attitude successful and that is the Attorney General’s office and the board at Ghamro. To highlight a few personalities in the game of deceit with Mr. Omar are Kwasi Ernest, Diana Hopeson, Bice Osei Kuffuor (OBOUR), Ahmed Banda (BANDEX), Bessa Simmons, Nana Kwaku Okyere Duah(Tic Tac) amongst others. These people have their mouths full as execs at the music rights office, so it shall always be shut on issues affecting musicians and their creative payments. And don’t be fooled about their impending elections coming up because they already know who is going to annex the office and continue the exploitation.
3. BICE OSEI KUFFUOR(OBOUR)
The biggest deception that ever hit the Ghanaian creative industry; the biggest disappointment that ever happened to the creative industry is Mr. Obuor. Like his political mentor the president of Ghana, no one has ever enjoyed immense support to win a public office than Mr Obour whom many thought due to his youthful exuberance, was the one to lead Ghanaian musicians at a time when all hope was lost. He ended up being not so different from his predecessors as he was able to squander funds meant for musicians’ development and disguised it into research amidst using musician’s portfolio to secure visa’s for a fee but the only visible thing he achieved for himself was his bloated belly. He squandered not only the support but any coin that went through the Musigha office and whitewashed it in long rhetoric’s. His thirst for corruption does not see an end so he chose to implore himself to the higher offices where the big bosses of corruption are house i.e., the parliament of Ghana. Mr. Obour also shares in the loot in the Ghana music rights organizations offices as he is a board member as well. His sitting allowances on the board is more than a whole year’s royalty of a Ghanaian artist. If the creative industry would ever improve he needs to be kept extremely far away from any administrative duties even if he volunteers to work for free. A leopard never changes its colors.
4. SOCRATES SAFO
Mr. Socrates is undoubtedly a good film maker but pathetically being controlled by his thirst to get his belly fed and so not decisive and honest in his dealings to issues surrounding the growth of the creative arts. As at writing this publication, I kept wondering to myself the significance of the office that he was put in charge and thinking to myself what his motivations are to be in an office that not only was denied any form of incentive nor finances to run but kept holding unto it for so long. It was not only funny when in one of his interviews on Okay FM he was crying of hunger and neglect but after some breadcrumbs were passed to him, he was up defending the no work done by his beloved joke of portfolio office. He has shown to the world that he is not objective to himself but similarly his IQ to process facts in front of him is at a beautiful zero. How do you entrust any form of leadership to an adult whose level of mind process is at par with a 14-year-old? Even though the film industry has not been so lucrative it has been at its all-time low if I want to avoid using the word “dead” to explain it. One would have thought that the likes of Peter Sedufia, Kobi Rana amongst others who are still working tirelessly to have government give them some relief to air their movies in at least 2 meter social distancing arenas fashioned like the week in and week out presidential briefings at the flagstaff house would have been supported by him but certain Mr. “Hot Fork” had a different agenda. To get paid and continue to speak for a government that has done next to nothing for the very profession that serves as his daily bread. He should at this moment be seeing his wealth level at par with the likes of Tyler Perry etc, but he is comfortable in being an “errand Old-man” for the government. He is only better in making X-rated movies but for a leader nor even a panel member for reasonable discourse in the creative industry he does not have the level of mindset to sit on that table.
5. UNCLE FRED KYEI MENSAH
I call him uncle because I had so much respect for him until realizing that hunger could turn his demeanor around to support a government that has done nothing for the creative industry and his generation of musicians. His generation of creative artist failed the music industry in terms of putting systems and structures, and one would wonder that he would be up in supporting this generation correct the wrongs, but he is on radio using his old demeanor to continue to mislead and because of respect for his age no one can voice out to him to relegate his old mind to his Living-room. He has sold his integrity like the biblical Esau selling his birth right. Food is the common denominator for both Uncle Fred and the latter. The only difference is Esau sold his birth right for a one-time Pottage of Lentils but Uncle Fred is still on his knees picking up the cramps and as to when it will be enough to get off those knees would be a question for the gods. With the catalogue of works this legendary producer have, in a well-structured creative industry he would be in the position to contribute financially to political candidates, dictate to them on policies and not the other way round expecting to pathetically agree to their nuances to place some food on his table. It only amazes me that music producers like “HUMMER” of the last 2 fame, JQ and others have not conformed and speaks openly to issues affecting the industry and he should have been lending his support to them. These producers mentioned above know the value of their works and how much wealth they would have earned if their works are appraised to their colleagues in the most advanced countries that rewards hard work with huge financial benefits through proper industry structures. Uncle Fred has now become a self-sanctioned communicator for the government that cares little about his profession, singing their tune so that he gets favors from them. If you doubt what is written here, you can make your due diligence by going to read the Facebook comment sections of the cousin of the president “Gabby Otchere-Darko”. He is always there in the comment section licking his boots to attract some attention; how pathetic! You can share some screenshots of his comments with the public if you find them.
There are more of these individuals in the Ghanaian creative space that fall within the scope of these 5 “do-little’s” and if we truly want any realistic changes to profit all the creative industry that employs millions, have made people millionaires and to smile a million then we should first start by identifying those benefiting in the broken system, those who have access to the government but can’t speak truth to them and get rid of them from the spaces they occupy and then there would be some hope of change.
Until then the suffering in Ghana creative space is going to elapse the damage of a tsunami!
Written by: WANGYIMS
This was originally published on Diaspora Post