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Consider music as a tool of commerce not just entertainment – Okraku-Mantey

Deputy Minister, Tourism, Arts & Culture.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey is advising that Ghanaian musicians treat music as a tool for commerce rather than merely for leisure.

According to Mr Okraku-Mantey, if music is given serious consideration, it can generate revenue for the nation and advance its economy.

“I think that we should see music as a way of making money — growing the economy, contributing to the economy, to the GDP — instead of just seeing music as we started as it’s fun so we must just consume it freely,” he advised.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Tuesday, the Deputy Minister said a major obstacle to Ghana’s inability to harness music so that it aids in national development is that music was never viewed as a means of generating income.

He believes that this situation caused many early musicians to see music as a hobby.

Mr Okraku-Mantey said, “because of how are music started — palm wine music—you go and sit under the tree… you sing, it’s free. It is offered for free. Anyone in the hood can just come and join, and also enjoy the music for free. So because of how we started our music, we’ve always had the perception that it is a product that must be served for free.”

He also mentioned that individuals used to make music without thinking about the business side of it because there was not enough knowledge to support the creative sector in the past.

The Deputy Minister eventually proposed a solution to change the narrative about the perception of music, stating that in order for music to be taken seriously, musicians should work harder and have a more positive attitude toward their profession.

He also emphasised that it was essential for artistes to acquire knowledge about the type of trade they practice in order to produce an outstanding product.

“It’s not just about talent. Talent is not enough because there is a business side to this, and when you go to a cooperate house to look for business or sponsorship, there’s a way you must communicate, there’s a way you must put your document together, there’s a way you must present yourself. They give you time for meeting, appointments. All these things come into play,” he stressed.

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