The minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Abelema Afeku has advised creative artists to make better plans for their future.
In an interview with Feeling Daddy of Empire FM in Takoradi at CK Mann’s funeral over the weekend, the minister said many creative artists have died poor because they had to rely on family and friend when they were in need.
Catherine also stated that in every profession there are challenges but it takes the individual to prepare for the unexpected.
“It is incumbent on the media to empower our people that when they are at the peak of their career, they save some of the money, join some of the pension schemes like the teachers and other people do so that in their golden years they will live off their talent. That should be the line of thinking because as a nation, everyone matters and everyone is important,” she intimated.
She also expressed disappointment at why people make a fuss about deaths of creative artists.
“Journalists die, teachers die, farmers die but why is that when a creative person dies the whole media goes uproar and expects somebody to take the blame? Our Uncle Kofi has lived, he’s of age and he’s died of old age. It shouldn’t be a time of controversy but I also want you as a media person to understand and appreciate that the state is responsible for all its citizenry and not just those of us in arts,” she said.
Over the years, arts associations like the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Ghana Actors Guild (GAG), Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), Audiovisual Rights Society of Ghana (ARSOG) have been blamed for the sorry states of most creative people.
However, the leaderships of these associations have always explained that they have been working hard at implementing schemes that cater to welfare of their members.
On the part of government’s plan for people in showbiz, Catherine Afeku stated that government was working at ensuring that creative artists enjoy royalties from their works.
In the 2016 manifesto of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), it was promised that a fund would be instituted for the creative sector.
This was reiterated in the 2017 budget statement read by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Attah.
“Government will continue its initiatives to improve the Creative Arts sector with the establishment of a fully functional Creative Arts Secretariat and the commencement of feasibility studies to set up a Creative Arts Fund,” he stated.
The government has also promised to institute a copyright court to handle issues related with copyright infringement.