Be wary of comments on socio-political issues

Ghanaian musician, rapper and record producer, M.anifest has cautioned his colleagues in the entertainment industry to be wary of comments made on socio-political issues, es­pecially when interviewed on international platforms.

According to him artistes must learn to be selective in their responses to sensitive issues as they may not have all the facts on a particular subject.

“I know that it is difficult for some artistes to keep silent on societal issues but don’t let anybody turn you into a historian since you’re not! However, if you want to be one, prepare yourself for that task.

“I do not like the fact that when most African artistes appear on international plat­forms, they are questioned as if they are Fela Kuti. You don’t develop that capability overnight to have that clarity of thought on social or politi­cal issues,” he advised.

The renowned rapper, also known as Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, was speaking at a symposium held at the Uni­versity of Ghana, on Monday, themed: “Creative Economy and Our Collective Future and Development,” as part of activities marking the Univer­sity’s 75th anniversary.

M.anifest’s remarks follow public criticism of Afrobe­at Burna Boy, for what is deemed as his “silence” on issues concerning the re­cent general election held in Nigeria.

He said though some mu­sicians communicate public sentiments through their songs, artistes should not be pressured in stating an opin­ion if they genuinely do not have any comments to make.

“Not every artiste is sup­posed to be a voice on social issues, they might not even have the capability to do so. Besides, some of the ques­tions asked by interviewers could be meant to trap the musicians into saying what they are not supposed to say,” he added.

Speaking on creative econ­omy in the entertainment industry, he said the creative art was pivotal to Ghana’s de­velopment, therefore, there must be structures and insti­tutions that would enhance the potentials of players in the industry.

“Politics, healthcare, education, and bread and butter issues will always be at the top of the totem pole. But don’t underestimate the impact of the arts on our soci­ety,” he stated.

He cited an instance where the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technolo­gy, in the USA, had produced numerous famous alumni such as Adele, Amy Winehouse and others.

“Can Ghana also produce an example similar to those in other countries? Won’t you be happy to have people from the School of Performing Arts reaching such heights?” he asked.

 By Yunusah Essandoh

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