MEDIA BRIEFING BY BICE OSEI KUFFOUR ON THE OCCASION OF 'OBOUR-FOR-MUSIGA-PRESIDENT'.
7/27/2011 9:16:51 PM -
JULY 26, 2011
COCONUT GROVE REGENCY HOTEL, ACCRA
Madam President, Distinguished Guests, MUSIGA delegates, fellow musicians, members of the media, all protocol observed; I cannot thank you enough for making it here.
In the next 15 minutes, I will go through my Seven Point Agenda, after which I will offer myself for questioning by you, and then we leave here.
An agenda I believe you will find conveys developmental plans and programmes that are TANGIBLE, REALISTIC and DELIVERABLE, if elected as MUSIGA President.
Before I continue, kindly permit me, ladies and gentlemen, to share with you, about 3 industry characters whose stories to a large extent have contributed to my decision to stand for the President of the union I love best.
The first character, called 'G', a very promising female musician. I started music with her since 2000. However, after several efforts to be recognized, 'G' had to quit music because the genuine industry people willing to support her only wanted to sleep with her.
Then, the case of the top musician, 'Ray' who was doing quite well until he got the chance to travel abroad last seven years and since then had to stay there because he saw no hope in returning to be a musician in Ghana.
Character 3 was an old musician, 'M', one I always referred to as my mentor whe I was growing, but who died as a pauper in October 2010.
The problems of these three musicians can obviously be attributed to the lack of adequate systems and structures in the Union, the difficulty of the Union to look attractive and appealing to all musicians, and the lack of a better plan in place to take care of the old musicians who become inactive in their old age.
I can decide to depend on my GHc5,000 per show and 6-shows-per-quarter income and be like any other musician. My social responsibilities, though do not give me direct income, open up me up to lots of opportunity. Yet, I see no reason why I shouldn't do much to help people in this industry not to end up like the characters 'G', 'Ray' and 'M'.
REBRANDING MUSIGA AND MAKING MUSICIANS WEALTHY
Ladies and Gentlemen, the underlining theme to my 7-point agenda is- REBRANDING MUSIGA AND MAKING MUSICIANS WEALTHY.
My 7-Point Agenda can be summed up in one word- AJUMAPA. And as you may have seen on the screen, it is an acronym for: Administration, Jobs, Unity, Music business, Ageing, Policies and Achievements. Details will follow in a bit. This perfectly summarizes my vision and mission for this aspiration.
Starting with..Administration; when elected as President, my management team, made up of results-oriented professionals in various fields, will join existing qualified staff of the Union to kick-start the rebranding project.
Rebranding as you know - is the creation of a new image, symbol, design, and focus of an established brand with the intention of developing a new position in the mind of stakeholders and competitors.
This move essentially involves radical changes to brand MUSIGA, with different management and marketing strategy typically aimed at repositioning MUSIGA and to make it upbeat and up market.
The idea is also to 'restore the image, pride and dignity' and to change the negative perception of Ghanaian about musicians. This is very important since achieving my vision will depend on the attractiveness of the face of the Union. An attractive MUSIGA will certainly attract members, general attention and businesses from Government and corporate Ghana.
Particular attention will be given to Marketing/Sales/Events, Legal, Accounts/Finance, Technical & Training; and I will introduce Brands Managers for various genres at the Head Office; say Director of Hiplife, Director of Highlife and Director of Gospel, Director of Reggae etc.
2. JOB CREATION:
Rebranding comes with creation of jobs and with the abundant talent in place; some would ask why musicians are still poor.
My Administration will, firstly, seek to develop local talent by providing live band equipment and rehearsal facilities for local offices of MUSIGA in the remaining nine regions within my first 100 days.
Thanks to Mrs. Hopeson, Accra is already sorted out. I would upgrade the facilities within 3 months in office.
MUSIGA resident band and equipment can also generate revenue for local offices in the respective regions.
MUSIGA FESTIVAL Buzz will liaise with Traditional leaders, Ghana Tourist Board etc to institutionalize at least a major Festival in each of the ten regions. We will partner Hoteliers' Association to bring back the live band entertainment at most hotels across the nation and seek to secure regular gigs for musicians through partner Event Companies and booking agents both locally and Internationally.
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL PARTICIPATION- MUSIGA will register with numerous international festivals and will support interested members to participate. The short term goal is to sell our music to markets outside Ghanaian citizens abroad.
TRAINING FOR MUSIC BUSINESS DEV'T EXECUTIVES in all the 10 regions of Ghana. People interested in taken up skilled jobs in the music business ie, marketing, artiste management, sales planning, musical project management, market assessment, promotion etc will be sponsored partly by the union to undergo training.
Top sound engineers, music producers and video directors will be encouraged to record and film musicians from other regions to afford them the opportunity of working with professionals
As part of the proposed new face (rebranding), the Obour Administration, after serious consultation with members, executives and affiliates, shall reconsider the time-tested Artistes Classification Scheme (ACS), where members will be listed/grouped in order of merit.
Music Distribution & Marketing is an area where lot of emphases shall be laid as it is the main setback for growth of the industry. The Union will be in constant touch with the few remaining vibrant music distributors around to discuss and find ways of specializing and networking this key department of the industry. Even if at least two major distributors are institutionalized and motivated to open major chains/stores/outlets in each of the regions of the country for easy accessibility of music products, we would call that a huge mileage. That successfully done, the traffic would be reduced and training of musicians about improving or marketing their business would be meaningful.
MUSIGA will liaise with national and international booking agents, through Union official website and journal, for available gigs and ensure members are appropriately paid at both home or aboard. Members in the Diaspora will be organized and networks created across the globe to pursue the jobs creation agenda. MUSIGA's main effort will be to make members aware of available opportunities and job openings and, most importantly, ensure musicians are well paid.
FUNDS FOR BUSINESS GROWTH- When Musicians improve on their business knowledge (through union-powered seminars); as the Union looks much more attractive (rebranding); and distributors are well-networked, then the proposed loan product the Obour Administration is planning to launch for members, in partnership with a big financial institutions would ensure various projects of musicians can access funds. This will ensure one major department of the music business will see growth.
Conscious effort will be made to create job avenues with local and foreign partners including event organizers, hotels, venue owners, cultural attaches of the various embassy's and Corporate managers across the country.
MUSIGA TV-In the medium term (before the ends of the first term of the Obour Administration), I hope to secure a channel, preferably one of GTV or Multi TV Channels- to be named MUSIGA-TV, whose production and content creation will be outsourced to Industry players. The primary objective of MUSIGA-TV will be to promote the industry (eg. free air play for Music videos of members and business- friendly rates for promotion of businesses/projects of its members). Educative reality show called, The Executive Producer, will do a lot of the industry business enlightenment. This network will help promote activities that will maximise the value of public and private investment in supporting music and musical activities/projects.
Currently MUSIGA has a membership of over 3,500, but I see one-third of active musicians monitoring from outside of the union; a large portion of this figure are poor, some confused and many thinking of early retirement.
Within my first 100 days, I will ensure all musicians are given the chance to visit the MUSIGA offices to find out how they can benefit from the Union as we will sell a message promising to PROTECT CAREER OF MEMBERS; ensure they GET PAID FOR THEIR PERFORMANCES AND RECORDING; receive helpful advice and (in many instances) LEGAL SUPPORT.
On the local front, a decentralization MUSIGA Administration will ensure more hands are on board thereby minimizing the problems of disunity in the regions. Before the end of my first term, I will ensure at least 90% of active musicians join the Union.
In the medium to long run, MUSIGA through its members abroad will set up offices/affiliates, initially, in Europe and America with the primary aim of seeing to the interest of Ghanaian musicians abroad and also help in marketing Ghanaian musicians to the international market.
4. MUSIC BUSINESS (Music Business Education). Under my Presidency, the Union will organize quarterly seminars and workshops. Executives and members of the Union will be sponsored to attend International Forums, industry networking and training platforms to acquire the needed skills. The Union will partner management oriented institutions to offer short courses and certificate programmes in Music Business among others. The Music school project that has been started will be structured and funds injected to offer technical and other practical learning options in addition to the music instrument and voice training opportunities already in existence. The link between industry practitioners and the academia will be strengthened.
5. AGING AND DISABLED MUSICIANS
AGEING and disabled musicians' welfare will be seriously considered throughout the Obour Administration. A programme that seeks to secure the future of professional musicians will be pursued under President Obour. A strong negotiation will be pursued especially for the musician who is a right owner on his behalf with the right management institutions to develop a policy that will make it possible to enjoy some form of financial/health security as they grow. Musicians who are disabled and cannot pursue their career will also benefit from this welfare programme.
In my first 100 days, my legal team will take a closer look at the MUSIGA constitution, a review will be activated if necessary to ensure the most appropriate policies are embarked upon my the new administration. The Obour Administration will constantly PUSH and advocate for the enforcement of needed industry Policies and engage Policy Makers to formulate and implement appropriate interventions to help streamline business operations in the sector including copyright and other related rights.
The above-mentioned points of action cannot be realized without funding for the Union.
One big reason why musicians are not united is due to the non-transparent way royalties are shared among members from labels sales right down to COSGA royalties. So once you are a copyright owner, you must receive royalties. The union will fight to secure fair and timely royalty payments for all of it members. That I promise I will do.
Aside the usual mode revenue generation, we expect to generate revenue from such marketable Union projects including;
1. Ghana Music Festival
2. MUSIGA Festival Tour Bus
3. MUSIGA Annual Ball for Corporate Ghana
4. MUSIGA Annual Concert for Foreign Missions
5. Live band Alive @ MUSIGA Partners Hotels across Ghana.
1. The Executive Producer TV Series
2. Ghana National Music Hall of Fame
3. Music Products as:
MUSIGA Mixtapes / compilations- a compilation of various top talents recommended by regional offices to be marketed heavily by the National Head office will seek to create jobs for members as well as revenue for the Union.
4. Revenue generating businesses in partnership with the big music users- telecom and beverage/brewery industries.
5. Medium to long term loan facilities
6. Commission from businesses secured for musicians
7. Membership dues
THE NEED FOR FUNDS
1. Aside funds needed to execute Union programmes from the onset; funds must be made available to pay Union Executives on-duty allowances so as to further motivate them to deliver as per set targets.
2. Funds generated will be used as collateral or used to provide members with the needed benefits; such as Free legal services, Ageing/aged Musician Welfare, Funeral Policy, medical insurance.
3. Talent development and music business training/support projects will benefit from funds generated. Members of good standing with feasible plans will attract support.
MUSIGA TV, Radio and website - Communication and marketing will be key to my administration. Those three networks will be secured on existing platforms for use to promote MUSIGA projects and also talent or businesses of members. The existing website will be well maintained. Union communications about new, mileage, job openings etc will use one or more the above communication sources.
In November 2007, an Ordinary Congress was held to elect the President of MUSIGA to serve from 2007 to 2011. The four-year term of current President, Madam Hopeson will come to an end on 18th August 2011, and a new leader will be sworn in later. I've worked with Madam Hopeson as her National Youth ORGANISER, and there's no doubt I will be the best among the contesting four to continue the most important programmes she has already started. The MUSIGA School Project, Primary School Cultural Drama and Dance Program, Data Library Project, the MUSIGA Fund, among many innovative programs, would be continued.
So, in my capacity as a Musician and an Aspiring President of the Union, I am calling and inviting all delegates to make it a point, firstly, to be in Tamale from August 16-18, 2011; and secondly to vote Obour as President to ensure the Union benefits from all my beautiful plans.
I have not ever asked what the Union could do for me; all I ask is what I can do for my Union. If given the mandate, I can CHANGE THE UNION FOR THE BETTER because I have the quality team, with motivation, and business contacts that will to make MUSIGA a well organized outfit with the best machineries and funds in place to carry out its plans and programmes.
When elected as the next President of MUSIGA, Obour will inject more vibrancy and transparency in the management of the affairs of members and make the union much more attractive and funds-sufficient, with a target of drawing over 90% of Ghanaian
musicians to the union before the end of my first term.
TO THIS END, A VOTE FOR OBOUR FOR PRESIDENT WILL BE ONE FOR:
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF MUSICIAN.
A NEW AND VALUED MUSIGA THROUGH REBRANDING
UNITY AND JOBS CREATION
My friends in the media, when you leave here, I want you to help me send the message that MUSIGA needs not to be led by a leader hungry for successes. It's time to fulfill our mandate, our mission and our vision. Time for Obour to change MUSIGA for the better.
God bless MUSIGA. And thank you all for coming
A.B CRENTSIL 3
PHIL, NANA, OOUR, O.K, PRAYE