07.03.2006 Diaspora News

Musician supports the aged

07.03.2006 LISTEN

Accra, March. 7, GNA - A Ghanaian musician based in Denmark, on Tuesday announced his intention to dedicate the proceeds of a new CD album he would be launching in June and July 2006 to the support of the aged in Ghana.

Mr Collins Woode, formerly with the Sappex Band in Ghana also announced the establishment of a nongovernmental organi zation (NGO), Akrowa Aged-Life Foundation to care for the aged.

Akrowa Aged-Life Foundation would establish focal points to identify the aged in various localities and support them financially in addition to giving them good health care, food items and paying periodic visits to them and to share their problems with them. At a press conference to announce his plans, Mr Woode said: "The life of the aged is one of regret and only the motto of the Pensioners Association of Ghana 'wo beyin a beto' meaning 'you would grow and meet it" that could vividly tell the story.

Collins Woode and gang, the name of Mr Woode's musical group in Denmark would solicit support from rich people in Denmark and train local people to take proper care of the aged when the project is fully operational.

Mr Woode mentioned that the current economic situation was the driving force behind treatment given to the aged in modern times, condemning the "each for himself and God for us all" syndrome. "The sorry and pathetic state of pensioners is a measure of efficacy of these schemes. The situation within the informal sector can only be imagined...there are virtually no social strategies and programmes that addressed issues of the aged in the African societies," he said. The Musician said the social systems that had sustained the aged seemed to be phasing out as the roots of urbanization deepened. Mr Woode said the aged had no place in the economic agenda of the youth as their fortunes decreased in the face of harsher economic realities created by the new wave of social discord.

"In my few years on earth, I have never been confounded by the attention that the aged receive like I experienced in my few days in Denmark. I can readily and easily recount the ill-treatment of our aged in witch camps and crusade grounds around our countryside as we accuse them of witchcraft and subject them to gruesome tortures," he said. Collins Woode appealed to Ghanaians to support the aged so that, "old age must be a welcome life experience and not a scarecrow." Alhaji Siddique Buari, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), commended Mr Woode and the Gang for the initiative and urged musicians outside the country to remit their colleagues' back home regularly.

"Musicians have no pension, no social security and no future guarantee," he said.

He said as a strategy to make the life of old musicians comfortable, MUSIGA would help to re-sell musical albums of old musicians as a means of sustainable financial support.