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Sun, Oct

When music points the way

Being an item that sits well with nearly everyone, music has, for a long time, been used to support a variety of noble causes in  society.

Music provides a perfect platform to generate awareness and inspire in ways that words alone cannot do. That’s why its  pairing with social causes is known to create a long-lasting connection with listeners.

Music is a very effective means of reaching vast numbers of people with an idea and the power of one single song to affect an entire generation of individuals makes it an invaluable tool for education and mobilisation.

In this country, music has been used to champion causes related to road safety, good reading habits among young people, peaceful general elections, maternal mortality, Hepatitis B, environmental protection and many other campaigns.

After all, music allows for a powerful teaching and learning experience when the lyrics of songs adequately express the issues at stake.

The Ghana Music Awards have, for about a decade now, given out awards for songs with social messages, highlighting the important role that music plays in helping people to connect with socially relevant matters. 

Some of our musicians, such as Obuor, Asem, Okyeame Kwame, Joe Mettle, Nii Okai and others, have been honoured at various times for their dedication to various causes.

We, therefore, welcome D. Man (see Page 31) to the fold for his effort to help promote formal education through music.

What he lacks in popularity at the moment, he makes up for with his enthusiasm and keen commitment to help reduce child labour and child marriages and also advocate for responsible parenting through music.

Whether a musician has much public recognition or not, each has a place in movements for change. So long as a  musician takes it as a personal challenge to create something meaningful and is ready to get it out there for people to hear, he or she is worth our respect.

What is even more interesting is that some musicians have gone the extra mile to set up charities that support orphans and needy people. They know they wield a powerful, influential weapon called music and are doing their best to use it responsibly to help others. 

It is true that some people respond to music more enthusiastically than others, but it is striking that music for social change often transcends divisions among genres. So it is not unusual to see an avowed highlife lover cheerfully singing the lyrics to a reggae piece on safe driving. What one may describe as ‘musical activism’, therefore, transcends all boundaries that other media fail to transcend and exists primarily to change society for the better.

Music of meaning has always had its own place and value, whatever the type of justifiable cause it stands for. We are happy our musicians here see the need to also apply their talents to the uplift of worthy causes and we wish them well at it.