Creative industry needs overhaul–Okraku Mantey

BY: Delali Sika
Mark Okraku Mantey on creative industry needs
Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey

THE problems of the creative industry have been talked about to death, with many reasons assigned for its current state.

While some innovative solutions have been suggested, for Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, his research about the industry shows that it needs total overhauling.

In an exclusive interview with Graphic Showbiz, Mr Okraku Mantey said there was the need for a deliberate effort to clean up the industry.

“The entire industry, I must say, needs total overhauling; this is in terms of knowledge, our attitude towards knowledge and how we adapt to change.

"This attitude of the industry is an old sickness; it is something that has been in existence for long and we need that conscious and deliberate effort to be able to turn things around.

"Just look at how cassettes evolved to CDs, from flash drives to soft copy and we have not been able to match up. We delayed so today we are struggling. The marketer or producer is torn between two different worlds.

"There are those in the hinterlands who will not know what Netflix or YouTube is. They have no idea what the internet entails and the producer wants to get to them but they may not get it through the internet medium.

“The people in the cities have also left the old way of doing things and it is very confusing. In the developed countries, when they decide to go soft, the majority of the people are taught how to go soft so it makes it easy for them to be carried along, but here, when our teachers teach us, they do not teach us how to download songs.

"You need to learn that on your own. There are new ways of selling arts. This way needs a lot of knowledge but the question is: How do we get the people to whom we are selling to buy into it?

“When we are able to get everyone aligned with the new mode by taking advantage of school, the grandchild can teach the granddad and mom, etc. how to use Netflix, DSTV and the likes of Shirley Frimpong Manso will also continue to produce for DSTV,” he said.

Making some suggestions on what can be done to make the situation better, Mr Okraku Mantey said: “The weaknesses need to be sealed. Creative arts is now an international thing and because of the internet there is a bigger market so if you want to make it, you need to think global hence we need to change our mindset first.

"Now music is consumed worldwide. People do not care if they understand it or not, so we need to get aligned with all that. We also need to consider what the storylines are, the quality of videos we put out. Let’s find out what is standard now, what cameras they are using, the new module, etc.”

Mr Okraku Mantey said his office had acknowledged the lapses and was doing what it could to help.

“That is why the Minister of Tourism, Dr Awal Mohammed, among other things said he wanted to build a studio, something that will have all that we need to produce things that will compete on the international market, an edifice that people can partner.

"When some of the people from the diaspora come, they want to collaborate but which studio are you taking them to? If we have the standards right, they will want to come,” he said

In spite of his call for the industry to be overhauled, Mr Okraku Mantey said it wasn't all doom and gloom.

“The industry is still good. It employs many people and in terms of revenue, it is one that has huge potential. The media is also giving us a lot of attention. Even the private ones are going out of their way to give us airtime to use to project our sector and that is wonderful,” he stated.