Three leading musicians, Bice Osei Kuffour aka Obour, Gyedu Blay-Ambolley, and Appiah ‘Appietus’ Dankwa go head to head in a fierce contest for leadership of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) when the union’s sixth quadrennial delegates congress gets underway today, October 29, at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
Bitter campaigning, characterised by mud-slinging, not only revealed the level of suspicion and uneasy relationship between some of the contestants, but also puts the spotlight on the race for the presidency, especially as Obuor hopes to ride the storm after coming under incessant attack from his challengers, particularly Blay-Ambolley.
Although other positions such as 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, General Secretary, Treasurer, National Organiser and National Welfare Officer are being contested for at the three-day event, the battle for the MUSIGA top job will overshadow all other activities in Koforidua, as veteran singer/saxophonist Blay-Ambolley has not only attacked the leadership of Obuor for a lack of transparency and accountability but also revealed his dislike for the Konkotiba man.
Similarly, recording engineer/producer Appietus, seen as the dark horse in the three-man race, believes he can unseat the incumbent and lead the industry to a golden era.
However, Obuor believes that what he chronicles as his good works during his tenure can propel him to victory for another four-year term, as he hopes to put into action a lot of programmes and activities in the regional branches of MUSIGA.
In addition to institutionalising the Asanteman Art Ball and Awards, he has promised to institute the Northern Music Development Ball for the three northern regions of Ghana to help further develop music from the northern corridors of Ghana.
According to Obour, “I am already in talks with the regional Chairmen of MUSIGA BA and MUSIGA Volta on the establishment of the Ahafoman Ball and the Volta Music Awards and Dinner Dance respectively, adding that the Eastern, Western and Central Regions will not be left out in this regional development agenda.
Appietus says his vision for MUSIGA goes beyond the imagination of the ordinary man, promisings to collaborate with financial institutions to acquire tour buses for easy movement of artistes to their various shows.
“As part of the things I will do to enhance the operations of MUSIGA, I will bring together all the stakeholders in the Ghanaian music industry such as music producers, sound engineers, artistes managers, publicists, media houses, music video directors among others to devise a strategic plan to take the industry to different heights,” he revealed.
He said for members of MUSIGA who don’t earn any income, “ I have plans to collaborate with the banks to help give them facilities that can generate income for them before their music breakthrough”.
On his part, Ambolley said if he emerges as president of the union, he will organise regular workshops to school musicians on all they need to know about the profession.
“I promise to collaborate with health facilities to put structures in place to ensure musicians don’t spend too much on medical bills when they visit hospitals in all the regions. The welfare of aged musicians will also be a priority and I will also make available musical instrument to train talented musicians.
Meanwhile, Bessa Simons (First Vice President), Rev. Thomas Yawson ( Second Vice President), Samuel Kofi Agyemang( Treasurer) and Deborah Freeman( General Secretary) are going unopposed.
However, Pastor Kwesi Duah, Benedict Kolan and Sylvia Amponsah Bosompem are vying for the National Welfare Officer position while Ras Caleb Appiah-Levi is contesting Chizzy Wailer for the National Organiser position.