IN October 2019, the Director of Creative Arts, responsible for Programmes & Projects at the National Commission on Culture, Socrate Safo, revealed that the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture would start an insurance scheme for players in the creative arts sector.
He told the Graphic Showbiz at the time that the insurance scheme for the creative arts industry had become necessary in light of the sorry state of some veterans in the creative industry.
However, almost a year down the line, the number of people who have signed on to the scheme is nothing to write home about, raising questions about the creative industry’s seriousness.
And for Socrate, it is a reflection of how frustrating it is building structures for the creative arts sector.
“We have done all that we have to do, run adverts, told people about this initiative etc. but the number is not encouraging at all.
"We have only about 3,000 people who have registered onto the scheme and it is really bad when we have an industry made up of about 10,000 people from different areas.
“And even some who came for the forms to fill have not brought them back. If the people you expect to embrace this initiative are not even bothered, how do we grow as an industry?
“The service provider has been selected; everything is on course but no, the same people you want to help after listening to their plea are the same ones making the work difficult.
Building structures for the creative arts industry is challenging and frustrating. The thing is that, the more numbers you register, the lesser the premium you pay,” he told the Graphic Showbiz on Tuesday, September 29.
Stressing on his frustration about the attitudes of players in the industry, Socrate Sarfo said, “I feel like Moses in the house of Pharaoh. From where I sit, I know the challenges, I know what can be done, I know what is being put in place to get results but the people you are fighting for are not interested.
“It is annoying and stressful; people get hurt on set day in, day out, just come and register for the insurance so the government will pay the premium, that is also a problem. It is like they are doing you a favour by coming on board,” he stated.
Socrate continued, “It looks like our people are only interested in initiatives that will put money in their pockets. They do not want anything that has to do with education, workshops; we orangise workshops for the people and they do not show up, how can we move the industry forward?”.
Answering questions about what is being done to improve the situation, Socrate said they were considering going online with the insurance scheme forms.
“We introduced the forms in hard copy so that the right people can have access to it but it looks like we have to go online and that is something we are working on. Hopefully, we anticipate things will be different when that happens,” he stated.
On how they would be able to know who a creative arts player is to be able to access the scheme, he explained that, “when you fill the form, there is a part where you need someone to guarantee that you are in the creative arts sector.
“So if you are a dancer, you need to tell us which association you belong or get someone to attest to the fact that you are indeed who you say you are.”
In concluding, Socrate said, “We need to be serious, sometimes I feel like giving up but I won’t, we will get there, we can do it and we must do it.”