Creatives only become relevant when it's election - Fiifi Coleman
Renowned Ghanaian actor and playwright, Fiifi Coleman is raising concerns about how theatre lacks attention from relevant authorities and yet its players become a major focus for politicians during elections.
He argued that conversations about theatre only gains traction primarily for political gain rather than a genuine acknowledgment of its importance as a development tool.
"There are people who are blind and don't see what theatre can do in our society, so it will take time. Let us wait until it's three months to the election, then the conversation on theatre will get the relevant attention," he said as a panelist on the Graphic Showbiz (X) Dialogue series held today.
The actor also criticised the mismanagement of existing theatres and creative spaces for events, questioning the wisdom of channeling energy into building new ones without addressing the challenges of the current establishments.
The series themed,"Is theatre getting the relevant attention" had other speakers including George Quaye, CEO of Image Bureau and Nii Saki Sackey, Media Liaison of Roverman Productions expressing their views on the state of theatre in the country.
It would be recalled that the Deputy Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Mark Okraku-Mantey in April cut sod for an amphitheatre in the Ashanti region which was one of five to be built by the government this year, with two in Accra, one in Takoradi, one in Tamale, and one in Kumasi. Still A Rose at the National Theatre on Nov. 3 & 4
The aim of these amphitheatres is to serve as venues for performances and other forms of entertainment, to aid industry players in planning their events, and to create jobs to boost the industry’s economy.
"There can only be one National Theatre of Ghana. But, does our national theatre represent us well enough as a country? We need to look at that first before talking about building new ones," he stated.
Fiifi Coleman urged creatives to place value on the existing creative space, highlighting the need for stakeholders to recognise the importance of theatre. "They don't see our importance, but if we don't place value on it, who would come and do that for us as major stakeholders?" he questioned.
He also made a passionate plea for genuine commitment from both politicians and creatives and other relevant stakeholders to recognise and nurture the invaluable role that theatre plays in shaping the cultural landscape of Ghana.