GH creative industry heading for doom if we focus on just music and movie —Oswald Okaitei
POET and spoken word artist, Oswald Okaitei, is predicting doom for Ghana’s arts industry if relevant stakeholders do not take the right initiatives to grow the sector.
Oswald noted that even though there were various units within the creative industry, music and movie have taken a significant piece of attention, pushing the rest, particularly fine arts, to the background.
Speaking with Graphic Showbiz on Monday, October 23, the graduate of the University of Cape Coast said his comments were a digest of his observation of the industry over the years, noting that the situation was discouraging players from other units of the creative sectors from pushing harder.
Oswald, who is the organiser of Street Reading Carnival and founder of Read Ghana Read Consult, disclosed that Ghana risked the chance of losing the next generation of writers due to poor appreciation of creative and literary writers.
“I think there should be a comprehensive plan to develop Ghana’s arts industry. The truth is that the industry is bigger than musicians or actors. It involves poets, spoken word artistes, comedians, painters, writers/authors, playwrights, fashion and more.”
“But it appears what we call arts industry is a sham considering that little or no attention is given to other units. The music and movie sectors are the most focused on leaving the rest to their fate, struggling.”
“Do you know that Ghana may not be able to boast of global recognised authors and writers in the next few years? We may only be stuck to glorifying our ancient literary legends such as Ama Ata Aidoo, Professor Lade Wosornu, Atukwei Okai, among others without caring about a sunrise for another golden generation.”
“Yes, there are young literary writers doing well but what deliberate steps are we taking to ensure they fit into the shoes of their predecessors? That is the doom ahead of us because there are no structures within the arts industry to make this happen and it is very worrying,” he said.
Oswald mentioned that while the music and movie sectors continue to enjoy the support of both government and corporate organisations, other creative units including the literary space are struggling to survive.
“Is it not ironical to find foreign nations interested in investing in our literary art? Beyond the media placing calls for reading advocacy, what is government’s deliberate attempt in that direction? Is there any desk at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture for literary art? Oswald questioned.