One of the embattled organisations in the music industry is the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO), which has been bedevilled with constant accusations of mismanagement leading to little or no payment of royalties.
While successive managements have tried their best at explanations, Gospel musician Abena Ruthy believes a lack of communication or a communication gap is GHAMRO’s main problem.
“The main issue I see with GHAMRO is how well issues are communicated to members. So you will get a faction complaining about this while another faction says ‘we have done that’ but because of the communication gap, there is always a problem.”
“If we are able to pay attention to the end-to-end communication with our own people and then the users of music, I am sure we will get there and the issue of people being accused of squandering money will stop and we will get the expected results,” she told Graphic Showbiz.
Abena Ruthy is vying for the position of a board member in the upcoming GHAMRO elections and she said she would use her communication skills to improve the organisation's image.
“We will always make members aware of what is happening and let them know that we are working in their interest. We should collect and distribute, there is no way we should be there for six months and not distribute.”
“For me, communication is key and that is the only way we can bring all factions together. If it means bringing out bulletins periodically, we will. Once you put your works out there, you are a major stakeholder so we won’t wait for Annual General Meetings alone to update members.”
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“People don’t understand why they have to pay when they play our music. My communications background will help reach out to the people and explain to them why they have to pay. We will have to bring our friends we have gathered in the corporate world on board because they can be of great assistance,” she said.
Abena Ruthy also touched on the other strengths she was bringing on board. “I am also relying on my experience in banking; the main mandate of GHAMRO is to collect and distribute so as someone with a financial management background, I will ensure that we put the money we collect to good use and maximise the profit to get more money for our members.
“I also have a Business Development and Marketing background, I should be able to get out there and collect from the people because our main issue is that we are not able to collect from the people.
“My qualities are that I am transparent and people-oriented. I will work in the interest of my colleagues and ensure that anyone who has done a good job gets what he or she deserves. I will be the voice for the voiceless and not amass wealth for myself.
“It is financially draining putting in resources to come out with songs so if the collecting organisation doesn’t support you then it is very discouraging that is why I am coming on board with my expertise to help,” she added.
Abena Ruthy is the Executive Director of International Women of Destiny, CEO of Incredible Cleaning and Trading Services Ltd, Managing Partner: Dvrest Perfect Ventures (a manufacturing company), President of Women in Gospel, Council Member: Christian Music Association, Ghana.
She has two Masters degrees from the University of Ghana an Executive MBA and MA, Economic Policy Management.
As a Gospel musician, she has two albums and five singles to her credit. She released a single titled Jehovah Shammah in January this year which is available on all digital platforms.