Quest for leadership of MUSIGA
The Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) will go to the polls on June 26, 2019 to elect a new leader who will steer the affairs of the union over the next four years.
Smart Nkansah is the Chairman of the Committee put in place to organise the union’s elections. According to MUSIGA, the elections will be conducted in Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi, Bolgatanga, Cape Coast, Northern Volta, Wa and Tamale, in collaboration with the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
There are several definitions, interpretations and theories of leadership. One definition is that it is “the psychological process of accepting responsibility for task, self and fate of others”.
Leadership is a human (symbolic) communication which modifies the attitude and behaviours of others in order to meet group goals and needs.
Leadership is a matter of developing in people the capacity for accepting responsibility, and this, it has been found, can – and indeed, must be taught and learned.
Research and popular mythology suggest that the most important characteristic for leaders is charisma, defined as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm”. Effective leaders create a desirable future vision for followers, outlining what the tangible results of goals should be like in the future.
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Another important characteristic of leaders is intelligence. Intelligence is not synonymous with education; lifelong learning is an important part of leadership. Being educated is also an important part of leadership, but it does not make one a leader.
A final characteristic of great leaders is vision. Every leader must have an idea where he is going.
There are several theories that attempt to explain leadership effectiveness in group situations. One of these theories is the trait theory of leadership which views leadership effectiveness as dependent on certain characteristics of the individual.
However, it is an accepted fact that leadership traits are not completely inborn but can also be acquired through learning and experience. In addition to physical traits, certain personality traits were thought to be associated with good leadership.
A list of some of the traits includes self-confidence, enthusiasm, assertiveness, responsibility, creativity, originality, dependability, honesty, critical-thinking ability, intelligence and ability to communicate effectively.
The leadership of MUSIGA over the past eight years by Bice Osei Kuffour (Obuor) has received mixed, critical reviews from musicians, bloggers, entertainment critics and other industry players.
There are those who think that the past eight years have seen a lot of improvement in the union. Kwame Dadzie in citinewsroom.com has listed Obuor’s achievements as including Ageing Musicians Welfare Fund, Collective Rights Management with GHAMRO and Rebranding of MUSIGA.
Others are government subvention of GH¢ 2 Million, MUSIGA Academy, Midland-Ajumapa Business Loans, VGMA Collaboration, Regional Support for Capacity and Constitutional Amendment, distribution of Masloc cars.
Under Obuor’s administration, “A Comprehensive Study of the Music Sector in Ghana, commissioned February 2014 by MUSIGA funded by the government of Ghana and supported by the World Bank, was conducted by KPMG.
The union for the first time was able access government funding through budgetary allocation of GH¢2 Million for research, music fair and peace campaign, capacity building and project administration.
Obuor had said GH¢800,000 was used for the research. It has been alleged that President Obuor did not explain how the money was expended.
One tangible result for wanting to be a member of the Musicians Union is income. There are those, especially musicians, who give a thumbs-down to MUSIGA and would not join the union because they think the organisation has not brought any meaningful change in the day-to-day life of the practising musician.
Many musicians in Ghana do not have a steady stream of income, let alone take advantage of the Ajumapa Business Loans, save and invest in any mutual funds. Many musicians live from gig to gig, “from hand to mouth”, to borrow Sarkodie’s epithet.
Desirable characteristics of a MUSIGA President
The President of the Musicians Union in many countries does not abandon his/her career as a practising musician to pursue the day-to-day administrative work of the union.
What MUSIGA needs is an “affective” leader, an individual who tends to be the friendly, outgoing person with ability to establish intra-group cohesiveness along all music genres.
In my opinion, the new president must be a change agent and must surround himself with music administration professionals and consultants who can write business proposals to solicit and access funding to support the various activities of the organisation.
He must establish an administrative office with structures, lines of communication for proper accountability and transparency to defuse the perception of the public that MUSIGA is a corrupt organisation. He must be accountable and transparent to the rank and file of the union.