Rex Omar, Chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation, (GHAMRO) has urged musicians to use their gift of composition to make tremendous impact in the society.
Rex Omar real name Rex Owusu Marfo, said musicians are imbued with so much talent which could be put to use to lead to positive development of their communities.
In an interview with Graphic Showbiz during the pre-burial service for the late Highlife musician, Jewel Kofi Ackah in Tema, Rex Omar said musicians have so much to learn from their departed colleague who was unafraid to venture into the political terrain to the extent of recording an anthem for the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
According to Rex Omar, “Jewel Ackah will be remembered for his bold step to associate with the NDC. He was a musician who was so bold and fearless to align himself with a political party even though he suffered in terms of his career but he never gave up."
Explaining further, Rex Omar said “For me, it is a sign that as musicians, we should not restrict ourselves to only singing but also contribute to national development.
"So far as I am concerned, Jewel Ackah paved the way. You can be a musician and still be unafraid to contribute to national development” Rex Omar added.
The late music legend, Jewel Ackah
In 1992, following the formation of NDC, Jewel Ackah teamed up with his friend, Mr Kofi Totobi Kwakye, a former Minister of Information, who is also a guitarist, to record the NDC anthem.
The Prince of Hilghlife as Jewel was known in addition to the NDC anthem recorded other songs for the party and in 1993 compiled them on a CD.
General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketia in a tribute on behalf of the party said Jewel’s active involvement with the NDC came at a cost.
“While he remained one of the best musicians of his time, he suffered persecution and discrimination at the hands of events promoters who did not share his political views.”
He said the deceased became a victim of the polarisation that had engulfed every aspect of national lives. That notwithstanding, he indicated that the deceased remained unfazed and undaunted by what had happened to him.
“Jewel was not the bonafide property of one political party. He belonged to the world of music. His many non-political recordings will remain evergreen. He will be remembered by all as one of the best musicians Ghana has ever produced,” the NDC said in their tribute.
Musician A.B.Crentsil sandwiched by Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General-Secretary of NDC and Former Minister of Information, Mr Kofi Totobi-Quakyi(right)
The Vice President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), Mr. Bessa Simons, reading the tribute from the Union said the late Jewel Ackah will be remembered for his ability to use his music to impact on people in his own unique way.
“From the days of the Western Showboys when he did Akarakachi Akarakacho to his singing of the anthem of the NDC, Jewel has made an impact beyond a pile of musicians and their fans.
"Indeed, there is no gainsaying that you will be remembered for your fearless commitment to your ideals”, MUSIGA wrote in their tribute.
Jewel Ackah died at the age of 73 and was buried in his hometown Axim in the Western Region on Saturday, August 4, 2018.