WHEN discussions about the creative arts industry come up, it is the music and movie industries that are focused on.
This has led to complaints that the other sectors of the industry such as poetry and fine arts have been relegated to the background.
Poet, Laud Halm-Quartey, known as Laud De Poet, agrees with this claim and has lamented that the government has unfortunately neglected the sector.
“Poets have not been recognised, I must say, in fact the government doesn't know us. Although some of us perform at government functions, we're just seen as spice for the food and never the main meal. This is not good at all, how do we grow if we are treated like this?
“Honestly when I heard that the creative arts industry was to be given attention I was excited because it was like, ‘finally my prayers had been answered’ but every policy, every workshop is either about music or movies, how about us?
"It is like we do not exist but there are lots of us doing great things, see how the likes of Nana Asaase is lifting the name of Ghana,” he said.
Laud De Poet added, “I will humbly suggest that we're brought on board major decision making platforms that seek to elevate the arts in general in Ghana. The government should make available grants to support this art form of spoken word and poetry.”
He indicated that poets faced a number of challenges, including low fees, explaining that they often did not get paid for performing at shows or what they got was negligible.
“Once in a while we get corporate bodies and churches call us to perform but the money we are given is not encouraging and sometimes the best you can get is God bless you. That is very discouraging and if not for the love and passion I have for poetry, I am sure I would have quit a long time ago.
“Sometimes you get gigs that pay well but that is like once in a very long time. Event houses like Mode Conceptz, Ehalakasa, SASA also in their own small way get us engaged as poets,” he stated.
In their bid to get the needed recognition, Laud said they have formed the Poetry Association of Ghana. “we had to put this together with the hope that maybe we will be taken serious and given the needed attention and light.
“Let me add that a lot of people have tried to do this, I mean bringing us together but it has proved futile but today I say that heavyweight event firms like Ehalakasa, Mode Conceptz and individual brands like Hondred Percent, Nana Asaase, Sir Black and myself are part of this movement.”
Laud De Poet has over a decade’s experience in the poetry industry and has pieces like This year go pap, Grace, Toast to the altar, A penny for your thought, Keeping Hope Alive and Circumcision Brith Millah. He is currently promoting his latest single, I’m Awesome.