Ace Ghanaian broadcaster, Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey aka Abeiku Santana of OK FM, has expressed his displeasure at the kind of analysis and remarks, some so-called entertainment critics and analysts spew on radio.
Despite being an entertainer, Abeiku Santana rarely or does not share his thoughts publicly on entertainment platforms – radio or TV. Asked why, he said “well now I’m doing. You see, I don’t because I’m not interested in the ‘noise’ going on because the industry is not well organized. We like PR in this country too much than the work itself!
Everybody is talking and blaming each other whilst the actual things to be done are there – left abandoned! I’m not interested in the public talking! I believe in action! Some of those who call themselves entertainment analysts and critics don’t even understand nor have in-depth knowledge about what they say or the things they criticize!” Unfortunately, he failed to mention just one of those art critics who don’t know jack but are allowed to speak on air.
Abeiku also took a swipe at politicians – You may read: (List of Ghanaian Politicians who have failed the creative arts woefully)
Positing, “All of them! Successive governments in this country have failed the art industry woefully! The State does not value creative arts! I have travelled to African countries like Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa, and others and they are all supported by their governments!
“For instance, in South Africa, the State has policies and laws that require companies to annually budget for the creative art industry. The laws and policies enjoin them (companies) to identify their areas of interest in the creative art industry and fund and produce annual reports for audit!
“Not here that you have to write sponsorship proposals and hop from one company to the other begging for sponsorship. Our governments have not helped us over the years!”
Asked why the government should make the creative art industry one of its priority areas, he explained: “Fantastic question! The government should because, art defines us. We can sell Ghana with our art and culture. Let me tell you one thing we are losing sight of, the kids we are teaching ICT, Marketing, Accounting, HR, etc. are now not interested in all those courses!
“We are wasting our monies and time. It’s time to refocus attention on talent or careers driven by talent. Now the kids are learning music, dancing, and creative art at the elementary level. Every child or human being has got a talent.
“By the time these children reach JHS, the talent has already started manifesting. They then transit it to the secondary school so after their SHS education, they are no longer interested in going to the university. Go and check when Sarkodie started rapping, in JHS or SHS!
“Also, the creative art industry is now the fastest growing industry in the whole world. It’s the largest employer. In 2013, the service industry of which is dominated with arts, contributed 32% to Ghana’s GDP; after all our mining, oil, agriculture and whatever. Thirty two percent is huge! So what excuse does the government have for not prioritizing the creative arts industry?
To him, the industry is ‘sick’ because, “first, there is no institution or regulatory body that is organizing, controlling, coordinating, and planning the industry. Everybody is doing his or her own thing. Secondly, there is no advancement or progressive career path for the creative art industry.
“Let me explain well. For instance, in the area of medicine, there is continuity; you can do post-graduate in medicine. Also, in the area of law, there is continuous learning; you can go on and further do LLM and even specialize in a particular field in law.
“In the area of art, we don’t! There is no such designed advanced career path, so we make the stars for a while and after sometime you (stars or celebrities) are off! Today, where are our old stars? You will go and see them doing nothing because there is no career progression! They are wasting all their long years of experience, talent and knowledge at home. It’s very sad.”
Finally, Abeiku expressed indifference at the future of Ghana’s creative art or showbiz industry. “The future is undefined. We don’t know where we are going and so we are not preparing for it. Until we realize this, I will only say our future is undefined. We don’t know where it is going. It’s sad.”
Abeiku Santana made all the above revelations in an exclusive interview with Exclusive Men’s Magazine – of which, he is now the cover man. You may grab a copy and read more on what he shared on openly endorsing candidate Mahama in the 2012 presidential polls, how he got into radio, how he reacts to scandals, and others. Until then…MOTWUM!!