Seven Xavier has suggested that the Chairman for the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO) Mr. Rex Omar, be made to step down from running the affairs of the Organization together with Diana Hopeson and Agya Abraham.
Mr. Xavier, President of the Alliance for Change in Ghana Music (AFGHAM) stated that they were not working in the interest of musicians in the country and hence they should step aside for more competent people to man the affairs of the organization else the future of Ghana music is going to be a bleak one.
“The first step is for Diana Hopeson, Rex Omar, Agya Abraham to step away, they are the problems. They just don’t want to work because most of the radio stations they claim don’t pay royalties actually do pay and AFGHAM has evidence to prove it“ Seven, who made these declarations in an interview with TheAfricanDream.net also asserted that most of the top musicians in Ghana were not registered members with GHAMRO because they see it as a fruitless venture which is why they did not want to be part of something that was not working.
Seven believes the current admin is not there to fix the rot
“It saddens me that Rex Omar is invited to every conference to go and lie and defend the GHAMRO lot over and over again, we are tired of that and demand change or for the ministry and government to allow for options by allowing the creation of a second rights collection and protection entity like AFGHAM has always been calling for,” he said.
Xavier touching on a new technology GHAMRO was set to introduce questioned whether it was even worth it. The AFGHAM President said Mr. Omar and his crew are very much aware of technologies that could fix the problem musicians in Ghana are facing with royalties and its collection. When foreign agencies are brought in to assist, they will still need data to work with and in the AFGHAM president’s opinion, that is where things get murky because data means facts and facts means truth and truth will expose the lies and rot — so the current GHAMRO and its board, as well as the immediate past one, prefers to work within a corrupted system.
“GHAMRO knows about NORCODE, an organization from Norway that was willing to provide back-end technology free for a length of time, and even right here in Ghana, there was another entity called QISIMAH, with an award-winning music monitoring system which they trialed for six months and kicked them out. Because when they would have to provide data to both entities GHAMRO refused to as doing that will bring transparency, that is what they don’t like” — Mr. Xavier.
Trigmatic chimes in with his views
Rapper Trigmatic who is known in real life as Nana Yaw Oduro Agyei in a separate conversation with TheAfricanDream.net on the same topic also agreed with the AFGHAM President, saying at times musicians want data to show radio airplay of their songs to aid them in their promotional plans but because GHAMRO is not working effectively this has made it very difficult for him personally and a lot of his colleagues.
“I have so many songs that made it big in Ghana, but at the end of the day when you look at even the fact that GHAMRO has zero data to discover how often a particular song was played on the radio, let’s not even add on television or at bars and in clubs, then I ask myself what are we doing here, are we serious? There are many artists whose works have hit platinum or multi-platinum here in Ghana but have nothing to show for since the system has no data to back this up,“ Trigmatic lamented.
He indicated further that he has no longer been taking GHAMRO seriously over the years although he’s been a registered member. He admits he is among the crop of Ghanaian artists forced to outsource rights collection for their works to foreign bodies who know what they are doing and can back their work with data, giving clients security and bringing in earnings. Trigmatic believes it is realistic to overhaul the whole system for Ghana in a short possible time, “We just need honest men and women at the helm of leadership and administration and we as rights owners too must be willing to do the proper thing because our examples speak for us and leave a message for the future generations — let us not fail to use our voices for a greater good,” he said.
Leadership must be proactive for the sake of posterity
Trigmatic urged GHAMRO to partner with various organizations that could provide the requisite data for the payment of musicians’ and artists’ royalties. “They just need a partnership with a company that can give them that data for them to make payment based on that data to ensure equitable distribution of funds. In that process, we as Ghanaians can also be trained to understand such a system and eventually acquire these technologies to run it ourselves.“
Both Trigmatic and Xavier urged creators to know their rights, understand the systems within which they work, and keep updating and upgrading their crafts and knowledge because Ghana can’t betray generations upon generations for lack of willingness on the part of leadership to be positively proactive. They welcomed all to visit AFGHAM on social media as @ghmusicalliance on Twitter and @alliance_for_change on Instagram to learn more about their work and how to become a part of it.
The Alliance For Change In Ghana Music (AFGHAM) is a collection of creative arts stakeholders who believe in creating a thriving and prosperous music industry.
Written by Oral Ofori