Monday, 28 January 2013


Nii Odoi Mensah president of the Ghana Actors Guild
Nii Odoi Mensah, President of Ghana Actors Guild (GAG), the umbrella body of actors in Ghana, has congratulated President John Mahama on his first step to help the creative arts industry.
The president, in his ministerial appointments and creation of new ministries, gave the creative arts industry some level of attention with the creation of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts Ministry. He subsequently named Mr. Rashid Pelpuo Minister-designate for the ministry but replaced him with Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare.
The announcement of the new ministry was received with great excitement by the majority of industry stakeholders while others wondered if it wasn’t just a nine-day wonder, to appease stakeholders who supported the president’s candidature during the 2012 general elections.
But Nii Odoi Mensah, in an exclusive interview with NEWS-ONE, said the decision of the government came on the heels of incessant calls on governments to support their industry and also a crusade led by the Ghana Actors Guild at a conference in Kumasi to discuss issues affecting the industry with the president.     
“We made an appeal and by the grace of God, it worked. When he won the election he invited us to his inauguration. We went there in our numbers and just after he was inducted we went to the castle to congratulate him. There and then he broke the news to us that he has really formed a new ministry for the creative arts industry and everybody was happy because at least our efforts have been seen and we believe that the way we started from Kumasi has really led the way for them to see eye to eye with us.
“He has promised us that he is going to make sure that he gives us some good money that will be put in a pool where all of us can go and access and use. We thought it is laudable idea and we are very happy that he has listened to us. If they say there are listening governments, we have seen one.
“We are praying that the new ministry they have formed for us will also look at us with an eagle eye and make sure that they really shelter us very well and put us in the limelight.
“Then we can also contribute our best to the growth of our country by marketing the country very well with our movies and performances. So we want to thank the government for listening to us.
“For those who think that the Ghana Actors Guild was dead, this crusade was led by the Ghana Actors Guild and by the grace of God, government listened to us.
“So we are calling on all actors who are still not members of the Guild to come back to where they belong. They should come and join forces with us, so that we can push as one voice.”
Mr. Odoi Mensah said though the creation of the new ministry was laudable, it wasn’t enough. “Government should do extra to help the industry by focusing on good policies for the industry because the industry is of great value to improving the national economy,” he said.
He mentioned that a Film Bill was one of the major things to look at. The Film Bill, he revealed, had been in parliament for over 10 years but politicians bypassed it every now and then to pass new bills. He described it as unfortunate and urged the new government to do something about it.
Meanwhile Mr. Nii Odoi has denied his association’s involvement with any specific political party.
“We are actors we don’t need to associate ourselves with any political party. We should always be neutral and work with any political party. We, the Ghana Actors Guild, we are saying we work with any government who is ready to work with us. But we don’t have political affiliations. Individual members may have political affiliations but the GAG itself has not pinpointed any party that we joined this party. We work with any person who thinks he needs our services.”
He thus pleaded with government, business men and women to come to the aid of the creative arts industry.
“We want to plead with everybody to come on board. Don’t sit on the fence, come on board and let us move the creative arts industry forward. We say kudos to government for listening to our plight and doing this for us; but not just doing it but implementing policies they have for us, to work for us,” he added.

Credit: NEWS-ONE
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Award winning Ghanaian Journalist with Western Publications Limited; publishers of Daily Guide, Business Guide, News-One and Young Blazers.

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