The Deputy Minister-Designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey, appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament yesterday for his Deputy Ministerial vetting.
Below are ten (10) of the things that were talked about at the vetting:
(1)When asked what could be done to bring back highlife, he said Highlife has not gone anywhere and that it has only evolved into different forms, citing that King Promise, Wendy Shay, and others do different forms of highlife.
(2) Okraku-Mantey who served as the interim President of the Creative Arts Council, when asked about existing plans to market art products digitally to the other part of the world, said the challenges that MTN Play, Deezer, and other digital marketing platforms went through have taught them a lesson to conduct proper consultations in order not to cause financial loss to the state.
(3). Mark denied ever saying that he had an ambition for a Member of Parliament position.
(4). A former minister of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare asked why he said on the radio that the previous government left nothing behind for ministry when it was not true.
When asked where Okraku worked from, as Creative Arts Council President, he responded that it was the Accra Tourist Information Centre, a facility put up by the previous government.
Mark then quipped: I didn’t see this coming.”
(5) He said The Year of Return celebration which was held in Ghana in December 2019 to mark 400 years of slavery, is different from Panafest.
(6). Okraku-Mantey intimated that government is bent on establishing music and movie studios. He said people will be trained to run these studios. It was suggested to him that some of the studios are built in small communities to cater to talents in those areas too.
“We needed to engage stakeholders to know how to roll it out. We still need to have such a studio,” he said.
(7) He suggested that one thing the arts industry needs to get better, aside from the Creative Industry Act, is a law to levy music devices. He said since the Blank Levies taken by the government as royalties on imported CDs for musicians have reduced due to the extinction of cassettes and CDs, there needs to be a law that would help find a way to levy gadgets that use music.
(8) He mentioned the achievements of the Creative Arts Council during the first term of Nana Akufo-Addo’s tenure: Beautifying interchanges with paintings, the passage of the Creative Industry Act, masterclasses, and taking some Ghanaian bands to Vis a Vis Music Festival in Spain.
(9) He said he did not do National Service because he battled ulcer for many years after school.
(10). He was asked to sing Kojo Antwi’s ‘Daadie Anoma’.
By: Kwame Dadzie | Ghana Weekend