MUSIGA Presidency: 6 takeaways from Bessa Simons’ manifesto

Highlife musician and businessman Henry Bessa Simons is up for the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) presidency as he launches his manifesto.

Bessa Simons

Bessa – who is known for hit songs like “Belembe” and “Awow Yi” – served as the Acting National Organiser, 2nd Vice President and 1st Vice President of the union, and now vying for the presidency post.

His 10-page manifesto was launched in Accra on Monday, May 6, 2019, to further push his agenda.

Here are six key takeaways from his manifesto.

Pillars of his manifesto

His manifesto is built on three major pillars: unity, accountability and transparency. Bessa wants to bring together all the practitioners in all the facets of the music industry, be accountable and promote, foster and embed a culture of transparency. This is something the previous administrations have failed to achieve.

Self-sustainability

It’s Bessa Simons’ aim to equip musicians with the requisite knowledge about the field. In his manifesto, he has proposed ‘one musician, one instrument’ programme to help musicians acquire and learn musical instruments. He will also organise workshops to help link musicians to the international market, secure grants to enhance and educate members, put music back into the school curriculum, strengthen MUSIGA regional branches and structures and organise fundraising activities at regional levels.

Initiatives

He will create MUSIGA regional brands to raise funds, introduce MUSIGA Play an Instrument programme to provide employment for musicians, establish MUSIGA Regional Farms to help generate revenue through farming, organise annual MUSIGA concert for expats to generate additional income to run the union, raise GHC50,000 to support regional offices and work with GHAMRO to create logging and distribution systems.

Market local music

Under Bessa Simons, he will ensure that MUSIGA reinforces the 70/30 per cent play policy on radio and TV, collaborate with local streaming services, promote up and coming musicians across the nation and, create MUSIGA radio and TV.

Capacity building

Bessa will organise workshops for video directors and music producers, retrain MUSIGA administration, enhance Ghana Music Week celebration and provide international exchange programmes for skills transfer.

Welfare

He has the welfare of both young and old in mind. He promises to introduce pension to young musicians, complete and implement a minimum wage policy to financially secure musicians, help up and coming musicians get paid for gigs, provide active legal counsel and representation, guide members on merchandising and licensing and, lead the review of percentages and dues.

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