Some members of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in the Central region have defected from the union accusing the musicians’ body of neglecting them.
The members, who call themselves Concerned Members of MUSIGA in the region, expressed their displeasure at national executives for failing to address several challenges facing them.
The concerned members in a statement signed by their Press Secretary, Oti Faaben Kakra and copied Myjoyonline.com Friday, announced their defection from MUSIGA to the Musicians and Dancers Association of Ghana (MUDAG), to help address their challenges.
“We have defected from the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) to the Musicians and Dancers Association of Ghana (MUDAG) which is a member of the Music Council of Ghana of the International Music Council of UNESCO and subsequently cease to be members of MUSIGA,” the statement said.
They claimed that executives of MUSIGA are “not ready at all to hear to our cry,” and that “it is sad to note that vibrant members who are not popular are not counted among the lot. Secondly those in the rural and the remote areas are not recognized in any activity and service of the union.”
According to them, the musicians’ union has failed to deliver on several expectations to members including; “support in times of Launching of Album, Loss of Parents, Loss of Two Children below the age of 18, Outdooring, among others, but this turned out to be for only a selected few.”
“This makes our welfare unsecured and discriminatory since we are all active members who pay membership dues of Fifty-four Ghana Cedis (GH₵54.00) and Sixty Ghana Cedis (GH₵60.00) annually, as welfare dues per member,” the concerned musicians added.
The group lamented that they are hurt about the situation and noted that a letter they wrote in June 2013 to the President of MUSIGA, Bice Osei Kuffour asking him not to accept the resignation of their chairman in the Central Region, did not receive any response.
“Although most of us were not in executive meetings, we are totally aware about the issues that were raised by the C/R chairman of the union during the Ghana Music Week that resulted in his resignation, and believe that the President together with the National Executives could have solved the issue amicably to calm down the members, but it wasn’t so.”
The concerned musicians accused national executives of MUSIGA of remunerating themselves “from Five hundred Ghana Cedis (GH₵500.00) to Two thousand, Eight hundred Cedis (GH₵2,800.00) monthly without thinking of the members welfare.”
They further lamented that their neglect could be the result of the fact that most of them are unpopular and geographically dislocated. They however, clarified that “music is not about only those who sing and are popular but consider the song writers, the composers, instrumentalists, sound engineers, producers among the lot, therefore we believe all must be recognized.”
The concerned musicians were of the view that, MUDAG has well organized structures which will help polish the music and dancing industry “and help most of us realize our dreams.”
“We want to make it clear to all that we are not doing this to create any chaos in MUSIGA but to make sure that the plight and concern of both musicians and dancers are well addressed, while the show goes on in the arts struggle,” the statement concluded.