“Let’s Have a Presidential Debate on Arts” – Kwame DadzieJonilar
Arts advocate and television presenter Kwame Dadzie has called on stakeholders of the creative arts to organize a debate for all presidential aspirants before this year’s general elections.
Kwame Dadzie, who is also the Deputy Editor of Flex newspaper intimated that the Presidential Debates organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs have never featured the arts and entertainment. The President meets journalists and there is no entertainment journalist to ask a question on arts.
“President John Evans Atta Mills once organized an Editors Forum for senior editors to ask question about his governance and no arts – related question popped up at the forum. Recently, President John Dramani Mahama also did a similar thing for journalists and again, no journalist asked any question that bordered on arts and entertainment,” he noted.
He however doubted if any admonition to the Institute of Economic Affairs [if there is] to include the creative arts in their Presidential Encounters would yield results, because to him, the marginalization of the arts has eaten so much into the minds of the people of the Ghanaian society that we are always consigned to the background.
“This is why arts groups like the Musicians Union of Ghana, Film Producers Association of Ghana, Actors Guild, Arts Writer Association of Ghana, among others should team up with some media institutions to hold this forum for presidential aspirants for this year. If they won’t do it for us, let’s do it by ourselves,” he further stated.
He explained that the proposed Presidential Debate on Arts would psychologically inspire the politician to ‘think arts.’ When the debate is held, presidential candidates would be ‘forced’ to research on the arts before they take part in the debate. This may not happen if there is nothing like a presidential debate on arts.
By so doing, they would find solutions to the numerous problems plaguing the creative arts industry. The plausible corollary of this would be that the candidates would further lay down concrete ways of shoring up the performance of the arts.
The presenter of Care TV’s ‘Gospel Countdown’ shed more light on the essence of the debate.
“The debate would be a platform for the presidential aspirants to learn about the arts. They would have the opportunity to marry their ideas on the arts with other presidential candidates. This means that, at the end of the day, whoever wins as President of Ghana after the elections would have the opportunity to apply a cross – fertilization of ideas gathered from the debate, to formulate his policies for the arts. This is the essence of democracy; sharing and marriage of ideas,” Mr. Dadzie reiterated.
Concluding, he pleaded on painters, musicians, writers, sculptors, weavers, fashion designers, comedians, dancers, film makers and all those that fall under the umbrella of the creative arts to mull over his proposal and act accordingly.