Obour Wins Again

Obour flanked by Appietus (left) and Gyedu Blay Amboley

Bice ‘Obour’ Kuffour was retained as president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) at the sixth quadrennial delegates’ congress of the Union held in Koforidua over the weekend.

Obour’s mandate was renewed for a second term of four years after he polled an overwhelming 88 votes out of a total of 133 votes cast.

His two other challengers, celebrated recording sound engineer/music producer known as Appietus and Gyedu Blay Ambolley, the ace jazz and highlife musician, had 18 and 22 votes respectively.

The Union’s Vice President, Bessa Simons, and General Secretary Deborah Freeman contested their positions unopposed while Chizzy Nii Adu won the position of National Organiser by polling 65 votes to beat his only contender, Ras Caleb Appiah, who had 64 votes.

In a post-election interview, Appietus conceded defeat and promised to support the newly elected leadership to achieve the aims of the Union.

‘You must fear delegates. Fear delegates oooo. I tell you. But I have to accept the results, and I would throw my weight behind Obour. I think he worked harder during the campaign so he won. We are one family and have to forge ahead after the elections,’ Appietus noted.

Ambolley however declined media interviews after the polls and told Peace Fm he was not ready to talk. Reports said Ambolley left the voting grounds the moment the results were declared by the Electoral Commission.

Obour has admitted his first term in office was not smooth but insists that despite the challenges, his administration has achieved something worth writing home about.

He mentions, among his achievements, the establishment of the Ageing Musicians Welfare (AMWEF) Fund which holds periodic distribution of cash as well as free medical screening for beneficiaries and also prides himself in having set up the MUSIGA ACADEMY where the Union would collaborate with the School of Performing Arts (S.P.A) and National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI)  to provide professional training and skills for players in the Music Industry.

Obour points to the establishment of the Midland-MUSIGA Business Loans, a low interest and relatively collateral-free loan to enable MUSIGA members access funds for their projects, and says he is happy his administration successfully formalised an arrangement with Charterhouse, as a result of which car prizes have be given to chosen VGMA winners over the last three years.

Asked what he would do differently if given a renewal of his mandate as MUSIGA president, Obour said he would consolidate his achievements and introduce new projects like the Northern Music Development Ball for the three Northern Regions of Ghana to help further develop indigenous music from the northern corridor of Ghana.

‘I am already in talks with the regional Chairmen of MUSIGA Brong Ahafo and MUSIGA Volta on the establishment of the  Ahafoman Ball  and the  Volta Music Awards and Dinner Dance respectively.  This will enable sons and daughters of these regions to help raise funds to develop music works in their respective regions. The Brong Ahafo Region remains the most resourced region of Ghana, in my estimation, in terms of business and agriculture, with very active cities like Sunyani, Berekum, Techiman, Nkoranza, and Kintampo among others. The Volta Region is blessed with the most diversity in terms of traditional music. My vision is to see the rich musical culture of these regions thrive.

‘The Eastern, Western and Central Regions will not be left out in this regional development agenda as we strive to make our regional branches self-sustaining.

‘Another key feature of my second term will be the Ghana Music to the World through the International Launches of the Ghana Music Week Festival. We want to embark on a global campaign to promote Ghanaian music outside the borders of our country.

‘Also, another area of focus for the second term will be supporting our unsung members or underground musicians, as popularly called.  We will design programmes to assist upcoming Musicians and Unsung/Trainee category members. The MUSIGA Spotlight Artiste/Song will be redesigned to focus more on unsung and underground members,’ he added.

Pix in newsone as Obour

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