The entertainment industry across the world gathers in millions of dollars. In fact some world giants in the entertainment industry be it music, comedy or film just made a one time entry and never showed up again.
Some one time hit makers in the American music industry like Afroman (song title “because I got high”), Jaheim (song title “Just in case”) amongst others still “eat off” their works. Their royalties are being paid consistently and this will continue even after their passing. Their kids will continue to enjoy the works of their parents’ years on.
The system just works. Period! The same can be said about their film industry business and it continues in that line.
But this cannot be said about the Ghanaian industry at least until the business side gets concentrate it needs. At least not from my personal observation. Day in day out entertainers we look up to and hold in high esteem keep granting interviews asking for financial support. The list is long but let me refresh your minds.
Super OD whiles growing up was a force to reckon with in the comedy/film industry. But sadly all the money he made during his youthful age could not take care of him at his older stage when at a point he was taken ill. This was a man who graced our screens for decades. His acting career started in the 70’s when he featured in the popular TV drama, “Akan drama”. At a point in his life contributions had to be made to help cater to him till he passed on in 2018.
Kiki Gyan who was a member of the world’s famous Osibisa band at a point in his life also suffered financial difficulties. Kiki on record, just in a weekend could make 8,000 pounds as a session keyboardist. Sadly, in 2004 he lost the battle to drugs. He at this stage had to be supported by friends and families. An individual who was arguably the hottest keyboardist in London at his prime?
Again William Addo who was a household name in various television series and movies also had to seek for financial support when his health begun to fail him. He had to call on the public for support and help to financially raise the needed amount for an eye surgery. Mr. Addo’s financial state dwindled when movie directors where no longer knocking on his door. However, this begs the question of how Ghanaian entertainers invest into their future. The veterans I can boldly say concentrated more on the show and not the business.
The latest to join the list is Kohwe who died on the 16th of September, 2021 as reported by his daughter. Kohwe who had featured in various television hit series including my all time favorite “District colonial court”. He was a master in his craft. Kohwe had to come out years ago, to speak about his financial challenges. He then had financial support from former Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi. Some items were donated to him as well as monies. Kohwe reported suffered from stroke.
In recent happenings, Psalm Adjeteyfio popularly known as “TT” has also come out to call on well meaning Ghanaians to support him with his failing health. The Vice President, Dr. Bawumia yielded to the call and donated 50,000 cedis. The list of entertainers in the Ghanaian industry who face and are facing financial challenges is endless.
Yes, some entertainers and industry players have asked for a system that can work on collecting appropriately royalties due them. Just like it works in the European countries, same can be done here in Ghana.
But if I may humbly say, can entertainers at their peak also look at diversifying their income investments. It is today that many young entertainers have a rude awakening that its a business field they find themselves. The saying that, “make hay whiles the sunshine” is still relevant. I won’t be surprise if many entertainers will “take it up” with me if I asked them, what are their pension plans. Surprised? It has never crossed their mind, trust me. Well, to the Ghanaian entertainers both old, young and upcoming, plan for a financially stress free future. As much as it is entertainment and perhaps a passion, make some money.
A time will come, and just maybe the public benevolence will not be forth-coming again. Ghanaian entertainers, take note!