Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wanlov the Kubolor
Controversial rapper Wanlov the Kubolor says Ghana as a country has never been serious about the creative arts industry; but has rather been interested in the money the industry generates.

According to Wanlov, successive governments have never been ready to help the creative industry grow by putting in place training centres or systems to help improve the industry.

“As long as I have lived, Ghana has never been serious about the creative industry; they are only serious about the money they can make from that industry. When they see the creative industry making money, they just come and chop some but they never help for it to grow.”

“There are no centres training artisans, there are no subsidies helping the craft people, and to make it worse, I don’t see any system in place. If Ghana cared about the creative arts industry, they would have looked out for some of these people who are being harshly ejected,” Wanlov told NEWS-ONE after the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) demolished structures belonging to some artisans behind the Art Centre.

The AMA on Sunday led their taskforce, together with heavily armed policemen, to demolish what they term ‘unauthorised’ structures behind the Arts Centre in Accra.

Reports say the AMA carried out the exercise as one of the ways of fighting cholera and addressing sanitation issues in that community.

“The AMA is also saying that they demolished the structures because of diseases like cholera, Ebola and the rest. But if sanitation issues were really the aim of the AMA, they would have cleaned the Korle Lagoon long ago, so I doubt they did it because of sanitation issues,” the barefoot-walking musician stated.

Wanlov added that: “If AMA and Vanderpuije were serious about sanitation issues, they will be cleaning Korle Lagoon, they will be dealing with the liquid waste being dumped at Korle Gonno, providing better ways for waste disposal and better recycling measures and holding companies producing plastic accountable.”

“Companies, churches and organisations who are throwing the rubbish out on the streets are the people the AMA should be policing. One Rastaman there told me that Vanderpuije has vandalised the poor and it really rang in my head that vandalising the poor is what Vanderpuije is here for.”

The ‘Beatrice’ singer therefore added that the AMA should consider providing alternative housing for the victims since most of them were paying rent to some ‘landlords’ at the place.

“The people come from all over Ghana and West Africa because of poverty in different parts of where they come from, and have built their families there. However, the main issue is that they haven’t provided alternative housing for the people living there. Most of the people there were paying rent to some self-appointed landlords. So if they are given an alternative place to stay, they will be able to pay the rent. The shops of the Arts Centre are there but some of the artisans were living in those places that were demolished. If these guys go and live off-site and factor in transport and other things, it will end up affecting the prices of the things they sell there, which is not good for the industry,” he said.

The Art Centre happens to be one of the tourist attractions where most tourists go to purchase memorabilia artworks from Ghana.

“No tourist comes to Ghana without going through the Arts Centre. The place is the number one ambassador for the Ghanaian tourism industry,” he noted.

Meanwhile, some shop owners at the Art Centre have appealed to the AMA to give them more time to relocate, following discussions between their leaders and city authorities.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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