What they continuously steal from Us: The Ghana Government, Tourism, and the exploitation of Ghanaians.  

It has been 3 days since the Ghanaian President was Booed by citizens while he was giving a speech at the just ended Global citizens concert. The reactions from Ghanaians who were present at the event screams of a people frustrated by bad governance without any way of venting out their frustrations. The government’s PR machinery, through Bot social media accounts have already started rolling out Statements, posts, and memes insisting that what happened at the global citizens concert was sponsored by the opposition party in a bid to make the government unpopular.

Government Officials like Mark Okraku Mantey have already started to go on air and claim that the Concert was done here in Accra because the president engineered that when in fact evidence provided by the concert organizers shows otherwise, that the decision to have this year’s event in Accra Ghana was not the brainchild of the president. 

Now on the morning of Tuesday 27th September, the president on his official Twitter page posts a video as part of the #VisitGhana2022 campaign.

This Video contains Shots of Kirani Ayat’s music video “Guda” which were used without the Artists consent. 

As a fellow creative myself, it is disheartening to see things like this happen, especially from a government that offers little to no support of the creative arts in Ghana, yet turns around to consistently market tourism to the Diaspora.

Everyone who knows the Kirani Ayat story knows the story about the Hustle that went into the creation of this music Video. 

It was 2016, Ayat had Just dropped IDKY, and had started to build a cult following with his unique sound. Realizing the possibilities of what he could create if he had funding, Ayat decided to relocate to the United States of America. A move motivated by the ever-growing economic hardships in Ghana. so on January 10th,2017, he left everything behind in Ghana and spent the next 7 months working multiple jobs as a Receptionist, Cleaner and a Night guard, just to save up enough money to come back home and chase his dreams.

What Ayat and David Nicol Sey, the director of the video did was phenomenal. Ayat went to the northern parts of Ghana, to show and document the landscape and culture of the marginalized people there, who’s tradition he takes inspiration from to create his sound.

Ayat has voiced out how after completing the video his cries to the Ghanaian government to collaborate and use his video to promote tourism in the northern parts of Ghana fell on deaf ears.

The Ghana music scene is heavily lacking systems in place to support and fight for the rights of Ghanaian creatives. the supposed government systems in place are more interested in leaching of creatives with our non-existent royalty collection systems, among other things that stay killing us.

We are seeing our neocolonial government constantly market our country as a safe haven to the Diaspora, at the detriment of our existence as Ghanaians living in Ghana.

The currencies poor performance, the high unemployment rate, and the high cost of living is such that we as a people during a time where the cedi’s value has never dropped so low have to spend that in our dollar economy that is geared at accommodating diaspora comfort.

Dodzi K. Aveh

Stream Kirani Ayat’s debut studio album Aisha’s Sun here: https://onerpm.lnk.to/Aishas-Sun ✨

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