Highlife musician and chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organisation (GHAMRO) Kojo Antwi has responded to criticism of his administration by saying being a chairman isn’t a matter of life and death.
Antwi’s administration had been accused of failing to account for royalties collected on behalf of the members. The United Concerned Members of GHAMRO (UNICOM), led by highlife legend Randy Nunoo, had detailed this allegation against the admnistration after an emergency meeting on 15 February, accusing the administration of lacking accountability. They had also accused the leadership of working with lawyers to influence the upcoming elections of the organisation, slated for 11 March.
Other personalities in the industry joined the wave of criticism, including Kumawood actor Agya Koo, who is also a musician. “I support what the United Concern Members of GHAMRO are doing," he said. "The thing is, what normally helps in nation-building is truthfulness. We are in a union and every year there should be accountability. But when this doesn’t happen then there will be chaos.
“The performance of the Kojo Antwi-led administration has been abysmal. The outgoing administration has not benefited musicians but worsened our plight.”
He also narrated his experience with the organisation in an interview on Hot FM 93.9. “Before traveling abroad, I went to the office twice to claim my royalties but they told me to send them my bank details and I obliged," he said on-air. "But they keep lying and tossing me. At a point, they told me they had paid the money into my account but that was also a lie. I don’t think the Kojo Antwi-led administration can do the job so they should step aside because they have failed.”
Ghanaian highlife musician Abirekyieba Kofi Sammy was even more expressive in his complaints, saying in an interview with Razzonline.com that he would kill Kojo Antwi if he had a gun. The veteran musician spoke about how he could not pay his tithe and children’s school fees because Kojo Antwi and his administration had failed to pay his royalties.
Antwi, however, denied all allegations, including accusations about tampering with the upcoming elections. While addressing GHAMRO members, he claimed it was unnecessary for two-thirds of the membership to be present before a decision could be made – a provision he found ridiculous given the existence of a board. This created a loud altercation between him and members of UNICOM during the meeting.
“I have not picked a form,” he said with an air of exasperation to the revolting members. “To me, chairmanship is not a life-and-death matter like it used to be.”