THE Sunshine Arts and Music Awards which takes place at the National Theatre, was launched at Alliance Française in Accra on Monday.
In a speech read on his behalf by Mr. Yaw Opoku Dankwa of the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs and Culture, Hon S. K. Boafo, Minister for Chieftaincy Affairs and Culture said many years ago, Ghana was greatly acknowledged in the arts and entertainment industry for the distinct high life music, adding that it was a period when music appreciation was truly an issue.
However, he noted with concern that in the 1980’s and 90’s, Ghanaian Music Industry took a different turn drawing inspiration from America which he called, the “Mecca of entertainment”, presenting a different and an exotic picture where rap and hip-hop music had taken root and spreading out as a universal musical art with sex and violence as themes which he described as an affront and a hostility to the fabric of society.
He noted that Plato, the Greek Philosopher once said “For the body we have gymnastics and for the soul we have music.” Music therefore, he said is much more than a form of entertainment, because it has far reaching hypnotic effects on the brain and soul and could take complete control of the body and mind and which it could determine the mood of the listener and its effects could be good or evil.
Unfortunately he said, with the liberalization of the airwaves in Ghana around the same period many more period began to taste rap and hip hop music with their explicit lyrics which he said were not only morally foul but suggestive with their accompanying degenerate dance forms which sought to arouse wanton sexual desires.
The effect of rap and hip hop music on the Ghanaian musical scene is the birth of what is now known as Hip-life music with rappers dressed in the image of American rappers and many a time with sex as a borrowed material which has become organized in our lyrics today.
This is not to say that hip life music is bad and suggested that hip life music only needed focus to develop into a distinct music form to identify with our rich culture.
On a more serious note, he continued that the Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs and Culture was showing concern about obscurity of its lyrics in our music today since it has culminated extensively into a moral degeneration in the country.
Amid applause from the audience, Mr. Yaw Opoku Dankwa continued that we could not legitimize or popularize pornography or obscenity in the name of ‘freedom of expression’ of the Arts.
“We as a people have a very rich cultural heritage and it is our duty to fight any form of onslaught of foreign culture which is deemed a threat to obliterate our rich cultural heritage.”
The minister said reviving the arts is a prime objective of his ministry which, since his assumption of office has met with various leaderships within the Arts to share ideas to chart a course of advancement.