MUSIGA congress in November - Sidiku Buari

The national congress of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) will be held at Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital on the 14th of November this year.

The President of MUSIGA, Alhaji Sidiku Buari, stated this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Saturday at the burial service for the late Khojo Aquai, a renowned musician. Khojo Aquai, who was a composer, arranger, a producer and a studio owner died at the Korle Teaching Hospital on the 16th of July 2007. Alhaji Sidiku Buari explained that under the constitution of the Union the venue for congresses were decided on at the last congress in a democratic manner.

He pointed out that his main concern now was for the holding of a successful congress without rancour to elect capable people who would push the music industry forward for the benefit of the about 6,000 members of the Union.

The MUSIGA President noted that the Union had been beset with problems including court cases from non-members especially whenever it was going to congress.

Giving a background of the Union, the President said the like Ghana, which returned to constitutional governance in 1992, MUSIGA held its first democratic congress in the same year to chose the executives in an election supervised by the National Electoral Commission and the National Commission on Culture.

Alhaji Sidiku Buari described music as "the life, blood and soul of a people" and said no one should do anything that would "destroy" the industry, saying, "Anyone who does not want to push Ghanaian music and musicians forward should just stay away and should not break the front to create confusion".

He noted that just like the way musicians had come together to mourn the death of Kojo Aquai, he was looking forward to the day all of the country's leading musicians would mount the stage with the instruments "for a big, big jam" to show the world what could do in harmony to show true solidarity and peace in their ranks. Alhaji Sidiku Buari further explained that MUSIGA was not a copyright body even though it was very interested since it must protect the welfare of its members.

He confirmed that he was not going to contest and said, "After two three-year terms I must give way for others also to contribute their quota".

Alhaji Sidiku Buari explained that the constitution of the Union did not allow for more than two terms and said, "If even the constitution allowed I would not have stood for re- election". The MUSOGA President expressed appreciation for successfully being at the helm of affairs of the Union since some of his predecessors could not even complete their first term to go for a second one. Alhaji Sidiku Buari said he was happy that he was passing on the baton at this time that the status of the Ghanaian musician was better than at the time he became the President of the Union. "Under my administration the Union has a decent national secretariat with ten offices, an open air and an outdoor theatre for musicians to perform live concerts to earn a living and promote Ghanaian music," he said.

"MUSIGA has also been firmly planted in all the ten regions of the country, which made it possible for the holding of musical concerts in all the regional capitals and Accra simultaneously as part of the activities marking Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebration," Alhaji Sidiku Buari stated.

He said other achievements during his tenure as MUSIGA President included the preparation of a specimen contract for musicians and the hiring of a Lawyer to guide members in their negotiations with Producers to protect the creative rights of musicians, the MUSIGA President stated.

Alhaji Sidiku said this had reduced disputes between Musicians and Producers since members of the Union could no longer be taken for a ride in their negotiations. He wished the Union well and expressed the hope that Musicians would elect hardworking members who would seek their welfare and promote the music industry.