Deputy Minister-designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey reckons that the attention given to all the components of the arts is not balanced, a reason he will support Dr. Mohammed Awal to ensure fairness should his nomination be approved.
Mr. Okraku-Mantey made this remark during his vetting on June 15 at the Parliament House. His comment was a response to a question posed by Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, a Member of Parliament of the Odododiodio constituency and a former Minister of Sports on the subject matter.
“To some extent, we’ve not given the attention equitably,” said Okraku-Mantey. “It is so because it is a pull and push situation. Some push more extremely and others by their nature think it must happen… When the cake is small, those whose voices kind of come across as loudest often tend to get the attention. We must give them attention.”
The difficulty in ensuring that all facets of the arts receive the attention they deserve, he said, was partly because of a lack of data. Having taken notice of the enormity of the issue, Okraku-Mantey said during his time as President of the Creative Arts Council, efforts were made to gather data in the quest to change the narrative.
He said: “We started engaging all the facets of the arts and so we’ve aggregated them at the moment. We’ve started putting the data together because one of the challenges was data; you didn’t know where to find them unless they rather choose to approach. Very soon, with the data that we have., it’ll be difficult to give excuses that you didn’t know there was a group like that. So, I’ll support my forthcoming boss Hon Dr. Awal to recognize and share the cake equally.”
Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye mentioned that he was concerned about the issue because “the same scenario is in the area of sports.”
According to him, “footballers will make the noise and the attention will be on football and other disciplines are dying. It’s the same with creative arts. Those who can make the noise are those we give attention to and the other components suffer.”