As the current chairman of the Ghana Music Rights Organization (GHAMRO), Ghanaian world-class music icon – Kojo Antwi, is lately under intense pressure from some members of the association to account for his stewardship.
The onetime BET awards nominee, who assumed office about two years ago, has been accused of a wide range of wrongdoings, including lack of transparency and embezzlement of funds.
At a forum held last Wednesday, some angry members of GHAMRO profoundly expressed their indignation at the leadership of the organization, for what they lamented as poor management of affairs.
The members rose in mutiny against their leaders, which include: Mary Ghansah, Mrs. Diana Hopson, Bandex etc., demanding of them accountability and payment of royalties.
Aggrieved stakeholders of the association such as Akosua Agyepong and Randy Nunoo issued out damning statements to the board, with Abrekyieba Kofi Sammy – one of Ghana’s highlife mainstays of former times, pronouncing curses on Chairman Kojo Antwi.
The group threatened to take drastic measures against Mr. Antwi and his team if they fail to render accounts on their expenditure and pay them their outstanding royalties in the coming days.
They also indicated pursuing a court injunction on an election which GHAMRO had originally planned to conduct on February 27, 2017.
Responding to the blitz on him and his team, Mr Kojo Antwi told newsman, Clifford Yaw Frimpong in an interview that the accusations were largely based on misinformation and prejudice.
“I don’t want to feed into all these. Some people are just doing this for their personal interests. Underground, they want to form a different group… but two collecting societies for our industry won’t help,” he commented.
He also stated: “I am the first chairman of GHAMRO to introduce annual general meeting and at our last meeting, we handed every member a pamphlet containing details on our transactions – the number of cars and motor bikes we bought and how much they cost, the satellite offices we built and every bit of detail on our operations”.
Adding: “…and so if anyone raises accusations about transparency, they obviously have not been paying attention to happenings in the system”
He explained that though his approach towards managing the affairs of the society did not rest well with some of the members, it was necessary for the laying of a firm foundation for the organization to deal with the myriad challenges facing it, going forward.
“My approach is not the ‘aabaa ee’ (radical) kind. Collecting society is serious business and we have to be up there to make it work. It involves strategic planning and lobbying, which I’m doing together with the board”
Mr. Antwi admitted though that ‘Royalties’ for the period of December 2016 was yet to be paid to members. However, the delay, according to him, was due to the recent change of government.
“Royalties for December is yet to be paid because the levy which we get from Ministry of Finance through the Controller & Accountant General’s department as well as the Registrar General’s department, has not yet hit our accounts” he explained.
The celebrated musician promised to ensure the payment of outstanding monies to members once GHAMRO received funds from government.
He hinted convening an emergency meeting to address the concerns raised by the members.
Asked about his reaction to Abrekyieba Kofi Sammy’s cursing, Kojo said: “Though that was below the belt, I’ve forgiven him. He is my senior man and I salute him …they paved the way for us to come up, so I have a lot of respect for him. I don’t know who has polluted his mind about me but that’s ok”.
By: Clifford Yaw Frimpong