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Contemporary Ghanaian music lack standards for preserving cultural values – Minister 

Kwamena Duncan

The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan has bewailed that the content of contemporary Ghanaian music lacked standards for preserving the rich cultural values and norms of the country.

According to him, contemporary music in the country had failed to serve the purpose of preserving and promoting socio-cultural norms and values since the emphasis had always been on economic gains.

The Central Regional Minister made these observations during a performing arts forum organised by the Centre for National Culture (CNC) in collaboration with the Department of Music and Dance of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) to celebrate legends of Mfantse folk music.

The forum, which was held in honour of three Ghanaian folklore musicians, was on the theme “The Role of Music in the Promotion and Preservation of Socio-cultural Values and Norms in Ghana”.

They were Mr Jonathan Anfoh, Mr Moses Okyir and Mr Kwamena Pra. 

Mr Duncan said the contribution of music to a nation’s development could not be overemphasised, but indicated that the rich music showing the diversity of Ghanaians culture should not be allowed to become extinct.

He therefore called on all relevant stakeholders to as a matter of urgency, put in place pragmatic steps to reverse the trend for Ghanaian music to serve it true purpose.  

Speaking on the theme, Head of Performing Arts and Programmes at the CNC, Mr Fio Richardson Commey underscored the need for attention to be given on the content, richness, wisdom, education and information embedded in the country’s folk music.

He posited that music and dance were significant to identity formation as they were public presentations of inmost feelings and qualities that made a group unique.

“Folk music and dance is the mirror that reflects who we are and how the society expects us to co-exist with ourselves. It expresses our true way of life” he said. 

With the contribution of music, Mr Commey bemoaned how some musical types were affecting the behaviour of the Ghanaian youth.

According to him, research suggested that the youth spent an average of three hours per day listening to music and over four hours watching television, and emphasised the need to regulate the content of music that the youth listened to.

Mr Elolo Gharbin, a senior lecturer at the Department of Music and Dance, UCC in his remarks, underscored the need for the nation to put in place policies to protect the performing arts.

He advocated for the resourcing of the various Centres for National Culture across the country for them to spearhead the protection of the performing arts.

He admonished performing artists to work hard towards projecting themselves.

Mr Jonathan Anfoh, Mr Moses Okyir and Mr Kwamena Pra were respectively honoured with a citation, a plaque and some presents for using Mfantse folk music to promote socio-cultural norms and values in the country. 

Source: GNA

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