The Ghana Actors Guild is supposed to be some form of a labour or trade union that represents actors and other major players within the film and TV industries in Ghana.
It is also supposed to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements that establish equitable levels of compensation, benefits, and working conditions for its members. If the Guild is well-structured, it must be able to collect compensation for exploitation of recorded performances by its members, and provide protection against unauthorized use of those performances; and preserve and expand work opportunities for its members.
Over the years, has the Guild lived up to its mandate(s)? Absolutely not!
What it has been able to achieve over the years, however, is to have a group that doesn’t realize the kind of power it wields, a group that is in a ramshackle mode and is filled with a bunch of disgruntled and disunited adults who have no focus, no direction and no ideas.
Nothing Is Working
Presently, there’s no relevant and effective activity going on at the Guild, in fact, nothing has ever worked effectively for years; except for some selfish, confused and power-hungry folks who are willing to relegate the betterment of the Guild to the background just for their self-conceited interests.
The Guild, after so many years of existence, still choose to steer affairs in a stone age, refusing to align itself with the new, modern and technology-driven trends of the industry. It has no website or any social media platform. Which corporate entity or donor would take such a group seriously?
Its welfare system is higgledy-piggledy with floundering long-serving members seen begging all over the place. Pathetic! How long will veteran actors continue to beg?
This Guild has zero influence to the extent that, when political parties are putting out manifestos on the creative arts, they have no zest to even suggest, agree or disagree with policies that affects them.
Elections Still Pending
The elections for the new executives to take over the handling of the group should have taken place some months ago, a process which could have ensured that, some persons with some bright ideas could lead the group to a new phase.
That democratic and well-accepted process is in ruins because, the constitution, no wait, something like a constitution was not adhered to in preparations for the elections and of course; some persons who are not due-paying members of the group, persons who have not attended a single meeting at the Guild have disrupted the elections.
The Guild is now characterized by stagnancy and dormancy; there’s no progress – because all energies are being exerted into trying to solve problems relating to the elections. These problems, which shouldn’t have arisen in the first place, are the ones militating against the growth of the group.
Funding From Equity UK In Danger
Some probing into the functions of the Guild revealed that, the Ghana Actors’ Guild has been receiving some form of aid or support from Equity UK (formerly the British Actors’ Equity Association).
Investigations show that, due to the delay in the elections which is resulting in a stall in the activities of the Guild, Equity UK has threatened to cut off any form of support to the group. What the UK guys are saying is very simple; the folks handling affairs in Ghana are a bunch of jokers who lack vision and love to plunge the Guild into chaos.
Dreading a situation where the only source of funding for the Guild could be scrapped, the Guild is now sending a high-profile representative to meet Equity UK and convince them that, the election would come on before the close of the year.
Ministry’s Tepid Intervention
As a result of the melee that shrouded the elections, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts stepped in to help restore some calm. A committee involving the two feuding factions was setup to ensure that all grievances were addressed in order to pave way for the elections.
Unfortunately, the supposed deadline for the submission of a report to the Ministry has passed and no document outlining the problems and the way forward was presented by the committee– per investigations.
The Ministry, which accepted to handle the issue, is not being proactive with regards to their approach to settling whatever impasse that pertains. It is heavily engrossed in campaign matters and electioneering activities, it has no time for any Actors Guild nonsense.
The Tomfoolery Must Stop Now!
To state it bluntly and be a little brusque, the folks scuffling over power at the Actors Guild are adults, highly accomplished individuals who are also learned. They should stop the infantile maneuvering and start acting right.
No person or Ministry can solve their matter better than themselves. This is their craft; for most of them, this is their livelihood and the lives and future of many film practitioners depend on them. They must sit up and act right!
They must be put their selfish interests somewhere and think about the progress of the Guild and its members. They either fix the mess or clear off!