Hon. Shirley Would Not Devalue The Creative Industry – Okraku Mantey

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey came under a barrage of vilification from sections of the creative industry and the general populace for comments purported to be an affront to Parliament candidate, John Dumelo, who is an accomplished movie star.

Shirley suggested on a campaign platforms that parliament is a serious a place for actor John Dumelo who is contesting for Member of Parliament at Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.

“Parliament is a very serious business, it’s a serious place. The place is not for those who think they can heal the sick. No! No! No! No! No! Do not let that happen. It is a serious place,” she stated.

Reacting to the story and the ensuing backlash, Mark Okraku Mantey, an astute member of the creative industry and the President of the Creative Arts Council, had a different interpretation of the statement.

Mark holds the strongest conviction that, the Minister’s commentary was hinged extensively on popularity; the fact that popularity is not enough to grant any person the ticket to Parliament.

“The import of what she said was on popularity and not on creative in general because there is a perception that John Dumelo is dwelling on his popularity,” he said.

Mark also gave an insight on the many things the Minister has done over the years in support of the creative industry; an attribute that could not possibly make her disrespect the industry.

“Shirley Ayorkor-Botchwey has an interest in the arts. She was the chairperson of the NPP manifesto writing on creative arts in 2016. She knows our space a bit so she will not devalue us in any way. We even thought she would be the Creative Arts Minister,” he asserted.

He also added that recently, when they went to Cabinet to deliberate on the Creative Arts Bill, some Parliamentarians said they were tired but it was Shirley who insisted they needed to finish the work.



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