Stakeholders within the Creative Arts industry were expectant on the announcement of the name of the person to oversee the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, a bureau that was formed in 2012.
The proclamation of Madam Catherine Afeku as Minister-designate was heralded with very little opposition from players within the sector, but what came as a surprise was what the President said in announcing the name of the Minister.
According to the President, Madam Afeku was going to head the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture.
That announcement did create some bewilderment within the Creative Arts industry, with some pondering if indeed, they heard the President right, or it could have been a slip – one of those glitches.
Glitch? – This is the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; he rarely makes mistakes, especially with his speeches, some thought.
Even the Minister-designate at the time was not sure what to make of the announcement of the name change, so; during a radio interview on Peace FM just days after her appointment – she was not sure what to make of the name change.
Not wanting to commit herself, she smartly told the host to give her some time to check what exactly happened with the name during the President’s announcement.
After few days, the Minister was back on the same medium before her vetting for another interview, and this time, she confirmed and justified the name change – at least she tried.
State of Confusion
Well, it is now clear that the nomenclature for the Ministry is now Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
In the Minister’s justification of the name change, she asserted that, there seems to be some tautology with the use of the words, ‘Creative’ and ‘Arts’ because arts is all about creativity and so on.
Interestingly, while the Minister accepted the name change, she could not help but mention the name, ‘Creative Arts’ in all her submissions during her successful vetting and she also made references to documents that had the old name.
Unfortunately, no member of the Appointment Committee was able to pin her down over the name change and her constant references to the discarded name of ‘Creative Arts’.
What is even more confounding is the fact that, official documentations bordering on the Ministry still bear the name, ‘Creative Arts’!
Waste of Time & Resources?
When the new administration comes out of their confusion over the use of the old name and new one, it would have to do away with every document that has the old name – paperwork that have been in the system for the past four years.
Even the inscriptions and signage that bear the old name, ‘Creative Arts’ must all be changed to ‘Arts’. How convenient!
Such a re-branding exercise would surely cost some money, time and the expenditure of resources that could have been utilized to ensure that the deluge of commitments made in the NPP Manifesto for the sector would be fulfilled.
What is the difference between ‘Arts’ and ‘Creative Arts’?
The excuse given for the name change is the fact that, Creative Arts and Arts bear the same meaning and the use of both creates redundancy. Let’s see if the assertion holds true!
Arts – The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Let’s check out Creative Arts too;
Creative Arts – include drama or theater, music, film, creative writing, graphic design, photography and visual arts.
The use of ‘Creative Arts’ is entirely not wrong, especially when you have internationally-recognized firms and institutions using the name.
Much Ado About Nothing?
For some, the talk about the change of name is just a distraction of the good plans the government has for the Ministry in the coming years.
Concentration should not be fixated on just a name but the critical issues of how the Ministry would market Ghanaian tourism to maximize profits that would positively affect the economy.
The talk should be hinged on how the Ministry would commence the establishment of Theatres in major capital towns across the country and set up Copyright Court to deal with the canker of piracy and copyright infringements.
Who cares about a name change when the musicians, actors, producers, painters, artists, marketers and distributors are gratified with systems and structures and would be generating bountiful revenue from their respective crafts?
Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo (www.entertainmentgh.com)