By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
The issue of support or lack of it thereof among peers within the Ghanaian arts industry has lingered for years but an early morning tweets from Actress/Producer/Activist, Yvonne Nelson, rekindled the chatter and stoked the intensity of that conversation.
Yvonne’s tirade about the lack of unity and support among her colleagues in supporting their respective projects instigated a rebuttal from the likes of Gloria Sarfo and Kobby Rana, which spiraled into accusations to counter-accusations.
In previous weeks, rapper, Edem, also expressed similar sentiments – stating that, there is hypocrisy within the system where his fellow musicians fail to support and project the works of others.
Candidly, in as much as it is a good gesture for colleagues within the same fold to support each other by retweeting, posting and sharing the works of others on social media, it is not a recipe for the success of that project. The incessant talk of entertainers not supporting each other is overrated.
For the sake of camaraderie and for something that seems like fostering unity among peers within the industry, it is just germane and nice that a Sarkodie would share, retweet or post the artwork for Kwaw Kese’s new song, album or concert – and it is lovely to have a Shirley Frimpong Manso share the news on her pages about Yvonne Nelson’s movie showing in Cinemas or on Netflix. Such gestures on the periphery, depicts that these folks like and support each other and would like to see each other win.
Such level of support from peers can help elevate the attention and projection of projects but it is not mandatory for folks to share, retweet and post artworks or links to projects of their contemporaries.
The only time these entertainers can be mandated to promote projects is when they feature in such ventures and are obliged by contract or agreement to help promote the work, otherwise, even when they feature, it would be out of some goodwill and appreciation that would make them promote whatever project.
The status of a song, album, movie or concert being successful is not dependent on industry players sharing, retweeting and posting them. That well-needed support system that ensures the success of any project in show business include investment, the media and patronage by the audience/fans.
Instead of these complainants losing their minds over the lack of support from peers, the most important element they ought to be concerned about is the attainment of investment for the project. Money is an integral part of the business and without it, it is torrid to have anything kick start in the first place.
To shoot a quality movie, series or documentary, one needs funding; money to inject into production, cast, marketing and promotion. To produce an album and stage a concert – one needs money.
At a time when the industry lacks funding, where movie makers grouse everyday about how they flounder to get any form of meaningful financial succor to shoot quality movies and where they are no record labels with that financial muscle to support the music talents that abound in the space – that topic should take the center-stage of any form of bickering over support.
The other critical element in the support system in the entertainment industry is the media, both traditional and social media.
The media has been structured to offer interminable support for every activity in this space with regard to promotion and activation, and it has proven to be one of, if not the most surest mode of reaching the consumers.
The influence of traditional media as a tool for promotion is complimented by the marketing strategies of new media. Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide.
Social media is a good way for engaging and interacting customers and it is possibly the most cost-effective way of advertising products and projects.
When one has traditional media and new media all locked down for a strategic promotion, support from colleagues becomes surplus.
Edem and Yvonne Nelson, in their respective complaints, admitted that, what they care about is their fans and the patronage of the works.
The most important element in the chain of the support system is the fans or consumers. One can have the requisite resources for the project and employ the forms of media to engage in promotion and marketing, however, if that venture is not patronized, then it’s a loss.
It is okay to have a colleague post, retweet or share a project, but the patrons are those that matter most. The core objective is to reach that base of fans who would patronize that product or project and ensure to its success.