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Letter To Mark Okraku Mantey: The Pompous Leader

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The proud, self-important, arrogant character of music producer and former music reality show judge, Mark Okraku Mantey, head of the Creative Arts Council of Ghana, has prompted this piece.

The fact is that the man has a great wealth of knowledge in creative arts, especially music, and respectfully, he has paid his dues in this industry. No one can take that away from him. He is one person who can, without doubt, serve as a consultant on most creative arts issues, and deserves to be congratulated in that light.

Nonetheless, upon all the accolades, it is becoming evidently clear that his leadership style is a bit questionable. In fact, he needs to be talk to.

His recent trip to Spain for the 2019 Vis-A-Vis festival, where he has been captured on several media platforms regarding some indecent remarks, has actually catalyzed this epistle.   

Brand Positioning And Leadership Role

Mr. Mantey, all your commentaries, as I knew you growing up, were spearheaded on Brand Positioning. Your roles as a pundit, over the years were crafted towards lecturing musicians, actors and actresses on how best they could position their brands for better prospects.

Some of us thought that, with this heavy experience as a brand expert, you would demonstrate and inculcate same as head of Creative Arts Council. Unfortunately, however, you seem to be failing in that regard.

It concerns me and I just have to chime in. I am personally not enthused about how you’ve handled certain creative arts matters as President of the Council, and I am being prompted to believe that the educated Ghanaian elite (including your good self) have a case to answer for our inability to fast-track our development as a people.

In your case, I think we will remain where we are if you continue to impose your current posture as a leader.

The justification of government to create your office was to help bridge the gap between politics, governance and creativity, and ultimately free majority of our people from ignorance, poverty and disease. But what do we see? You seem to have rendered the public service job to your cronies and people who pay lip service to you.

A leader with the kind of ‘I’ll pay you back’ attitude is obviously a bad leader and that’s your credential at the moment. Your rants on Peace FM last Saturday, in response to a commentary by a pundit, in which you said inter alia: ”Leave him, I am ready for him. They think if you’re a leader, you should be mute and swallow all their nonsense”, is not in good taste.

Mark, think about the bigger picture of satisfying your people and not what to do to please yourself. The truth of the matter is that, if you don’t respect people, you can’t serve them. The essence of this piece is, therefore, to tickle you to develop a heart of tolerance for public criticisms.

Tin gods

In my candid view, you have all too soon turned into a ‘tin god’, ordained to rule and be accountable to none. You seem to love to be worshiped and not to be criticized.

People are saying that, instead of protecting the peoples’ interests, you have colluded with the so-called Liberationists and Redemptionists to oppress the very creative Arts personnel you are to serve.

If we are in the same industry and with this wonderful opportunity at your disposal you decide to rather favour only friends and conies, then it’s unfortunate.

Look, giving flimsy excuses about which radio stations do entertainment, and which don’t, will not do you any good. Also, defending your actions with your past glories is irritating. The people you are serving today don’t need your past glories; they are interested in how you shape things at the Arts Council.

The only thing Ghana needs is good leadership. A leader who will utilize the country’s resources in a wise way.

Calling For Attention

For some days now, various Ghanaian artistes, including Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, and in the distant past, others such as Sarkodie, have suggested that Ghanaian bloggers/online journalists should promote their works or write about them for free.

It saddens my heart that you share the same view of these musicians. Again, you went to Spain with selected journalists, specifically friends from the Multimedia Group of Company and you wished you had all media houses talk about it.

What was the work of your council’s PRs, and the journalists that went with you? Instead of you to push hard in doing the needful, you are rather creating unnecessary chaos in the media space.

It is apparent that you do not respect Ghanaian bloggers/online journalists. Why would you suggest that media houses carry your council’s works for you for free? What was the package from your Council concerning promotions?

You even refused to acknowledge those who helped in spreading the news of your recent Vis-a-Vis festival.

Film Village Saga

Before I end, let me gist in one saga that happened in your absence. It was the presentation of a petition to Parliament against the siting of the Film Village at Kyebi. Whiles some say the action by the movie makers was ill-timed; the statement from your Council was equally lousy – in fact it was insulting.

If the arguments of the petitioners were weak, then the response from your Public Relations Office, hours after the petition was presented to Parliament, was unconvincing and disheartening.

Was it true that you had information that the film village was to be sited in Kumasi but kept it to yourself, only to share it after some noise was made?

With all these, if you are criticized, you jump over the roof as if the whole country belongs to you.

Please Mr. Mark Okraku Mantey, remember that you are being paid with the tax payers’ money (my cash, others sweat) at the end of the month.

It’s either you accept criticisms, accept backlash and be ready to work on your attitude, or you leave the office for someone else.

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