Three Creative Artistes Eye Parliament
The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries ended successfully on Saturday, with some popular incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) losing out to fresh faces in the party.
However, one peculiar observation at the end of the primaries was that three entertainment personalities could become Member of the next Parliament, if their constituents buy their messages and vote for them.
The three well-known faces when it comes to the movie screens (John Dumelo, Dzifa Gomashie and Ebi Bright) took huge gambles that paid off late Saturday.
John Dumelo was this time lucky, getting massive endorsements from the delegates to represent Ayawaso West Wuogon, the constituency that reminds every one of the violent clashes during the January 31 by-election.
He could face the incumbent Seyram Alhassan of the New Patriotic Party in the 2020 polls in what could be a hotly contested election.
Mr. Dumelo, a newcomer to politics, polled a resounding 758 out of the 859 votes cast, to beat Madam Adoboe, who garnered a paltry 99 votes.
The actor who in 2017, was accused by government’s Assets Recovery Taskforce of refusing to hand over a state vehicle, has said in an interview after his win that, the scandal will not affect his chances of annexing the Ayawaso West Wougon Parliamentary seat.
Veteran Actress, Dzifa Gomashie, also won the slot to represent the National Democratic Congress as the parliamentary candidate for the Ketu-South Constituency.
The former Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts under the Mahama administration edged her way to victory by 30 votes, after the 1907 delegates had their say. She polled 585 votes, while her closest contender, Foga Nukunu, polled 555 votes.
Dzifa is known as the Queen in charge of protocol in the Aflao Traditional Area. She holds an MPhil in African Studies from the Institute of African Studies (2005-2008), a Bachelor of Fine Arts (2000-2003) with First Class Honours, School of Performing Arts, and a Diploma (1994-1998) in Theatre Arts from the School of Performing Arts.
She was the producer of the popular story-telling-themed television series, ‘By The Fireside’, which was hosted by vetran actress Grace Omaboe, aka Maame Dokono, and enjoyed relative success in the ‘90s. She has also held other important portfolios in the past concerning entertainment duties.
Another actress, Ebi Bright, will also represent the NDC in the Tema Central constituency, after beating two other aspirants.
After the polls, Bright polled 421 while Sedinam Matanawui and Carl Owuompesika polled 249 and 111 votes respectively, out of the 781 total votes cast.
While the conversation continued to gather steam, some industry players, in separate interviews with The New Publisher, asked the three persons to seek the Industry interest, should they become MPs in 2021.
Former Public Relations Officer of the Film Producers Association of Ghana (FIPAG), Ola Michael, said: ”I have always maintained that it is not wrong for creative industry players to enter into mainstream politics. Indeed if lawyers, doctors, teachers and school drop-outs are able, then why not creative industry players?
”What is prudent, however, is, how much impact they can make as politicians. Creative Arts is one of the least paid industries in Ghana. It is as if we are not part of any government’s plan until when they need us for their campaigns.
”So if we are able to have more artists or creative industry players in mainstream politics, they will be able to avert some attention of the day’s government to the industry. So I think it’s a great move and we need more of them in politics as most Nigerian creative industry players are doing these days”
With a myriad of problems bedeviling the industry, entertainment critic, Kelly Nii Mensah, believes ”Going to parliament, for young professionals, is more of career advancement than anything to help the growth of any sector. It’s a convenient excuse to argue that MPs only make laws, not development, but ours is different. We need lobbyists for development and positive change in the industry.
”There are many examples in the past and we are still here. These guys can’t do anything different. I may have a change of opinion on one or two, due to their exposure to power in the previous NDC administration, therefore we can argue that, it’s the next level for them in the political ladder.”