One of Ghana’s most celebrated playwrights has made a bold claim suggesting that the reason why Ghana’s unemployment rate remains high is due to “old thinking.”
On the Super Morning Show Friday, Chief Moomen, advised Ghanaians to recalibrate their mindset and begin discerning new forms of investment.
“We have high unemployment rates because we keep looking at the same sectors to find work instead of investing in the Arts.”
He noticed that in the country, most people measure wealth by the number of cars and houses they own, as opposed to their investments in art. In the United Kingdom, he said, people have invested in theater, an industry that has amassed millions of pounds.
Similarly, in the United States, plays like the critically-acclaimed “Hamilton” bring in approximately $1.9 million in sales a week. At that rate, the show could potentially rake up $100 million a year.
Ghana has the potential to do the same, Moomen said, but it will take the nation’s people to broaden their thinking. He mentioned that the country cannot rely solely on government to pick creative arts up off the ground. It will take “individual contributions.” In societies where the Arts thrive, success is determined by the people themselves – not handouts from public administrations.
But he says the path to a sustaining a prosperous Arts industry in the country won’t be easy. He admitted that for as long as he’s been in the field, he has not had any money in savings. “I am constantly in debt,” he said. But he’s confident he will experience a turnaround because he believes in the power of his craft.
“I know that the nature of what I am doing will be phenomenal later on,” adding that “there are people in the creative arts that are making a lot of money. And there are some who are struggling. The reality of it is that no matter what path you take, there will always be similar stratifications.”
Besa Simons, Vice President at the Musician Union of Ghana, called in the show and agreed that “more people are drawn to music because you see them in videos and are all over the place. But in reality, there are very few people making money. Whether you are making money or not,” though, “it is good to make music. It brings people together.”
Moomen looks up to men like Walt Disney, an American entrepreneur whose out-of-the-box thinking created one of the most renowned entertainment empires in the world.
“[Disney] had a great idea, went to the bank, the bank took the risk and he was able to build one of the biggest franchises in history.”
Moomen, too, is determined to reach those heights. He is adamant that “you can create something spectacular and build on it if you believe.”
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