A Senior lecturer at the Department of Basic Education of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW), Dr Hans Kweku Anderson, has said the relationship between politicians and musicians over the years has undeniably given politicians an avenue to better sensitise the electorate to what they are capable of doing if voted into power.
‘‘Politicians think music has a strong edge on dissemination of information to the electorate during electioneering periods so they always solicit the support of musicians to enable them to reach their target audience,” he stated.
Dr Anderson, who spoke with the Daily Graphic in an interview on the role of music in politics, said although music had a role to play in political campaign, that alone could not guarantee a win for a political party because there were other factors political parties needed to consider to enable them to win power.
Dr Anderson also teaches Music and Dance, Rudiments and Theory of Music, Music Movement and Drama, and Principles of Curriculum Development in basic schools.
According to him, factors such as campaign messages, promises and strategies had to sink well with the electorate to enable them to take decisions.
Other factors, he said, were the personalities contesting the flag bearer positions, and the past records of the political parties — whether they were able to deliver on their mandate, especially if that political party had been in power before.
‘‘These among other factors contribute a lot when it comes to elections. If not so, then the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would not have lost the 2012 elections with such a beautiful song Nana Oy3 Winner composed by Daddy Lumba.
‘‘The same happened to the former President, John Mahama, in the 2016 elections. The Onaapo song composed for the electioneering was by far one of the best songs, yet he lost the elections,’’ he emphasised.
Dr Anderson was of the view that political songs which had been composed over the years had centred on the marketing of the presidential candidates rather than what was contained in the party manifestos.
He said in the case of the NPP, from former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s time to the current President, Akufo-Addo, their names ran through almost all the songs composed for them. That situation, he said, was not different from former President Mahama, whose name was heard in all the songs that were used for the campaign of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
‘‘So it is not the manifesto that they want to use music to sell to the people, rather they want to uplift the image of their political leader,’’ he noted.
The political parties, he said, could summarise their manifestos into songs to enable the electorate to understand the package they had for them in terms of development and social interventions.
However, he said, the stories should not be too long else the music would be boring.
Dr Anderson said music had a great impact on social lives which was why whenever politicians gathered, they played music, not necessarily a music composed directly for the party but any music which would uplift their souls and energise them.
He said the song Asem papa bia mate by James Varrick Armaah, was not composed for the NPP but President Akufo-Addo, had in a way adopted it and it has been played since their last campaign at the Ghana Trade Fair Centre till date.
‘‘This song is, however, being used as an avenue for the President to express his joy and to thank his Maker as well,’’ he said.
Dr Anderson said undoubtedly, music over the years had made a great impact on the country’s political landscape and that its impact could only be assessed through a research either by the politicians or individuals who were interested in knowing such findings.
Source: Daily Graphic
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