Stakeholders Grateful To Sidiku Buari

A group of stakeholders in the music industry have commended the former president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) for his immense contribution towards the building of an energetic music industry in the country.

They noted that when the former president of MUSIGA assumed office as the president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) in 1999, he created a sound environment for stakeholders to operate freely.

The stakeholders who spoke to BEATWAVES individually disclosed that before Sidiku Buari took over MUSIGA’s presidency, the union was facing a lot of problems, such as the lack of a permanent office to operate from even though the union had been presented the old passport office building in Accra, by the government, to use as its national office.

The union, which was then perching in a small cubicle at Kawukudu, could not raise funds to renovate the old passport office building.

One of the stakeholders hinted that they were shocked when Sidiku made his intentions known that he would use all available means to get the building renovated.

‘Sidiku then summoned all the members of the union, including some popular musicians at that time to discuss how best they could renovate the building.

At the meeting the musicians agreed to donate one of their old popular songs each for an album compilation, which was produced by Despite Records, to raise funds to renovate the building.

Unfortunately, the sales of the said album did not go well so Alhaji Sidiku Buari had to finance the renovation of the building with his own resources. He also furnished all the offices, including the main auditorium and the main conference room’.

According to him, after the renovation, the building was commissioned by the former vice president, now the president of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mill, in the latter part of 1999.

He noted that today a large number of musicians are proud of having their own offices.

In the year 2000, Sidiku was appointed to represent composers at the Copyright Society of Ghana (COSGA), by the national executive council of MUSIGA. He was later voted as the chairman of COSGA by the members of the society.

He was the brain behind the construction of an uncompleted building for COSGA to serve as offices for the society.

During his administration, Alhaji Sidiku Buari, who was appointed as the chairman of the African Action Committee of the Federation of International Musicians (FIM), and with the support of his executive members, affiliated MUSIGA to the Federation of International Musicians based in Paris.

Due to his contribution towards the progress of the music industry in Ghana and Africa, Sidiku, in 2004, was voted as the vice president of the Federation of International Musicians (FIM) at a congress held in London.

It is also on record that when Sidiku Buari was appointed as COSGA chairman, he worked tirelessly to bring sanity into the copyright system and paid musicians their royalties twice every year.

Sidiku, who was committed to the fight against piracy, led some of the stakeholders to put pressure on the law makers to pass the new copyright law.

He played an important role in the streamlining of the copyright system to create an enabling environment for the smooth operation of the stakeholders in the music industry.

His administration also created a lot of opportunities for Ghanaian musicians to travel outside the country to perform without being harassed by the embassies. He was able to make sure those musicians who were qualified to travel were not disappointed in terms of Visa as long as they had genuine reasons.

He also organised seminars and workshops to upgrade the skills of the musicians and composers, and also encouraged the young musicians to compose good lyrics to educate the people on social issues.

During the 2000 and 2004 general elections, Sidiku Buari and his national and regional executives of the union organised peaceful concerts in all the 10 regions of Ghana, as well as released an album that advocated for violent-free elections.

 

In 2003, during the government public forum, Sidiku Buari appealed to the government to waive tax on the importation of musical instrument, which they did, and most of the Ghanaian musicians home and abroad are now benefiting from it.

He was among those who played an important role in the sustenance of the Ghana Music Awards which was introduced in the year 2000.

He worked tirelessly together with the organisers of the event, Charter House, until his term of office expired.

He made sure the event took place to reward the deserving musicians over the past years. Even though there were lot of controversies during the organisation of the event, he stood firmly behind the organisers of the event because MUSIGA was one of the strong pillars behind the awards. Most of the meetings concerning the Ghana Music Awards took place at the MUSIGA Office.

He believed the event was laudable and would help musicians to improve on their skills.

Today, Ghanaians, musicians and non-musicians alike, are proud of the award scheme, which is one of the best musical awards in Africa.

Alhaji Sidiku Buari’s first and second term in office was a great achievement in the music industry, both inland and abroad, and will never be forgotten in the history books of the Musicians Union of Ghana, Copyright Society of Ghana and the Federation of the International Musicians.

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