By Kouame Koulibaly
(In Ho – Ghana)
Elections to political office often raise tensions in many places across the globe and music has become one of the tools for cooling those tensions in some places.
In Ghana, it is not uncommon for musicians of all shades to travel across the country playing concerts that preach against electoral violence. Singles as well as complete albums of peace songs have been put out over the years all in a bid to help promote peaceful and credible elections.
Musicians in the Volta Region of Ghana are known for joining forces to support worthy causes and they have hit the road again with a series of concerts dubbed Volta for Peace. Organized by Tosh Media and Trans4orm Network Ghana, the concerts are being held in principal towns in the region to raise awareness of the need for all to contribute towards a violence-free general election on December 7.
“We make our living creating music to make people happy. There is obviously no work for us in times of conflict. COVID-19 has already dealt us a damaging blow and we all have to ensure there’s no other hindrance to our welfare by way of unnecessary conflict,” said Tony D, CEO of Tosh Media and Chairman of the Volta Region branch of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
“We know we musicians have a big role to play to play in raising awareness about violent-free elections. We are urging that campaigns be based on relevant issues and politicians must refrain from insulting each other language,” Tony D pointed out at the Volta for Peace concert held at the Woezor Hotel in Ho, the regional capital a fortnight ago.
The musicians, this time joined by some comedians from the region, held another peace event at the White Dove Hotel at Dzodze on October 31. Performers at the show included Tony D, Rap Ziggy, Sister Beauty, Everyday, Saunter S2, Anasco, Mozato, Chilling Mama and China Man. They all presented songs and comedy acts that called for a peaceful Election 2020.
There were also peace messages from representatives of political parties, security services, chiefs and queen mothers, youth group and other relevant interest groups at the concert. Mama Awoamefi, Queen mother of Afife, spoke on behalf of Queen mothers in the Ketu North Traditional area. She advised the youth to learn to identify good politicians from bad ones.
“The good politicians the ones who seek your welfare and progress at all times. The bad ones give you a few cedis and hard drugs and ask you to commit violent acts while their children stay protected in the comfort of their homes. Please expose those bad ones,” she noted.
Togbe Akutu II of Dzodze Afeyieme, also spoke on behalf of chiefs in the traditional area. He called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage in order to maintain the peace Ghana is enjoying and pledged the support of the chiefs in the area to the Volta for Peace initiative.
Vincent Azumah, founder and Chairman of the Board of Trans4orm, also said recent violent events in the Volta Region required the establishment of response mechanisms to help prevent any escalation of violence. “We are using music as a universal language and a response mechanism to communicate peaceful coexistence,” he stated.
“There are many-good-hearted musicians in the Volta Region willing to do things for the common good. The Volta For Peace Project is a manifestation that we are each other’s keeper and we’ll continue to seek progress for our people at all times,” said Tony D.
After Dzodze, the Volta for Peace train will make stops at Akatsi, Sogakope, Hohoe and Kpando before voting day on December 7.