Chairman of Ghana @ 60 planning committe, Ken Amankwah has reacted to the cry of poet and playwright Chieff Moomen that they owe him after contracting him to show ‘Wogbejeke’ play as part of activities to mark Ghana’s 60 independence celebration.
Moomen in a Facebook post chronicled the hustle he has been through after government’s refusal to pay his company some debts owed it. The committe in response to Chief Moomen’s outburst on social media says they did not give him the go ahead to stage the play because they had to look into the budget.
“Chief Moomem was a young man in a hurry. Before we could examine the details in his budget, he had mounted the stage and the musical was performed without an agreed contract.”
Mr. Amankwah continued that the poet refused to tell the world the gargantuan budget he presented to committee as an amount he wants for the play.
Read full reaction from the committee as monitored below:
Chief Moomem, in a contrived tearjerker article on social media, claimed that Ghana 60 Years On Anniversary Committee owed him for his WogbeJeke musical performed sometime in March 2017.
What he failed to mention was his whopping budget of GHC3,355,000.00 that he delivered to the Committee. Admittedly, the budget was inclusive of Regional and International tours but even so, the local one night show of GHC213, 210 at the Banquet Hall in Accra was excessive!
And this was a budget the Committee had to look at and take a decision bearing in mind our own limited outlay of GHC20 million for the entire year long celebrations.
Chief Moomem was a young man in a hurry. Before we could examine the details in his budget, he had mounted the stage and the musical was performed without an agreed contract.
This was against the Committee’s well laid down procedures of agreed terms of engagement for all entertainment events.
Moomem’s budget and our annotated suggestions are set out in an appendix to this article.
But the moonshine of his presentation was the ruse that he had never been paid. Moomen received GHC100,000 in cash from the Chairman of our Events sub-committee as “mobilization” fee.
This was payment done by the Events Sub Committee Chairman without authority and he had since been reprimanded.
The GHC100,000 was half of Moomem’s local one night performance budget at the Banquet Hall of the State House. The Banquet Hall, and its expensive chillers that normally would cost GHC20,000 to hire was given gratis by Ghana 60 Years On Committee.
Chief Moomem called on me at my office in the Flagstaff House to demand final payment for his staged musical sometime in late April this year. Apparently, he had been to see the Events sub Committee Chairman on several occasions without success.
All that I asked him at our meeting was my signed contract with him. He looked vacant and confused. He claimed since the Events Sub Committee Chairman had paid him GHC100,000 mobilisation, he was under the impression the Committee had okayed his budget of GHC213,000.
I reminded him of our earlier discussions when he delivered his budget. There was the understanding that his budget was not a fait accompli. The Committee was entitled to sanitise and prune it down to reasonable amounts. He never came back for the budget hearing.
Then some few days ago, I started getting calls from Committee members, friends and family about how one Chief Moomem was traducing Ghana 60Years On Anniversary Committee for collapsing his business empire of one musical!
Well, Chief Moomem, you were even lucky to have been paid the GHC100,000. And you have contributed to the woes of the Events Sub Committee Chairman leading to his early exit from the Committee.
During [email protected], Prof. Martin Owusu, with the School of Performing Arts in Legon staged twelve classic plays at National Theatre – one play a month for the entire period of the Jubilee Year. His budget was GHCII7,648. My institutional memory has served me well at Ghana60 Years On Committee. Even with the highest inflationary index I don’t think one musical would cost GHC213,000 now!
Ghana60Years On is not debt-distressed. We have sufficient funds to launch events every month. And that is what we are doing. Witness our nationwide Brassband competition launch at Swedru, our Food Farms for Schools (Fofas)project in partnership with MOFA, our ongoing Jubilee durbars, our international debut in London, our near completion of contract agreement for a giant black American soul maestro to cap the celebrations in March next year, the school quiz competitions, the E Library projects, the 60,000 borehole projects with MTN and so and so on.
We are on course and no Moomem calumnies can stop us. It is rather unfortunate that his cheerleaders at some radio and TV stations were inveigled to carry his story without the hallowed journalistic canons of balance, accuracy and fairness. But we forgive, so let the celebrations continue!
Chairman, Ghana60 Years On Anniversary Planning Committee