Friday, 24 May

Diana Hopeson discusses her MUSIGA legacy citing infrastructural, educational interventions, addresses criticism

Ghanaian star singer-songwriter Diana Hopeson

Former Musicians Union of Ghana President Diana Hopeson has recounted how she came to lead the union and the fruits of her tenure.

She addressed criticisms levelled against her also during and after her service in the union as president.

Ms Hopeson was in conversation with Apostle Bismark Owusu on No.1 FM, 105.3, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, on the No.1 Live Worship programme.

She named past presidents of MUSIGA including Joe Mensah (RIP) and Alhaji Sikidu Buhari and said she took keen interest in the union and its leaders and learned watching.

She would soon become "a regional treasurer," she narrated, "then a second vice president and from there I became the vice president until, eventually, God placed me on the [presidential] seat."

The Agyenkwa Hene (Saviour King) hitmaker said before she was given the mandate, she had monitored the organisation to know what necessary changes, with God’s aid, had to take place so it would be resourceful to the industry.

Originally, “I had the understanding that God had called me for work in the arts,” she said. “My mission field is in the arts. I don’t just sing. I am a seasoned artiste – a performing artiste, I write and I love to dance.”

“I’m a total artiste so while serving MUSIGA, I didn’t only mind musicians but the whole creative industry. In fact, in school, I was a Fine Arts student. I studied design and did Graphic Design," she revealed.

“If you go to Winneba Secondary School, you can see my still life drawings there and so I think of the creative arts in total, not just the music makers, and I thank God that when I served, we partnered with government to put some interventions in place for the creative arts,” she noted.

The singer-songwriter cited the appearance of rehearsal centres as part of her legacy. She said it was in response to creative arts folk struggling for spaces to practice and prepare for events.  

“We created rehearsal studios and because of this, by God’s grace, you can now find many rehearsal studios around,” she said.

“In terms of education, we did something,” she added, explaining that she noticed not every creative can boast of adequate formal education, “so we had to make sure some courses were made available to help us in our work.”

She was saddened by the “little fights” in the organisation, saying “it is all due to the hardened heart of humans, but it is only normal."

Ms Hopeson, however, expressed gladness, thanking God, for MUSIGA’s upcoming elections slated for August, and concerning the Ghana Music Rights Organisation's (GHAMRO), she was optimistic that “everything will be calm”.

On criticisms hurled her way, she said, it is nothing unusual, only that "as Paul said: 'Let it be said but may it not be true'."

“Criticisms will come, but what matters is the cause. Is it a legitimate criticism or otherwise? Are you doing the right thing or otherwise?” she noted.

Essentially, “humans don’t like change so if a dynamic change happens, it is tough for people,” she said, insinuating that she did what was best during her tenure as MUSIGA's president only that, she may have been misunderstood.

The award-winning singer said she faces criticism inspired by Jesus who was not fazed by the incessant attacks of his critics and she sang a song with the lyrics: "The joy of the Lord is my strength."

Born Diana Botchway and formerly called Diana Akiwumi, Mrs Hopeson received a National Honours Award, presented by former President John Agyekum Kufuor in 2007, and for four years served as MUSIGA president succeeding Alhaji Sikidu Buhari.

Currently, she serves as the 2nd Vice Chairman of GHAMRO, the CEO of GHMusic Publishing and Management and a board member of the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs).

Source: Benjamin