The President of the Creative Arts Council, Mark Okraku-Mantey has responded to agitations within the entertainment space about a statement made by the Member of Parliament for Anya-Sowutuom, Shirley Ayorkor-Botchway a few days ago.
On one of her campaign platforms, Shirley suggested that parliament is too serious a place for actor John Dumelo who is contesting for Member of Parliament at Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.
“Parliament is a very serious business, it’s a serious place. The place is not for those who think they can heal the sick. No! No! No! No! No! Do not let that happen. It is a serious place,” she said.
She added that if the constituents fail to give the incumbent Member of Parliament Lydia Alhassan the nod and rather vote for actor John Dumelo, they’ll always be watching movies.
“If you mistakenly vote for John Dumelo instead of Lydia Alhassan, you’ll always be watching movies at the movie theatre,” Shirley Ayorkor Botchway added.
This did not go down well with a lot of creatives including Van Vicker.
To most of these showbiz people, her statement is an insult to the intelligence of people in the creative sector. The bone of contention by most of the creatives like Van Vicker is that she could simply have stated John Dumelo’s weaknesses without bringing in what he does for a living, especially when he alluded that parliament is for serious business and that John will only show movies to his constituents if he wins the MP bid.
However, in an interview with Peace FM, Mark Okraku-Mantey, also a staunch member of the ruling New Patriotic Party said Shirley’s statement has been taken out of context.
According to him, Shirley was basically saying that John’s popularity which he has garnered through his acting profession, is not enough for him to be a parliamentarian.
“The import of what she said was on popularity and not on creatives in general because there is a perception that John Dumelo is dwelling on his popularity,” he said.
According to Mark, John Dumelo has proven in a number of interviews that he is not abreast of governance and things pertaining to politics so Shirley may just have thrived on his weaknesses to suggest that he was not fit for the job.
He added that Shirley has a great interest in the arts and would not run down the sector.
“Shirley Ayorkor-Botchway has an interest in the arts. She was the chairperson of the NPP manifesto writing on creative arts in 2016. She knows our space a bit so she will not devalue us in any way. We even thought she would be the Creative Arts Minister,” Mark noted.
He also added that recently, when they went to Cabinet to deliberate on the Creative Arts Bill, some parliamentarians said they were tired but it was Shirley who insisted they needed to finish the work.