The big churches in Ghana were on public lenses after GHAMROdeclared its intentions to include churches in their list of organizations to pay royalties to our musicians.
This declaration by the Chairman of theGhana Music Rights Organization(GHAMRO), Rex Omar, saw direct and indirect attacks from pastors and their members who think Rex was under demonic attack when he made that statement. To them, it is not right for GHAMRO to poke its nose into things that are likely to bring curse and can invoke the wrath of God as they believe the church is the holy house of God and shouldn’t allow certain decisions to mar it.
Rex Omar from a different point of view stated emphatically that, most of these churches instead of organising church programmes unknowingly organise event programmes and that has become business avenues for most of these pastors. Either true or not, Pastor MensahOtabil, head pastor of the International Central Gospel Church (ICGC) got the whole city murmuring after flyers of a supposed amount of offering to be collected at his annual Greater Works Conference 2017 at the Independence Square surfaced social media.
Though his team has come out with a defense, most people are of the assertion that, ICGC is a business centered church deducing from the flyer.
Flex newspaper in an exclusive chat with the vice chairman of GHAMRO, Ahmed Banda popularly known asBandex gave his views on this whole saga involving the churches and GHAMRO;
“Most of our churches organise an event thinking it’s a normal church programme. You can’t tell me Ohemaa Mercy’s Tehila Experience is a normal church program. This is because it has nothing to do with our usual Sunday church services,” he said.
“Ohemaa Mercy at the course of organising this program will invite other artistes who will intend sing songs composed by others and for the fact that the programme isn’t held at her private residence but in a church which is a commercial place, she is being bound by the law to pay royalties though it’s a free show. PastorMensahOtabil’s Greater Works Conference that was recently held is clearly an event and not a church program; we have decided not to take any action now because we want to take this opportunity to educate them. Most of them don’t know and we thank God some of the pastors are now beginning to understand our point.
For instance, CwesiOteng can never charge ICGC for his performance because it is the church which made him (CwesiOteng). They may decide to give him transportation fee but that doesn’t mean they have paid for his services and at the end of the day, he can get back this money from GHAMRO through the royalties the church pays,” Bandex explained.
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