Said to be one who has the support of the industry, Mark Okraku-Mantey was on June 15 accompanied by some high-profile showbiz personalities as he appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament to be vetted following his nomination as Deputy Minister-Designate for Tourism, Arts & Culture.
Mr. Okraku-Mantey was accompanied to the vetting at the Parliament House of Ghana by celebrities including musicians Samini, Wendy Shay, Kuami Eugene; renowned playwright and Roverman Productions boss James Ebo Whyte; broadcasters Kwasi Aboagye, Dr. Cann, Franky5, Afia Papabi; artiste manager Bullet; filmmakers Akorfa Ajani, Socrate Safo; and Anthony Bart, CEO of the Bridge Zone Africa.
The vetting which lasted for an hour and twenty minutes saw the nominee answer questions from the committee chaired by Joseph Osei Owusu.
Among others, he reiterated his contribution to Highlife music and disagreed with the assertion that the genre is lost in Ghana’s industry. He said he has always been around building brands that projected the genre.
“We have done some in the past. I’ve also been part of Mentor as a judge which discovered talents, occasionally, I’m on MTN Hitmaker that discovered Kuami Eugene and KiDi,” he said.
“We still enjoy Highlife, we are still producing highlife but it is in a different form for the youth of today. It will be difficult for highlife to die, because most of the music we listen to today, even the dancehall, or another genre of music, they all have the rudiments of highlife.”
He added: “After that generation, we got Ofori Amponsah. If you listen to all these rhythms, you will see that almost everyone comes with different rhythms. You will see that almost everyone comes with a different form of Highlife. So it will be difficult to have a particular type of highlife play for about 20 years.”