Glorifying the dead, apathy to the living!

The media, in recent times have been inundated with news of Veteran Actor Psalm Adjeteyfio reported to be suffering from “Gouty Arthritis”. The Veteran Actor known for his captivating roles in the popular television series titled “Taxi Driver”, that dominated television screens in the mid-90s has been soliciting for funds for treatment (gouty arthritis) that is currently beyond his means. Before this write-up, I tried to watch videos and read stories posted by several media outlets on the Veteran Actor. Interestingly, in all the interviews, Psalm Adjeteyfio was heavily questioned on how he has lived his life.(He apologetically told his not perfect story with remorse and wept at some points.) The interviews revealed some mistakes the Veteran Actor admittedly stated were reasons his marital home was destroyed and his well meaning life ended(He brought home a mistress). Is there anyone out here in Ghana or the planet earth? We all have our lapses! In all of the stories the media carried on the Veteran Actor, very few threw light on his current medical condition. Unfortunately, we belong to a society that is partially judgmental and superstitious. I personally felt the revelation on television, radio and some online portals about his bad past could demoralize the generous(potential donors) from reaching out to him. It was saddening, the direction most interviews took to reveal the bad past of Psalm Adjeteyfio. When the discussion could have centered on his predicament. Especially, when one is not privy to any special arrangements on the direction of the interviews between the Actor, Interviewer and producer of the shows he appeared on.(Maybe Psalm Adjeteyfio wanted things that way.) Borrowing the words of Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, a German-born diarist; “No-one has ever become poor by giving.” I believe Ghana has very successful individuals and well meaning public figures who can lend a helping hand to the once entertaining Veteran Actor who brought smiles to many with his interesting roles. When it comes to the creative arts in Ghana, many Veteran Actors and Musicians that paid their dues with their talent for the benefit of the larger populace even when the craft wasn’t lucrative enough ended up dying like paupers. Others died out of health conditions that needed medical treatments that were beyond their means. In recent years, MUSIGA under the watch of Bice Osei Kufuor(Obuor) created a fund to support Veteran Musicians when they retire and are out of business. However, there’s very little to be said about the Actor’s Guild of Ghana if funds of such nature really exists. Rather, every now and then, we see stories flying in the media on Veterans of the creative arts in some pathetic health or financial condition. Unfortunately, there isn’t any Piper to blow the whistle for the right thing(Sustainable initiative) to be done! Unfortunately, the discussion on helping and celebrating outstanding individuals who have contributed their quota to the development of this country through various creative disciplines only becomes topical after we have lost such individuals pathetically to death. Why do we as a people wait to glorify the dead with long tributes bearing sugar-coated words of achievements and exploits when we can actually reach out to these individuals with a gesture of kindness for them to live a little longer till their natural death comes? For the sake of some families that have lost some well meaning individuals (who served our country Ghana with their talents) due to financial constraints, mentioning names would be unprofessional. But the narratives of most of our fallen giants in the creative arts industry clearly states that we have not been proactive and discerning enough as a people to support and protect the lives of our legends. We rather wait to glorify them after they have died from health conditions that money could have relieved them from. Today, another Veteran Actor in the person of Psalm Adjeteyfio finds himself in the same situation. Are we going to sit for him to also join the afterlife? Unlike Many individuals whose condition deteriorated beyond saving, Psalm Adjeteyfio is moving from one media house to the other telling his story to solicit for help. Are we going to sit for us to lose another Veteran Actor or musician so we eulogize him with adjectives and a state burial? – Let us do an honourable thing by reaching out to the financially incapable few legends of our time. – Let us protect the lives of these Veteran musicians, Actors and outstanding Public Servants whose skills and talents have brought us the development we are building upon today. – May we move away from a culture of glorifying the dead and showing apathy to the living. We can still glorify the living by showing them love when they need it most. – Let us save and support Veteran Actor Psalm Adjeteyfio to receive treatment from his present health condition(Gouty Arthritis). Before I gained maturity and sight as a young lad with passion and love for the creative arts, theatre arts dominated local television content, but times have changed today. Over the years, locally produced television content like “Obra(Akan Drama)”, “Kantata”, “Concert Party”, “By the fire side”, “Taxi Driver” and many others projected the colourful culture of Ghanaians, today we hardly see them. I cannot deny how I would rush in quickly from school to finish my homework and house chores in order not to miss some of these programmes. Today, the story is different – foreign produced content have dominated the local television. (Mexican Soaps, Hindi Movies and etc.). Due to this development, attention has arguably shifted from our local Actors to foreign ones. This development is making the local movie industry less attractive for investors. Some locally owned agencies even create programs to fly in these foreign actors for Ghanaians to pay a fee just to watch and take pictures and autographs with foreign actors and actresses. When our own actors and actresses are dying and losing out in the business. How sad! Veteran Actor Psalm Adjeteyfio of Taxi Driver fame is calling for help to save himself from “Gouty Arthritis” his present health condition. I plead and entreat all who read this piece to extend a helping hand to the actor before we lose another Veteran Actor. Please go to any mainstream media house to make your donations and he will receive them. By Listowell Acquaye (Chosen YesuBa) The writer is a student at AUCC and a journalist  ]]>

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