Monday, 3 July 2017

Ghana @ 60 Planning Committee owes me – Chief Moomen

Ghanaian poet and playwright, Chief Moomen, has said he is facing the most difficult times of his career as government’s huge indebtedness to his company has put it on a verge of collapse.

The situation has put his upcoming stage production in jeopardy as he has to deal with the huge debt he incurred producing a play at the behest of the government.

In an emotional appeal published on Facebook on Thursday, the famed poet lamented that government had contracted him to show his ‘Wogbejeke’ theatre as part of activities to make Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebrations in March, and has since paid only half of the bill.

According to Chief Moomen, several attempts to get government to pay the other half of the bill has proven futile, forcing him into a terrible financial situation.

He said he has had to put his car on sale to help raise money to sustain his business.

Although the current situation caused him to postpone the planned production of his wogbejeke in April, he is determined to get the act live on stage next week, and has since taken to Facebook to appeal for support to reach government officials to pay him his arrears.

Read his post below:

“Please if anyone knows any powerful person in government please talk to the person to help me. I put up my Wogbejeke theatre show as part of activities to mark Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebrations in March and I have since been chasing for the other half of my payment.

The debts I incurred from my March shows have had a devastating effect on my small business. This is why we cancelled our show in April because we simply couldn’t afford to stage it with all those debts. The situation hasn’t changed and my much publicised show on 3rd July is in serious jeopardy if I don’t get money this Friday.

The painful thing is that, I took a loan from my bank in February to rent a facility to start a business. My debt situation in March made it difficult to further invest and start that business.

Earlier this month, the loan was due and I had to scrape everything to pay it off without having it serve its purpose. This has further compounded my situation.

Now I am a couple of days away from a major show at the National Theatre and I don’t have a penny to even refresh my over 150 cast and crew who are currently rehearsing for the show. I used up my sponsorship money from Key Soap (God bless them for the support these past two years) to offset some of the debts.

All efforts to appeal to the powers that be to understand how serious my situation is has yielded no results. These past three months have been the most painful and frustrating moment in my professional career (I shall talk more about that someday).

Now I need not less than 30,00ghc to make some urgent down payments to enable WogbeJeke to come off on Monday- ( payments for national theater, lights, sound, set, props, t&t for cast and crew and petty things just to get a show going.

I will think about the other bigger costs like remunerations later) I have even put up my car for sale (again!) but nothing yet. Rather uncharacteristic of me, I’m putting this very personal stuff in public because I’m really desperate now.

And I don’t know what else to do. I don’t want to disappoint my cast and crew. I don’t want to disappoint my audience. Please help if you can”

Wogbe jeke is a theatre production by Chief Moomen that re-enacts Ghana’s pre-colonial histories to modern day times featuring the stories of kings, queens and legends amidst dance and music.”