Popular Highlife Legend Bessa Simons has been elected as the new president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), ending years of postponed elections that have plagued the organization.
MUSIGA’s elections have been marred by various obstacles, with the most recent being rejected by an Accra high court in August.
Bessa Simons who had been serving as MUSIGA’s acting president, secured a total of 324 votes, defeating his sole rival, Ras Caleb, who received 66 votes.
The legendary Highlife musician who hails from a family of musicians, began his musical journey during his days at Aggrey Memorial Boarding School in Cape Coast.
He continued his education at the National Academy of Music in Winneba, now known as the University of Education, Winneba. He later obtained a diploma from the School of Audio Engineering in London, UK.
Simons is a former member of the pioneering Afro-funk group Osibisa and the current frontman of the Bessa band. He is behind hits like ‘Sii Nana’, ‘Awo Yi’ and ‘Belembe.’
He has also collaborated with big names in Ghanaian music, including Ebo Taylor, Pat Thomas, Papa Yankson, C.K. Mann, Gyedu-Blay Ambolley and the Tagoe Sisters.
Among the ‘Belembe’ crooner’s initial obligations at MUSIGA is the crucial task of re-establishing unity and trust among its members.
In July, MUSIGA’s leadership openly disapproved of certain members who had decided to form a breakaway union.
“After the failure of their legal machinations and manoeuvring, this latest attempt to break the ranks of MUSIGA is unwarranted and must be condemned by all well-meaning musicians,” Simons said.
Meanwhile, the polls on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, which saw participation from MUSIGA members across Ghana, brought several other executives into power, including Thomas Yawson as first vice president, Abena Ruthy as second vice president and SK Agyemang as general secretary.
The rest are Eddie Eyison as national treasurer, Gifty Ghansah as national welfare officer, and Chizzy Wailer as national organiser.