Philip Gbeho, the man who composed Ghana’s national anthem was paid three thousand pounds for his effort – and has since not received any royalty – Presspeep.com has gathered.
The adoption of the anthem was one of the last rites after the lowering of the Union Jack, the flag of England. Until the adoption of the new anthem, all citizens of the Gold Coast went by the British’s ‘God Save The Queen’ anthem. He was paid the amount as his copyright for the piece of music during the first week of September 1957 shortly after independence.
Mr. Gbeho was a Music Master at Achimota School and entered the competition for interested persons to submit their works for consideration. He beat them all and was paid an additional one hundred pounds for emerging the winner. There were four final contestants after a shortlisting exercise.
The cheque for the three thousand one hundred pounds was paid to Philip Gbeho at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Accra on September 5, 1957. The transfer of the copyright was signed by the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Mr. Kweku Baako on behalf of the government and Mr. Philip Gbeho.
He was reported to have said in an interview shortly after the event that, “I regard the composition as my masterpiece and something from inspiration. I do not know how I did it myself.” Mr. Gbeho was not only a musician but a person interested in the politics of the times. He showed particular interest in the referendum on the issue of French Togoland.
Philip Gbeho died on 24 September 1976. He was married with seven children. Those still living include: Victor Gbeho (Diplomat and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Fourth Republic), Theresa Abui Tetteh (Organist, Music Teacher and Director of the National Symphony Orchestra Ghana) and Peter Tsatsu (Director, Ministry of Information).
In another jurisdiction, this man and his generations would be enjoying annual royalties from the State for his erudite composition, but from the narrative above, it seems he was paid off that sum and bid cheerio!
Presspeep.com may follow up on this subject from the Copyright and GHAMRO offices respectively – for their take on this story. Stick and stay with us.