The National Commission on Culture, in collaboration with Ghana Society-UK, Location Accra and Ako GH has launched the prestigious annual kente festival dubbed KENTEFEST “22 in Accra under the theme “Harnessing the heritage and evolving nature of Kente in both Trade and Tourism“.
KENTEFEST, an annual event seeks to promote the rich Ghanaian cultural heritage and made in Ghana products by way of creating economic opportunities for Ghanaians, African artists and producers in the creative industry whilst promoting patriotism and national pride in harnessing the kente heritage which is global and weaves the world as a symbol of black culture and unity.
The festival scheduled from 20th October to 26th November Luton-UK, further aims to promote and showcase the rich royal kente fabric of Ghana to the world to avert the importation of fake kente clothes into the country.
Speaking at the launch, the Chief of Bonwire Nana Bobie Ansah II expressed his gratitude to the National Commission on Culture for organizing such a wonderful event to promote and showcase the royal kente fabric to the outside world.
According to the Chief, the kente weaving business used to employ most youth but the neglect of the industry by government has caused most to collapse which has rendered the youth unemployed.
He urged that, government must pay attention to the kente industry and invest much into the production of yarn locally to avoid its importation as the high cost of import has crippled most of the businesses.
The Executive Director of the National Commission on Culture, Madam Janet Edna Nyame in a speech expressed her profound joy to the partners for coming on board to promote the celebration of the most recognisable and traditional fabric in Ghana, our unique kente which is a source of great pride as it usefulness cuts across all spheres of events.
According to her, the Ghanaian culture is embedded in music, dance, food, language, and beautiful costumes as the imprints of the rhythmic patterns in the fabric serve as a tool for communication.
“The motifs are symbolical as it presents ideas about our historical background as people, to a great extent; it brings to the fore the Ghanaian cultural values which instill moral uprightness in the individual so as to live above reproach”.
The Executive Director stressed that, fabrics such as Gye Nyame, sankofa, afa among others constitute the Adinkra symbols and other symbolic patterns from which the various Regions add more aesthetics to portray our cultural identity in the production of kente fabric such as afafanto, Fathia fata Nkrumah, and the likes.
Madam Edna asserted that, our magnificent kente must hold its authenticity and avoid piracy, and our ability as people to transform our indigenous craft to the world market in a unique style requires tactical branding and advertisement.
“We must endeavour to use our digital platforms to showcase to the world what we are made of, to commercialise the kente business to generate more revenue for our Ghanaian handmade kente”.
She urged that, there must be improvement in our packaging techniques to suit the global standards in other to promote trade as she was on a strong conviction that such will sit down into our generation through education and training.
She appealed that, the nitty gritty of kente weaving must be taught at various Regions to help sustain our traditional heritage which varies from all others to be able to host and drive tourists from all over the world to patronise our rich original kente cloth as a tourism in trade commodity to improve our financial stability as a country.