Thursday, February 22, 2007
Kente Festival Closes
By: Nii Laryea Korley
Black Stars, the national soccer team, made on the world stage with its appreciable performance in last year’s a World Cup tournament. To David Amofah of Davida Expositions, the company that organized the just–ended Kentefest 2007, the country would have scored a major point in the view of the whole world team had players’ names and numbers written with Kente on jerseys.
Speaking to Graphic showbiz at the end of the seven-day event, Amofah said Kente is about the most unique product identifiable with Ghana and every effort must be made to exploit it for the benefit of the country.
“There was some debate a while back on how Ghana should be branded to the world. Some suggested ideas incorporating cocoa or gold but other countries produce those items too. Kente originated from Ghana and there is no doubt about that so we must capitalize on it all the time.”
According to Amofah, patent to the name ‘Kente’ is held by an American and it is necessary, even if it has to be taken up at governmental level to get the patent for Ghana. He said it was also important that the numerous beautiful and historic designs by Ghanaian weavers are registered with the requisite quarters.
Kentefest 2007, an exposition on Kente alongside handicrafts and jewelry, was held at the Forecourt of the State House in Accra from February 12 to 18. The theme for the fair was: ‘Discover Ghana, the Homeland of Kente".
One of the main events at the exposition was a day’s seminar for weavers, artisans, sellers of the cloth textile students. Resource Persons from the Export Promotion Council, DHL and the industrial arts section of the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) dealt with different aspects of the production and marketing of Kente.
The seminar afforded some of the participants the opportunity to see the broad loom for the first time. Traditionally, Kente is woven on a narrow loom that process fourteen wide and three feet long strip.
The broad loom was developed at the College of Art and is a vast improvement on the narrow one. With the broad loom, weavers can make wider and longer strips in a faster time and that greatly facilitates production for export, “Amofah said.
Commenting on commercialization of the fabric, he stated that it is fine to upload Kente as a fabric of beauty and for royalty but then, certain patterns can be created and reserved for chair-backs, table covers and other everyday usage. Those, he emphasized, should be distinct from patterns worn on formal and other special occasions.
According to Amofah, a hand-book on Kente tracing the history, master weavers and other important information has been completed by the Kentefest secretariat and would be launched later in the year. He said a lot of visitors can be drawn into the country with the proper packaging of Kente and development of sites related to its history and production.
One of the high profile visitors to the Kentefest 2007 was the First Lady, Mrs. Theresa Kufuor. She was accompanied around he stands by Mr. David Amofah and Hadjia Fulera Salifu, a member of the Kentefest Planning Committee. Mrs. Kufuor commended the organizers for their initiative and wished them well in their efforts to bolster the Kente industry.
The closing ceremony for the fair was performed by Nene Keteku III, Konor of Kpetoe-Agotime, a major Kente-producing centre in the Volta Region.
Graphic Showbiz - 22 – 28 February, 2007 Page: 3.