National Kente Festival Launched
By Samuel Nuamah
As a way of rekindling the national pride and sense of belonging associated with the kente cloth, the first ever National Kente Week celebration was launched in Accra yesterday.
Themed, “Celebrating our Kente heritage: A majestic new boost for sustaining the Ghanaian kente tradition and industry in 21st century,” it also seeks to whip up popular patronage of Ghana’s famous colourful traditional hand-woven textile.
The celebration, which will begin with an exhibition at the National Theatre from June 24-30, is being organized by Royal Protocol Service, a private event management film in collaboration with the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture.
It will also involve a kente weaving competition, a ‘What Do You Know’ contest for schools, and will be climaxed with a state dinner at the Banquet Hall on July 3.
Performing the launch, Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister of Chieftaincy and Culture, said it had become necessary that both national and international avenues of marketing were created of kente products.
That, he said, would enable the country to benefit favourably from the increasing income from global creative industry market.
“The current global dispensation calls for a thorough assessment of our strengths to be able to create opportunities for particularly, the youth and generations yet unborn, he said.
Mr. Asum-Ahensah noted that the Kente cloth had held its pride of place around the world, saying that, “indeed the Bonwire and Kpetoe kente festivals have made meaniful impacts worth commending”.
However, he stated that there was the need for a national projection of the fabric to provide a common platform for buyers and sellers to interact.
“The adage that ‘a people do not see what they have until they realize what others do not have’’ actually lays emphasis on the need to preserve and appreciate our unique cultural heritage,” the minister added.
The minister used the opportunity to invite textile manufacturing companies in the country to come and study the varied patterns of printing to help avert the dumping of inferior fabrics from else where.
He commended Royal Protocol for the initiative to promote and recognize kente as an important national cultural heritage and urged Ghanaians to partake in the weeklong celebration.
Nana Abena Konadu-Adu, Programmes Manager of Royal Protocol, said the event, which would be celebrated annually, was part of activities to commemorate Republic Day.
Mr. Frank Boakye Yiadom, president of the kente Sellers and Weavers Association, called on the media to conscientise people about kente and kente realted products and the need to patronize them.
The Ghanaian Times Page: 11 Saturday, May 28, 2011