The maiden 2-day Bonwire Kente festival and exhibition in the UK has ended in London.
Bonwire kente exhibition which was conceived and staged by Bonwirehene, Nana Bobie Ansah II was held under the theme “Building the Community through traditional Enterprise”
The exhibition was targeted principally at showcasing to the international community the finest and authentic hand woven kente with a view to promote the marketing of the fabric as well as attract the needed investment to re-invigorate the kente industry in Ghana.
Bonwire Kente festival was also geared to bring to the fore the origins of kente by uncovering the myths and legends behind the discovery and the evolution of the exquisite fabric which has won wide acclaim as an icon of black people all over the world.
On display at the exhibition were assorted types of kente fabrics and a vast array of kente products including stoles, ties, wrappers, Christmas and greeting cards with kente designs and adinkra symbols as well as plates and china embossed with kente designs.
In a colourful mini-durbar held as part of the kente festival, Nana Bobie Ansah II , the Bonwirehene and his elders sat in state while the huge crowd who thronged the exhibition queued to pay him homage.
Addressing the durbar, Mr. Isaac Osei said the development of the kente industry and indeed other cottage industries was the cornerstone of government's poverty reduction strategy.
Ghana's envoy to the UK said the unique kente fabric attested to the intelligence, artistry and rare craftsmanship which our forefathers possessed prior to the advent of the Europeans
He commended Nana Bobie Ansah and his elders for showing initiative and tenacity in mounting the exhibition and asserted that the fair had succeeded in projecting Ghana as the true home of kente.
High Commissioner Osei announced that the first of the kente festivals which would henceforth be organised annually by the Mission would be held next July as part of the publicity programmes in a run-to Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebrations in March 2007.
Commenting on the Black's historic qualification for the World Cups finals, the High Commissioner said amid cheers from the gathering that every Ghanaian ought to be proud of the remarkable achievement of the national football team.
“We qualified because of the unity and good leadership in the team which is a reflection of the good political leadership that we have in Ghana today” declared Mr. Osei.
In his address, Nana Bobie Ansah reiterated the need for Ghanaians to cherish and nurture the rich cultural heritage bequeathed to them by their ancestors and urged them to take the necessary steps to maintain it.
The Bonwire chief therefore urged all Ghanaians particularly those living abroad to endeavour to acquire a kente cloth and help promote an industry which provides a means livelihood for citizens of Bonwire and its surrounding towns.
Nana Bobie Ansah revealed that Bonwire, the nerve centre of kente industry in Ghana attracts a substantial number of tourists every year and pledged to offer land to investors interested in venturing into the Kente, hospitality and agriculture industry in his traditional area.
The event was sponsored by the British Council and OBE TV, a UK-based and Ghanaian owned satellite television station.