Tenmaligo Pognaba Helene Adonkolgo Barnabas (left) speaking at the event
Tenmaligo Pognaba Helene Adonkolgo Barnabas (left) speaking at the event

Maiden Dansika Fugu Batakari festival launched in Bolgatanga

A cultural festival aimed at providing a platform for showcasing various artifacts and providing markets for such products has been launched in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.

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Dubbed: “Dansika Fugu Batakari Cultural Festival”, the annual event is expected to provide a huge market for hand-made fabrics locally and internationally such as Dansika, Fugu and Batakari as well as other cultural products.

The festival brought together traditional rulers, queenmothers, weavers associations, officials of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Centre for National Culture (CNC) and businessmen and women who shared ideas on how to sustain the fabric industry in the region.

The festival, which has already been organised in the United Kingdom (UK) in the past two consecutive years, was spearheaded by the Dansika Fugu Batakari Cultural Festival Limited, UK.

Promotion, sustainability

Addressing the event, the founder of the festival, Tenmaligo Pognaba Helene Adonkolgo Barnabas, said the rationale for bringing the festival back home was to promote the local handicrafts, artifacts and wear of the people.

She said it formed part of efforts to promote the cultural heritage of the people which was an integral part of their lifestyles and existence, saying “it is important for our culture to be promoted in order for us not to lose our identity”.

She indicated that the idea of the festival was to expand the local weaving and fabric industry which had been the main economic mainstay of the people, especially women for so many years.

 “We hope to sustain this novel event to serve as a platform and catalyst towards the economic transformation of the region through improving the finance of the players in the fabric industry,” she stated.

She announced that the next edition of the festival would be held in the UK on July 17, 2024, during which some of the local people would be invited to showcase their products as a way of expanding their markets.

Further, she mentioned that an outlet would be set up ostensibly to buy handmade clothes and other products for export instead of the producers keeping them for several months without buyers.

Treasurers

In a speech read for him, the Upper East Regional Director, CNC, Collins Ahmed-Edwards, said the region was blessed with a wealth of cultural treasures, ranging from the intricate craftsmanship of weavers to the timeless traditional fugu.

He stated that there was a need to harness these assets for economic development, particularly in empowering the youth, and added that the festival would serve as a platform for people to display their creativity and to connect with potential buyers and collaborators, both locally and internationally.

The Regional Director, GTA, Wisdom Ahadzi, lauded the initiative, saying it was a unique way of promoting the culture in the region and pledged the GTA’s support towards the organisation of the festival.

While pledging to provide the needed advice so that it can be done well, he called for support for the weavers’ association to sustain their operations.

The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum, urged the youth to venture into the fabric industry to acquire skills to earn a living, instead of engaging in acts that had the tendency to destroy their lives.

Writer’s email: [email protected].

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