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Nubuke Foundation inspires smock weavers in Upper West to be more creative

Accra: The Nubuke Foundation, through its annual Woori (Smock) Festival, has inspired the weaving industry of the Upper West Region, by taking steps to reduce the challenges of the sector, especially among women weavers, to make them more creative.

The Foundation used its Centre for Textiles and Clay in Loho near Wa to support more than 700 women and craft makers in the region by training them in design, technology, business skills training, capacity building and financial and digital literacy among others.

Madam Odile Tevie, the Director of the Nubuke Foundation, revealed this at Loho in the Nadowli-Kaleo District during the opening of the 2024 edition of the Woori Festival.

It was on the theme: ‘Weaving a Sustainable Future for the Next Generation’, which celebrated culture, creativity, and community activism with support from Access Bank PLC.

People across the region and beyond, including heads of departments, traditional leaders, weavers and artists graced the event, which was spiced up with cultural
dance by the Kparsaga and Wa cultural dance troupes.

It witnessed the spectacular exhibition and display of the best of Ghanaian weaving traditions and textile designs, artwork and art performances such as poetry, dance and singing, and food concepts of the region.

The three-day event featured a range of activities, including educational workshops, art exhibitions, live demonstrations, performances, film screenings, music, and a fashion show.

Madam Tevie said since the introduction of the Woori Festival in 2021, the Foundation had attracted more than 2,000 visitors and witnessed tremendous growth in patronage and incentive activities.

She observed that women in the weaving sector of the region were faced with many challenges, which the Foundation sought to address through partnerships.

Some of the challenges are a lack of adequate capital to purchase tools and materials as well as inadequate capacity to access and sell in a bigger and more sophisticated market.

‘Recent research had shown that women entr
epreneurs face financial exclusion due to lack of collateral, lack of understanding of financing or inexperience in business management and as well as social and cultural constraints,’ the Director added.

Madam Tevie commended the British Council for its support of the Foundation to enable it to realise its vision.

Mr Andrew Entsua-Mensah, the Project Manager of Arts and Culture, the British Council, said arts and culture held the key to contributing to the national economy through market access for creative products.

The British Government saw it as a worthy course to support by providing grants and contributing to policies to promote the creative industry in Ghana, he said.

Mr Entsua-Mensah noted that the activities witnessed at the event had put the rich culture of the region in the eyes of the whole country.

He said the festival was timely as it marked the ‘Ghana Month’ to contribute to the growth of the economy.

Ms Lydia Alhassan, the Chief Executive Officer of Concern Life Foundation, who was the
guest speaker, encouraged weavers to endure the challenges of the industry to impact society.

She said weaving was not a preserve of the less educated but that every person could venture into it, irrespective of his or her occupation and educational level.

Source: Ghana News Agency