The Chiefs and People of the Agotime Traditional Area in the Volta Region have launched the 19th edition of their annual Agotime Agbamevorza (Kente Festival) with a call on citizens to join hands in showcasing the rich cultural Kente Cloth of Ghana to the international community to promote tourism and development.
The Konor of the Agotime Traditional area, Nene Nuer Keteku III made the call at the launch of the 2014 festival at Kpetoe in the Agotime Ziope District last Saturday.
Nene Keteku III lamented about the threat pose to old motifs and aesthetic indigenous designs of the kente textile due to the lack of proper documentation and preservation of the antic value of the cloth and cautioned against the influx of sub-standard designs that adulterates the cultural heritage of the fabric.
He pleaded with citizens to put their differences aside and come together in unity to project Agotime to the rest of Ghana and the world.
He enumerated the countless benefits the celebration of the Kente festival stands to bring to the area and the nation which is a national pride.
According to him, Agbamevorza provides the platform for the visual display of the lost glory of the Kente cloth in dress, costumes and regalia whilst uniting the people with one culture and destiny.
The Konor noted that the celebration of the festival would bring economic transformation to the people in the traditional area as well.
“This unique festival is also celebrated for the economic emancipation of the weaving communities, and to minimize the rural urban drift’’ he stated.
Mr Wisdom Elvis Ativoe, Secretary to the 2014 Kente Festival Planning Committee who launched the festival acknowledged the uniqueness of the Agotime kente fabric and expressed optimism that the event would project the area and the country as a preferred tourist destination in the West African sub-region.
He observed the Kente industry in Agotime as an emerging Black Gold that if supported would significantly contribute towards job creation to revive the local economy and project the nation to the international community as a tourist hub.
Mr Ativoe expressed worry about the dwindling stock of local artisans with the requisite knowledge in kente weaving to Okada (motorbike) riding for quick money.
This he said poses a great threat to the Kente industry if not checked.
He emphasized the critical role culture and tradition such as the Kente festival plays in the promotion of socio-economic development of nations and appealed to government, corporate institutions, individuals and well-wishers to help preserve the Kente fabric as a national identity and make the 19th Kente Festival a success.
The festival which is scheduled from the 7th to the 14th September, 2014 is on the theme: ”Preserving Kente for Eco-Tourism and Development’ with a grand durbar on the 13th September at Kpetoe.
Activities lineup for the event includes; a visit to Ga-Adangbme, the original place (root) the Agotimes are believed to have migrated from, visit to the ancestral home of the first settlers, Health walk and Medical screening exercise and Quiz competition of SHS students.
The rest are; mini durbar for women, the re-enactment of how the Agotimes arrived (Godigbe), firing of musketry, food Bazaar with eating competition- Totokpakpa, Thanksgiving Service among others.
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