Government urged to make Kente Festival national
Nene Nuer Keteku III, Konor of Agotime State, has appealed to the Government to make the Kente festival of the chiefs and people of the Agotime Traditional Area a national event.
He said this was because the cloth was the “single most important and identifiable cultural heritage of Ghana”.
Nene Keteku said this at the formal launch of this year’s Agotime Kente Festival at Kpetoe on Saturday.
He said Kente continued to attract several tourists to the country and needed to be given more recognition as a national asset.
“Many people in the outside world know Ghana as Kente and Kente as Ghana so the least we can do is to celebrate the cloth to attract more tourists, who would want to know the background of Kente,” Nene Keteku said.
He said the festival had firmly taken root at Agotime Traditional Area and appealed to the Ministry of Tourism to help to establish a Kente Market and village at Kpetoe to serve the shopping needs of tourists.
Nene Keteku said this year’s festival would be one with a difference and would be characterized by cultural displays, entertainment and the showcasing of the cultural uses of Kente.
It would also be given another boost following the resolution of an 89-year chieftaincy dispute between Kpetoe and Afegame and for the first time in 89 years, all the 36 towns and villages of Agotime would join in the celebration.
“It must be mentioned that Afegame is the spiritual home of the Agotimes. And, for the first time, all guests will witness a blend of Adangme and Ewe cultural tradition in the celebration of this year’s festival,” Nene Keteku said.
Ghana News Agency investigations have revealed that the price of Kente has gone up ahead of the festival.
Mr Alex Kwaku, a kente weaver at Kpetoe, said he had been working for close to 20 hours every day to meet orders and confirmed that prices had gone up due to the high demand and the extra effort weavers were putting into the work.
Mr Kwaku said high quality piece of Kente with modern and sophisticated designs which sold for GH¢400 now goes for GH¢500.
The less sophisticated designs that sold for about GH¢350 are now selling at between GH¢400 and GH¢450.