SDA majestically unlocks crafts industry

BURGERSFORT – Sekhukhune Development Agency (SDA) once again flexed its economic activation muscles by rallying beadworks and craft makers from all parts of Sekhukhune District into an organised economic force.

According to Acting Chief Executive Officer Mr Kgopelo Phasha the Sekhukhuneland Royal Necklace Exhibition held on Friday 28 May 2021 was devised as a platform to enable crafters of heritage inspired artefacts in Sekhukhune District to profitably trade using e-commerce marketplace platforms.

“Access to markets has always been a costly and challenging for most of our traders. We are looking at the digital marketplace as an equaliser that does not only help majority of our people to ride the digital wave. We have assembled them today through this exhibition as a proof that artefacts from our District are ready to be consumed by the world-wide market through e-commerce” explained Phasha

Taking cue from Phasha the Board Director for Economic Development in Sekhukhune Development Agency Mr Madulo Mampuru said the exhibition is a rare opportunity to celebrate manufacturers of authentic African crafts from Sekhukhuneland. He said the exhibition is one of many ways of magnifying ‘Manufacturing’ as a key sector to drive industrialisation, employment creation and beneficiation of mineral, cultural heritage and creative output of the district.

“Beadwork or manufacturing of different artefacts using beads is one of the most accessible, affordable and beneficial ways through which hundreds of women of Sekhukhune are earning a decent livelihood” said Mampuru

Mampuru added that beadwork is not a new phenomenon in the cultural expressions of Sekhukhune District.

The key word for the exhibition was Econography which, according Mr Mampuru is an effort to determine the consumers’ agenda and focuses on animating communities towards a ‘buy-local’ attitude and consumer behaviour (sentimental buying), particularly elaborate support for crafts, arts and heritage products from Sekhukhune District.

“This exhibition is where Econography should gain momentum. Let’s buy something from the exhibitors so that Econography results in building the economy of Sekhukhune” added Mampuru

Queen Mother of Bapedi Nation Mohumagadi Maria Mmanyaku Thulare ‘Hlapogadi a’ Phaahla’ addressed the Bapedi nation during the exhibition and highlighted the significance of royal necklace in the economic and cultural esteem of Bapedi nation. “In the core of Bapedi polity, livelihood and royal systems, beads and other jewellery mediums are not a mere adornment. From the types of the beads to the styling, setting and sizes, everything has significance – and social impact. Bapedi royal necklaces are an insignia of the person’s stature, power relations, a family heirloom or a nation’s treasure. And I am happy that SDA chose to exhibit this important artefact of our heritage” said Queen Mother Hlapogadi

The event was closed on a high note with handing of heritage inspired gifts to all exhibitors and guests officiated by Mohumagadi Setlago ‘Hunadi’ Riba, Mohumagadi ‘Modirwadi’ Seopela and the representative of the Mayor of Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality Cllr Reneilwe Pholwana.

Thapelo Motseo

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