Home SHOWBIZ  Year Of Return Had Positive Impact On Artifacts Trade

Year Of Return Had Positive Impact On Artifacts Trade

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Akwasi Agyemang

Traders at
the Centre for National Culture also known as the Art Centre Craft Market in
Accra have applauded the government for initiating the ‘Year of Return’.

Mr Kodjo
Mensah, Manager of Mama Heritage Shop at the Art Centre, told the Ghana
News Agency (GNA)
in an interview that patronage at the centre during
the period was tremendous and had a positive impact on their business and
finances.

He said the
return of fellow Africans ignited dynamism in business activities at the
centre; “the returnees invaded the centre all day round, forcing traders to go
beyond the normal closing time of 5pm.”

Mr Mensah
said very good sales were made and that a customer could buy a number of art
works, cloth and jewelry.

“The
government should bring them back, because their coming served as a platform to
unite Ghana and America. We can learn a lot from them; if black people can look
good like this, then we here can also become like them.”

Madam
Genevieve Klu, a sales person at the shop, said the initiative by the
government was a good one, which brought about 80 per cent boost to sales as
compared to previous years.

She urged the
government to make the Year of Return an annual event, which should be observed
by all governments. “Excellent, we have enjoyed it very much, everybody in the
craft market enjoyed; as you can see my shop is almost empty, I must be frank
with you, the organizers have done well, seriously,” Mr Issaka Sulemana of Ila
Sulaman Enterprise stated.

He said
before the return, business at the art market was dead with less patronage but
the visitors over the period bought a lot of beads, jewelries, leather works,
and some brass works.

Ahmed Mohammed
of Shop No 118 at the centre said business at the centre had been revived and
even though most of his carvings were not bought because of their weight, the
visitors patronized his brass ornaments and sculpture.

The Year of
Return was declared by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the
Washington Press Club, in Washington D.C., on September 2018, to serve as a
major landmark, spiritual and birth-right journey­—inviting the African family from across the globe home, to mark 400
years of the arrival of the first 20 enslaved Africans in 1619, in Jamestown,
Virginia.

The visit of
African from the Diaspora to the soils of their ancestors was a year-long
initiative with intense activities and participation during Christmas and the
early part of the New Year.

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