Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Arts, Craft Exhibition of Its Kind Opens On Tuesday

THE Tanzania Federation of Arts and Crafts is opening an exhibition of its kind at the National Museum and House of Culture in Dar es Salaam today.

This exposition is being held under the banner, "Decorate Tanzania With Tanzanian Art." Their Secretary General, Godfrey Ndimbo, sent out an invitation yesterday at the weekly Jukwaa la Sanaa meeting of artistes and stakeholders for their support to make it successful.

"In this exhibition we have brought together the various art forms within this section of local art in a unique way. There will be tie-and-dye, batiks, designers of clothes and the persons who actually sew them. Also present throughout this exhibition will be artistes, who deal with things like knitting, crochet and embroidery together with artefacts like earthenware cooking utensils, mats and baskets," he explained.

The actual list, which the Secretary General mentioned with much enthusiasm, went on to include makers of the local cloth called 'vikoy,' together with paintings of all styles, such as abstract, realism and collage. According to him, there will also be the work of stone and wood sculptors plus scrap metal artistes.

It was after the federation had carried out a research, which confirmed that there is very little use of local artworks in homes and business premises within the country that they come up with the idea to have this exhibition. He said it is their way of working towards rectifying what he referred to as an "abnormality" when talking to the 'Daily News'.

"If we start with the government itself, it pains me to say this but the truth of the matter is that they seem not to have any love for Tanzanian art. When you go to most of their offices you'll find even the tables and chairs are made in China.

This is at a time when we have very good carpenters right here, who can make such goods that can even be better and of value," Ndimbo said with much emphasis. He also went on to explain that when furniture is made with wood from here, this gives an income to the local wood industry and acts as a form of advertising for local products and materials to other countries, as is being done in other countries.

Their research team reported that most offices they went into were being beautified with plastic flowers and paintings from foreign lands, which makes a mockery of the abundance that exists right here. The Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner, Said Meck Sadick, is expected to be the guest of honour for the opening ceremony that is scheduled to start at nine o'clock, for the weeklong exhibition that finishes on Friday.

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