Mr. Ebenezer Teye, 63-year-old ‘Fantastic Coffin Designer’ based in Dawhenya, a community in the Ningo-Prampram District in the Greater Accra Region has appealed to the government for support to expand the business.
He said the artisan work remained the surest prospect for artists to showcase their creative works and also create employment for the teaming professionals in the imaginative arts industry as monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) at Dwahenya.
Mr. Teye noted that well-fashioned artisan projects can be a valuable form of grassroots development for indigenous people, simultaneously serving economic and social goals.
Mr. Teye who has been in the coffin design trade over the past 40 years explained that “they provide income that complements subsistence agriculture while reinforcing ethnic identity and cultural pride. Programmes can vitalize local craftsmanship by allowing artisans to reach their maximum potential”.
He noted that the government through the District Assembly could support artisans through the district assemblies with a financial package and capacity training to inject professionalism in the trade to prevent it from collapsing.
Mr. Teye explained that the work of craft men can give a tremendous impetus to the tourism sector as tourists are fascinated with creative works.
He said tourists take interest in ethnic arts and crafts, “we need the government to support artisan with development programmes to increase productivity and income among indigenous peoples to expand the local and foreign market for handicrafts.
Mr Teye whose artwork has received both local and foreign endorsements has created an international market where customers from overseas patronize his wood design work or specialized casket to bury their beloved once.
Mr. Teye who is known in his trade as ‘Capunu’ added that he featured in the famous Thierry Secretan Historic Magazine ‘Going into Darkness Fantastic Coffins from Africa’ in 1991 which was sold in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States of America (USA) Germany and some countries on the African continent.
He added that he wanted to impact the knowledge he has acquired over the years into the youth to reduce the unemployment rate within the various communities in Dawhenya but was faced with financial constraints.