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Port Elizabeth designers win big at fourth Lithuba Lakho Craft Competition

Apr 1, 2019
Port Elizabeth designers win big at fourth Lithuba Lakho Craft Competition

PE designers, Nozuko Nqonqoza, Amanda Qeqe and Lookout Sibanda, won big at  Lithuba Lakho Competition Awards

Port Elizabeth -  Port Elizabeth designers won big at the fourth Lithuba Lakho - This Is Your Chance, Competition and Exhibition Awards scooping three of the available four category prizes in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

This is the first time that designers from the western side of the province showed such dominance.

Nozuko Nqonqoza, Amanda Qeqe and Lookout Sibanda all from Port Elizabeth each walked away with the top prizes of R15 000 worth of material and equipment in the contemporary accessory, traditional wear and home wear categories respectively. The apparel category was won by East London designer Nangamso Dana.

An initiative of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in conjunction with the Mandela Bay Development Agency, the competition recognises the top crafters in the Eastern Cape. It is designed to promote top export quality craft from a diverse range of disciplines.

“This year the competition which celebrates and recognises the best creative works in the craft industry attracted 69 creative work submissions at 10 venues across the Eastern Cape. A total of 10 crafts were submitted. Four crafters walked away with the top prize of R15,000 each in materials and machinery in each of the four categories – Homeware, traditional wear, contemporary accessory and apparel,” says ECDC creative industry sector specialist Yandiswa Sodaba.

For the first time there was only one winner from the eastern side of the province with Dana taking the apparel category, Nozuko Nqonqoza, Amanda Qeqe and Lookout Sibanda all from Port Elizabeth taking the contemporary accessory, traditional wear and home wear categories respectively.

“The industry has grown over the years and the competition gets tougher each year and this is evident in the growing quality of submissions. We are also especially pleased that in the four years the competition has been running, this year the Nelson Mandela Bay region has really come to the party with some really good quality submissions,” says Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum director Emma O’ Brien.

Lithuba LakhoCompetition and Exhibition Awards growing every year

The competition has grown in popularity attracting partners such as the hosts the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Mandela Bay Development Agency and the Department of Small Business Development.

ECDC chief executive officer Ndzondelelo Dlulane says the creative industries possess a potential to contribute significantly to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP), alleviating poverty, reducing inequality and the high unemployment rate challenge faced by the country and the Eastern Cape.

“The creative sector can also improve social cohesion and inclusion for SMMEs in both the rural and urban areas. ECDC intervenes in this sector in a very significant manner. ECDC arranges a number of trade platforms within the country to provide access to markets for the SMMEs in the industry, most of whom are located in rural areas.

In 2017/18, ECDC participated at nine creative industry trade platforms which are aimed at improving the competitiveness of craft entrepreneurs. In 2017/18, a total of 110 SMMEs were helped to participate in these events. These businesses generated sales worth R762,799 form these events,” says Dlulane.

ECDC also enjoys a partnership with the Department of Small Business Development of R2.5million per year to support the industry through market access, training and workshops to improve their products.

ECDC is also managing a craft shop which is now fully-functional in Nahoon, East London. The shop sells traditional Eastern Cape craft that is produced in the province. The craft shop houses products from 98 crafters from across the Eastern Cape. The shop generated sales worth R406 000 in 2017/18.

Image: BACK LEFT TO RIGHT: ECDC chief executive officer Ndzondelelo Dlulane, ECDC creative industries sector specialist Yandiswa Sodaba, Nelson Mandela Bay Councillor Simphiwo Plaatjies. FRONT LEFT TO RIGHT: Amanda Qeqe (Traditional Wear), Nangamso Dana (Apparel), Nozuko Nqonqoza (Contemporary Accessory)  and Lookout Sibanda (Homeware)

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