(Xinhua) -- At an intersection of a busy road in
Cantonments, a serene suburb of Ghana’s national capital Accra,
is a cluster of carpenters, weavers and craftsmen producing
various forms of art works using locally-grown materials like
cane, rattan, bamboo and sea grass.
That is where Jonas Kusi works as
master craftsman and chairman of the Cane Workers Association,
comprising more than 80 members.
Kusi studied the art of cane weaving
during his elementary school days in Kumasi, Ghana’s second
largest commercial city, in the 1960s.
He later developed interest in the
vocation and has since then acquired experience in the craft,
making all sorts of furniture and baskets from cane.
Looking back over 50 years, Kusi is
happy to have acquired the skills that have been his source of
livelihood and that of his family for many years.
The craftsman believes training young
men and women to acquire the necessary skills and expertise to
be self-employed is the surest way to go in national
development, as it will go a long way to reduce unemployment
rates in the country.
“If the government can permit us to
visit schools and teach the children the craft every week, I
think that will help bridge the gap between education and
industry,” he told Xinhua in an interview on Friday.
“I started this vocation when I was in
elementary school somewhere in the 1960s. Before I completed
school, I knew how to weave a basket before I later learnt
how to do the chairs from my uncle. So it will be very
helpful if the government allows us to teach these
schoolchildren,” he said.
“There are some children who may be
academically declined or their parents cannot afford to pay
for their higher education but if we are able to train them,
it will help secure their future,” said Kusi.
Kwadwo Adomako, a cane weaver of many
years repute, said they had opened their vocation to street boys
who desired to be trained in the craft.
“If the government supports us with
some funds from the national youth employment program, we
can also train more of the country’s youth and thus reduce
unemployment in Ghana,” said Adomako, who has taught several
schoolchildren in Accra on the practical art of cane
Basketry is one of the various types
of arts and crafts that have inundated Accra where many
foreigners who visit Ghana have the pleasure of coming face to
face with one art and craft piece or another.