Elemotho Sings At N$22-Million Art amp Craft Centre in Swakop

World celebrated Namibian musician Elemotho took centre stage during a solid performance at the much anticipated opening of the ultra modern multi-purpose Arts amp Craft Centre in Swakopmund, which was officially inaugurated with a huge amount of fanfare last Friday.

The N$22-million USA funded state-of-the-art centre was handed over to the Namibia Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF ), and cemented a thriving partnership between the United States and the Namibian government. Elemotho who was the ‘headline act’ for the two-day opening, was winding down a year of international shows before heading off to Spain with his family. He was joined by a line-up of local musicians and dancing groups, to highlight the performing arts, which will become a prominent feature in the future. The unveiling ceremony was five years in planning, and is a beacon of hope to those Namibian craftsmen and women, who have to eke out a living selling their wares on pavements and street corners.

The brightly coloured multi-functioned modern centre now provides an outlet for a variety of high quality Namibian products, and will serve as huge tourist attraction in the Erongo region, the first and largest of its kind in Namibia. The Centre, a spacious walled facility with waving Palm trees, comprises a restaurant, 13 kiosk type shops, an open air amphitheatre, a big performance stage, training and production rooms, an art exhibition facility and conferencing area.

US Embassy Charge d’Affaires, John Kowalski, points out that what started out as a donor-recipient relationship between the two countries, has ended in a new partnership between nations committed to providing greater opportunity for economic growth and livelihood improvement of Namibian people. “This is more than an Arts and Crafts Centre, this is a new commercial venture, which provides a platform for all local Namibian artists, musicians and crafters to increase their income-earning capacity and showcase their products,” says Kowalski. “The Centre facilitates technical, design and business skills training, plus supports the marketing of the products”

Upon officiating the new Art amp Craft Centre, Rev Ludwig Hausiku (Special Aisor to the Minister, Ministry Youth, National Service, Sport amp Culture”, says this facility is an expression of culture and will serve as a valuable contributor to the economy of the Erongo region. “The construction of COSDEF Arts amp Crafts Centre in Swakopmund is not only an innovative new hub for tourism but will add value in terms of job creation, increased economic activities and an income-earning potential for local crafters and artists of this region.”

“Currently the art and craft scene in our country is dominate by foreign artefacts, but this Centre will be reserved exclusively for Namibian, who now have a market place to sell their products whilst being a prominent tourist feature in the region. ”

“The Community Skills Development Foundation (COSDEF) is proud that the MCA-Namibia saw value in supporting our idea of promoting Namibian culture as a part and parcel of tourism development in Namibia,” he adds.

Source : New Era