• EC Craft Collection

Lithuba Lakho winners announced

Updated: Apr 3, 2019


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

Eastern Cape designers Nozuko Nqonqoza, Amanda Qeqe, Lookout Sibanda and Nangamso Dana won big at the 4th annual Lithuba Lakho Competition Awards at the weekend, with the four category winners each walking off with R15 000 worth of material and equipment.

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.

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.

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