African beads to promote local culture

CNC
Added On August 9, 2018

 Famous Ghanaian bead-maker Cedi has been making beads since he was a young child. He is now the managing director of his family-run bead business.

 
He says the aesthetic value of traditional African beads hold great potential to promote the continent’s culture globally.
 
Lifestyles has more.
 
His real name is Nomoda Ebenizer Djaba, but many people know him as Cedi. He now runs Cedi Beads Industry, located in Somanya, a town in Ghana.
 
Cedi explained that beads are an essential ingredient in African traditional dress and culture, and they should be promoted all over the world.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): NUGBODA EBENEZER DJADA "CEDI", Ghanaian bead-maker 
"The main use of beads is for merry making, puberty rites, festivals, weddings, naming ceremonies (of new-born children) or going to very special occasions; you have to wear beads. In African culture, the type of beads you wear will show how important or how wealthy you are in society. The beads also add more value to your natural beauty."
Cedi started making beads at age seven, he now produces five different types of beads for both the domestic and foreign markets.
 
He also produces recycled glass powder beads, as well as the "Bordorm" beads, all of which have bottles or glass as the base material.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): NUGBODA EBENEZER DJADA "CEDI", Ghanaian bead-maker 
"In the olden days, when there were no panties, wore beads and used loin cloth when they were having their menses. They used loin cloth to wrap themselves. Secondly, it helps you to check your weight. Whether you are growing fat or slim, the beads can remind you; then you either add more or remove some. And it is also good for your husband or fiancée because it gingers them more as well and gives them more energy."
The process of bead making is complicated.
 
It starts from the gathering of the main raw material, which is bottle or glass, then goes through the grinding and melting stage, until one gets the required mould for a particular kind of bead.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): NUGBODA EBENEZER DJADA, Ghanaian bead-maker
"Average production may be like 300 pieces. But it depends; there are some that you can produce like 2.500 and 3000 pieces  for the transparent ones, but the powdered one  you can make like  600 or 300 . There are some also, the waist beads, for instance, those ones have many holes on one mould so we produce in thousands."
In July, Cedi won the worldwide "Living Tradition Award" competition, organized for bead makers.
 
He believes the industry is a good one with great potential. And he is urging the governments of all African countries to support bead makers in promoting African culture around the world.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH): NUGBODA EBENEZER DJADA "CEDI", Ghanaian bead-maker 
"Nowadays, everything is made by machines but people have realized that things made by hand are unique. And they appreciate it. Because of that they don’t want tradition to die. And I also took it as my main work. I don’t want the tradition to die because it guides us. It makes you know who you are and your culture also tells you the kind of person you are."
 
The beads are promoted at exhibitions in Europe, Asia and America, and have also proved popular with visitors to Ghana.
 
One fan of the beads is the Queen of Denmark, who visits the bead-making factory in Ghana whenever she visits.
 
STAND UP(ENGLISH): JUSTICE LEE ADOBOE, CNC reporter
"Apart from buying handcrafts, this is something that you can put on your body. whether on your neck, your wrist, or on your ankles, or even on your waist to portray the beauty of African culture. Remember an African is not fully dressed without the beads on."