Iconic Ghanaian costume, Kente ,will be the highlight of the seventh week of MTN Heroes of Change, as Osei Bonsu Safo Kantanka’s annual Kente festival in Bonwire airs this weekend.
The Heroes of Change is a 13 episode television series initiated by the MTN Ghana Foundation which aims to highlight the work of people committed to helping their communities in a variety of ways and eventually support them financially to execute their projects.
“I noticed that anytime time there is a festival in a village a lot of people come to witness. My reason for initiating the Bonwire Kente festival was, I wanted lots of people to come and see the products we have here and come and buy. My interest was to open up the market,” he said.
Despite facing numerous challenges from the beginning the festival has transformed the lives of participants and the people of Bonwire.
“Before we introduced the festival, there were only two Kente shops that had only five or ten pieces of Kente in them. After 10 years you can count as many as 50 to 60 shops. Then again we have had more than 500 women take Kente from here to go and sell and come for more goods.”
Prior to the festival, there were no financial institutions in the town but today, the town can boast of three banks. Also as many as 20 women weavers weave Kente for a living which hitherto was unheard off and even banned by the Chiefs of the Ashanti Region and all of the Akan areas.
The second nominee is Richard Alandu Achumboru, who helps particularly the women across the Upper East Region to be self dependent by providing them with skills training and basic literacy free of charge.
His non-governmental organisation (NGO), Fistrad, has established a community library to enable school children in the surrounding communities acquire knowledge to become better individuals.
“When I see the women who have passed through my vocational institute and are now gainfully employed, I feel we have achieved something.”
The two personalities are among 20 people selected from across the country to be featured on the MTN Heroes of Change programme which is looking at selfless efforts in five categories: community crusader, social protection, health, environment and education.
A panel of four judges will select winners for each category, as well as an overall winner. An amount of GH¢10,000 will go to support each category winner and the ultimate winner will receive project support of up to GH¢50,000.
The MTN Heroes of Change is shown on Sundays on Crystal TV (7.30 pm); Metro TV (8.00 pm); Multi TV (8.00 pm); eTV Ghana (8.00 pm) and TV Africa (8.30 pm).