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Many art pundits dismiss crafts as tourist ‘tat’ not worth commenting on or considering as art. But it is this creativeness, which produces often beautifully crafted items, that needs nurturing and refi ning to lift it into the sphere of ‘export quality art’ to be proud of and to fulfi ll the creative spirit that can be channeled into sustainable, market-ready income for individuals and their communities. A strong component of our tourist industry, often the sale of 30 ifA lethu AnnuAl RepoRt 2012/13 these crafts is the only means of family support for many rural people. Passed down from generation to generation, these skills are still producing crafts due largely to necessity and a will to feed families. Community leaders express their fears that these skills will dwindle and die as young people fi nd the promise of city life and earnings too strong to even learn these age-old creative skills. Ifa Lethu launched its ‘Creative Hands’ programme in 2008 in order to improve on the quality of these products, training crafters in business skills, entrepreneurship, and marketing. To date, we have followed up our mobile workshop with permanent incubators where communities in rural areas can safely practice their skills and pass them on to forthcoming new generations, thus maintaining this important cultural heritage. Today, our crafters are selling their products for fair prices locally to tourists and retailers, at our airports and abroad. CRAftS


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