Almost every indigenous society had a unique artistic production that is native to the people. These cultural artifacts are creatively fashioned from local materials that are readily available in the indigenous communities’ environments. They were the chief professions of the creative forebears of old that served as the pivot for their economies. In fact, those artifacts that they produced were their sole means of economic capital used for tending for families and developing the ancient societies. These creative cultural artifacts have been great parting treasures from the ancestors of numerous local communities to their present and future progeny. The creative cultural artistic industry is a potential economy of contemporary societies that settle on the soils of these indigenous societies. It can be a strategic tool for alleviating the impoverished state of the local residents in those communities.
It is true that the cultural and creative arts industries are potential economic boosting ventures in this contemporary age. It is one of the ever thriving areas of the global economy with an estimated growth rate of 4.3% in North and Central America, 6.9% in Oceania, 9.7% in Asia, 11.9% in South America, 13.9% in Africa and 17.6% in the Middle East. These estimates that show a soaring increase in global economy clearly underscores the great economic capital that can be obtained from the creative cultural industries from our forebears! Thus, today, local communities, especially the women and the youth who are mostly unemployed must tap into these industries to earn a living. It is not very difficult for residents to enter into these industries.
Limited capital investment is often required to start an enterprise in the creative and cultural industry of local communities. This is because the raw materials for the production of the creative cultural artifacts are locally stepped in the regions of the local communities’ territories. Usually, the local governments and the traditional authorities have their own effective managerial ways of ensuring the sustainable supply of these local resources for the artistic production. Individual families mostly have their family farms where the raw materials for the cultural artifacts are grown. Thus, it does not require huge capital to acquire the local materials for the artistic production.
Moreover, the local skills and expertise for the artistic productions are normally passed on from parents to children as part of the family’s great possessions. Thus, children grow up learning the skills of production from the old sages in the society. Thus, endowed with the expertise, skills, and knowledge, it makes it quite easy for the vulnerable population such as elderly women and the youth to enter into these cultural and creative industries to earn a living.
Also, there is often a ready market for these cultural artifacts since it is mostly the preserve of these local communities. Many tourists and traders usually parade to these indigenous societies to purchase their unique cultural artifacts that portray the culture of the people. For instance, the Ntonso, Adanwumase and Bonwire indigenous societies in the Ashanti region of Ghana noted for the production of the indigenous clothes, Kente, Kuntunkuni, Adinkra, and Kobene receive thousands of tourists from various foreign countries who patronize the buying of these cultural artifacts. Such is the case of other unique creative cultural artifacts native to the other indigenous societies across the globe.
However, it is sad that most youths shun enrollment into these local industries for employment. Some of these youngsters prefer white-colored jobs which often leave them in the lurk, handicapped in employment. These youngsters fail to appreciate and recognize the economic potentials of these ready-made industries! They must be coached and enlightened to realize the wisdom in humbly enrolling in this great revenue generating ventures left to them by their industrious forebears. Non-governmental organizations in charge of entrepreneurship counseling and training must rigorously engage in educating young ones and other members in these indigenous societies on the economic wealth and simple ways of setting up small-scale industries via these creative cultural artifacts.
In addition, financial institutions and credit agencies must be ready to offer these local residents soft loans to start-up the establishment of small industries in this income generating cultural industries. Flexible terms of payment must be instituted for these youngsters. The district and municipal assemblies in these indigenous communities must spearhead and liaise with some foreign donors and entrepreneurship supportive agencies such as Aid to Artisans Ghana and Export Promotions Councils to offer a financial helping hand to these local residents.
Furthermore, technical agencies like the Integrated Technology Transfer Unit (I.T.T.U.), GETRADE Ghana Limited, and GRATIS must offer technical assistance to hone the traditional skills and expertise of production of these local residents and upgrade it to meet the current demands of the market. This technical assistance would aid these local residents endowed with the traditional skills of production to know some simple technologies that can better the finishing and general outlook of the cultural artifacts.
Creative cultural industries are viable income generating employment avenues that can alleviate impoverished communities from their poverty. Thus, various governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as the traditional councils in the local communities, must all endeavor to develop these industries that were tirelessly brought into being by the loyal, hardworking and insightful forebears.