[one_third][/one_third]Lebialem Division in the SW might be known for its richness in biodiversity with the presence of some of the world’s rarest animal and plant species. Recently, it has also proven to be a center for arts and craft following an art exhibition that took place in the headquarters, Menji on October 25 & 26, 2013. The exhibition was organized by the Divisional Delegate for Small and Medium Size Enterprises and chaired by the Senior Divisional Officer for Lebialem, Mr. Kouemo Simon, under the theme of “quality goods for consumers”. The art exhibition brought together the best fifteen arts and crafts competitors from the three sub-divisions of Lebialem.
The Lebialem people displayed different handicraft products that varied from products made from cassava, corn, soya bean, juice, jam and drinks from different fruits; dresses, bags and shoes made of wool or fiber were also part of the show. Wood, bamboo and cane works of varied designs including, chairs cupboards bamboo bicycles equally featured. Jewelry, cups and bowls made from coconut shells and other forest nuts also graced the exhibition.
The highly competitive exhibition took the jury more than three hours to select the best fifteen people to represent Lebialem at the regional level. At the end, the jury selected the best arts and crafts to represent the division at the regional level.
Some of the arts used dry plantain leaves to do post cards, coconut shells to do bangles for both men and women, palm kernels nuts, njangsa nuts and a host of other hard forest seeds to do medals, bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces. Who would have known that from such ingenuity could be exposed from using simple forest products and by products.
Some dignitaries in attendance at the event included the Divisional Officers and the Mayors of the Wabane, Alou and Fontem sub-divisions. The beauty of nature was displayed, talents showcased and expertise proven.
Owners of each handicraft stand were urged to use their talents and expertise to help them run their homes, contribute to sustainable development and empower the rural populations.
By Asoh Bedwin