Monday, 18 June 2012

Time to patent Kente

The US Ambassdor to Ghana has reminded the government to quickly patent Kente cloth to protect against the devaluing of the textile art from piracy. I agree.

I thought about doing it myself a number of years ago after learning that a woman had managed to patent a certain tartan design, but alas my youthful laziness meant I never got round to it.

imagine this in black
My friend came back from Africa with a kente print Africa map on a black shirt once [like the image on the right but in black]. I asked him if he had been to Ghana and if he had liked it. He looked puzzled and didn't understand why on earth I would be asking him about Ghana, since he had been to Africa only once and it certainly wasn't Ghana. Of course I was equally confused as to his reaction to my question since he was the one wearing a kente design on his top. Turns out he had gone to South Africa and bought the t-shirt there. Southern African textiles don't resemble kente in any way but still South Africa can incorporate the kente into their already flourishing tourist industry, at the detriment of Ghana's own efforts.

That is to say, if the kente is one of Ghana's USPs and South Africa trade in it without paying royalties, then what need does a tourist have to go to Ghana to buy a kente inspired piece like the one on the side, if they can make South Africa their one-stop-shop for all things African.

So when ambassadors suggest the swift  patent of kente, I think, why has no one (in government) thought about this before and how long will it take them to do it?

Until then, get your kente inspired goods while they're still cheap.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah same thing I thought, why hasn't this been done like a long time ago. Its kinda sad really. Before we know it people will claim everything we own on our continent and there will be nothing left for us