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Akamba Wood carvers seek business space in Nairobi after displacement

Wamunyu Ward MCA Thomas Mutinda wants Kalonzo Musyoka together with other leaders to secure a place for Akamba sculptures and wood carvers to be selling their wares in Nairobi after being displaced near the High court and Judicial Parking Square.

Addressing mourners at a gathering in Wamunyu Mwala Sub County, the MCA said the wood carvers need to have a new place to sell their wares because since devolution they have not had a stable selling point in Nairobi.

Mutinda noted that before devolution the Kamba Sculptures and Wood carvers were allowed to sell their wares only 2 days in a week, but after devolution everything changed and worse was when corona hit last year and most businesses went down.

The MCA requested Hon Kalonzo Musyoka to speak to the president about the matter of displacing the wood carvers because their skill was a source of attraction for local and international tourism.

“Hon Kalonzo Musyoka, the place where we used to sell our sculptures and woodcraft was taken away so I request you to speak to the president to find us a place to display our wares in Nairobi and continue with our businesses,” said the MCA.

The art of wood carving in Kenya was started by the Akamba community who have over the years influenced other artisans to take up the honoured craft. Their work ranges from ornaments to sculpture among other designs portraying African culture.

One of the most reputable artisans in East Africa comes from Wamunyu in Machakos County also called wamunyu artisans.

There is rise of food insecurity and high rates of poverty as a result of drought and rural communities especially from Wamunyu who have to find alternative means of livelihood such as wood carving and Sculpting where some come to Nairobi to sell them.

The artisans are now faced with a challenge of Covid-19 which has destabilized their market after governments instituted restricted mobility across the world yet their biggest markets were the tourists.

By Ann Kangero

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