|Kabo Crafts 9 June to 20 June 2014
When confronted by the high quantity of imported mainstream crafts dominating the Namibian tourism market, Katrin Bockmühl decided that it was time to go on a hunt for some local talent. She did not have to search for long and in 2004 Kabo Crafts was born: a multifunctional business and educational venture that takes artists through the drill of product development, training and sales.
The artists involved come from all walks of life. Memory and Epafras Haihambo who left their home in the North to take their young family to the capital are now key producers of textile and paper-maché items in Kabo Crafts. Absalom, the “Ketty-Man”, who sells his wooden weapons on the streets of Windhoek repurposed their shape to become colourful nose-hooks. Meme Justine, who used to be a farm employee working on Lucerne-fields is now the creator of intricate bead designs; as well as many more creative minds who are now part of the constructive forces of Kabo Crafts.
“Key factors for product development are innovation, recycling and designs that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but purposeful” explains Katrin Bockmühl. The result is a product line that is unique and eco-friendly, such as the striking lamp shades, candle holders and ashtrays made of recycled cans or the elegant bowls and paper bags made of old Newspapers. Primarily, however, the products of Kabo Crafts seem to embrace the character of Namibia, both in its modern aspects, as well as its rich heritage, as can be seen in the trendy aprons with prints of local trees, book ends of Namibian animals or even the fridge magnets of Mopane leaves.