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General News of Monday, 25 March 2019


People & Places: We regret not naming a 'Fugu' after Rawlings - Smock Makers Association

Secretary of Smock Makers Association at Morshe market in the Northern Region, Mohammed Ali Abdul Somed has disclosed the regret of natives of the three Northern regions - the birthplace of the 'Fugu', for not naming one of the smocks after former President J.J. Rawlings.

The traditional cloth of natives of the Northern regions in Ghana has a rather interesting dimension of production and is mostly named after their patterns, source of the primary material and quite recently, substantive individuals in the society.

“Currently, we are naming materials after dignified people around us, important people around...we have a wear named Lordina Mahama because she was wearing it, we have named it after her.”

“The material itself was in the system not quite long before they came to power but because she wore it and introduced it to the world, we named it after her. Samira Bawumia also came, started wearing a particular dress, so we named that after her,” he explained.

According to Abdul Somed, former President Rawlings was one of the first presidents to outdoor the traditional cloth to the world by wearing it for official functions but they never bothered to name the particular 'Fugu' he used to wear after him.

He added that Rawlings marketed the 'Fugu' to the world during his tenure but because their maturity in the 'Fugu' business wasn’t fully hatched, they never took advantage of the opportunity he created for them, to commercialize production of the 'Fugu'.

“Then, our maturity in selling our material was not up to that level, look at how he marketed the 'Fugu'. But then we never named it after him. But the kind of dresses he was wearing, the material is called 'Bonga', but we never took the pain to name it after him.”

“So it’s now paining us because that was the era of our grandfathers. They never knew something concerning business. If we had named it after him, maybe Rawlings would have also taken it as a pain to market it the more,” he bemoaned.

Presently, this traditional outfit which was also worn by Ghana’s first president and his fellows when declaring the nation’s independence has become a trending fashion sensation nationwide regardless of regional or tribal boundaries.