- Published on Sunday, 29 July 2012 01:20
- Written by ISSA YUSSUF in Zanzibar
- Hits: 692
ZANZIBAR is planning to reduce traditional woodcarvings business in its historical town by 70 per cent by end of the 2012/2013 fiscal year, the minister responsible for culture, Mr Said Ali Mbarouk has said.
“We are unhappy with the increased sale of the carvings(Vinyago) in Zanzibar tourist town, but we have to look for alternative souvenirs for our tourists,” Mbarouk said. Zanzibaris do not want to see carvings,particularly human figurines.
Winding up the debate on his Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports, Mbarouk said the department of culture has assured him that the business will be reduced by the end of this year. The carvings include the famous Makonde carvings from southern Tanzania mainland and from neighbouring Kenya now widely sold in tourists’ areas including Zanzibar town, but local people and legislators are unhappy with the sale of wood carvings, saying it is against Zanzibar culture.
He, however, said we need alternative business to replace the vinyago, “Let us produce good souvenirs made in Zanzibar which tourists and other visitors can buy when visiting Zanzibar. The carvings mainly sold by youths from Tanzania mainland and Kenya have been one of the major businesses in Zanzibar for tourists, overshadowing few traditional souvenirs made in the islands.