Keeping in mind that handicrafts are the theme of the ongoing India International Trade Fair here, the South African Pavilion has on display a dazzling array of hand-crafted products like cushion covers, rugs and curios in Hall No. 18 of the exhibition ground.
According to Sibongile Simelane-Quntana from the Department of Trade and Industry, this is the second time South Africa is participating in IITF. “Since the trade fair's theme is ‘Indian Handicrafts: The Magic of the Gifted Hands', we decided to showcase a range of hand-crafted goods produced in our country. Through this exhibition we want the Indian people to know that South Africa is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and is teeming with wildlife. As we participated in the trade fair in 2008, we want to renew our earlier relationship with Indian entrepreneurs and those who had bought goods from our country.”
South Africa is providing a platform to local artistes and craftspersons to showcase their highly innovative and aesthetic fine art and craft products.
All the exhibited products are the latest available in markets across South Africa. “The products are in new trendy designs and colours. We are trying to match with the products available in the markets here. Before landing in New Delhi we meticulously studied the Indian market. That is the reason why we have brought an assortment of handicraft products so that we can compete with goods exhibited in Indian and foreign pavilions.”
South Africa has come with a delegation of 20 entrepreneurs and six officials led by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe.
Products made from Springbok' skin have generated a lot of buzz among visitors in the first two days. “The skin of Springbok is procured through a natural process and not through culling. We have to strictly adhere to the government policies. Only when the animal dies do we remove the animal's skin. The skin is processed in a laboratory. We ensure that the product is bacteria-free and does not contaminate human beings,” said one of the exhibitors who is displaying mobile covers and wall hangings made from springbok's skin.
An art work of wild African elephants is on sale for Rs. 78,000. A miniature zebra has been priced at Rs. 200. Other animals on display include water buffalo, lion, giraffe and ostrich.