Herbalists to benefit from Rwerere Enterprise and Training centre.
James Sebahash has been surviving as a herbalist and craftsman for past 30years.
As a herbalist, he treats a number of ailments including diarrhea, dislocation, malaria, tonsolites, children who fail to walk, cough and a collapsed forehead especially in children.
“My father used to do the same and I have been doing this job for the past 30 years. I started learning handicraft from my late father in 1966”, He said.
At his backyardSebahashhas a well-established bamboo farm that he planted as a source of his raw materials for his craft swork.Thissupplements on what he buys from the rest of the community.
“It takes me five days to make a basket which I sell at shs. 50,000.I sell such baskets to women who want to wed.” he said.
He explained that the process of making baskets involves preparing sticks for a day , drying them in the sun for two days and 3 days of weaving.
James Sebahashexplained that traditionally, there were no suitcases for keeping or carrying clothes for the family. During cultural functions and weddings, this handicraft baskets were and are still used during cultural functions as suitcases and safe place for keeping secrets.
“Those early days, these baskets would carry items to the king. Women keep all secrets for their husbands there. While weaving the basket I can write the name and decorate it withpapyrus”.
“When I sell the baskets and treat patients,I buy soap andpay fees for my children and meet other basic needs”, he said
He said he is never worried about the market because the market is always there and by the time he completes a basket it is already booked.
“The challenge I have is that I have tried to tell my sons to learn my work but they have refused on grounds that it is old fashioned. The other challenge is raising capital to buy enoughmaterials”. He noted.
The Tourism Officer Kisoro district Richard Munezero indicated that to keep such knowledge and skills Sebahash has been identified as a resource at the RECTC.
“He will be training community members interested in basketry and herbal treatment. The centre will also serve as a common market place for such products to local and international tourists”. He said