The performance in Jewelry making in and around Kampala city by former Bachelor of Industrial and fine arts (BIFA) students.
Coutinho, Kayaga Gloria
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The level of popularity of jewelry among Ugandans today was clearly seen all over Kampala city given the fact that besides the imported jewelry flooding into the country, locally made jewelry was also gaining more momentum on the market. Jewelry making being a course unit offered at MTSIFA, the researcher was inspired to trace and investigate the performance of former jewelry making students of Makerere University in and around Kampala city, alongside the several other categories of jewelers in the field i.e. self-taught jewelers and those that acquired the skills from other institutions and vocational schools. The researcher was guided by the following objectives; 1. To assess the trends in jewelry making in and around Kampala city. 2. To establish the levels of production and distribution of jewelry by former BIFA students in and around Kampala city. 3. To establish the relationship between locally made and imported jewelry in and around Kampala city. 4. To determine the challenges faced by the jewelers in and around Kampala city. 5. To suggest solutions to challenges faced by jewelers. The purpose of the study therefore was to assess the performance of jewelry making in the field by former jewelry students of MTSIFA. The researcher ‘s main areas of study were places known for having many jewelry shops in and around Kampala, more so in the city center i.e. Majestic Plaza, Park view building, Park Enkadde mall and the African craft village at Dewinton road Kampala. The research design used was cross sectional and explorative in nature with a human population of 20 respondents under categories of former BIFA students (15%), other institutions (30%) and self-taught (55%). The researcher employed various data collection methods which included observation, interview photography and documentary review thus triangulation whose results contributed to the qualitative and quantitative analysis approach used by the researcher. The results that were yielded showed that BIFA students were not only scattered but were also greatly overwhelmed by the other categories of jewelers in the field of jewelry making. After several consultations, the researcher managed to trace a few former BIFA students and analyzed their work. Comparisons were generally done on grounds of materials, originality and uniqueness, portability, durability, aesthetic value and general finish of jewelry. Under trends, the researcher discovered bead work, metal work and crafts. Jewelry premises were clustered in particular areas in town. For instance, majestic plaza, park Enkadde mall and craft village. The research also indicated that importation was greater than local production. In addition, the major challenges ranged from importation tariffs, stiff competition with imported jewelry to seasonality of customers. In conclusion, it was generally discovered that bead work dominates the scene while levels of production and market share for originality are still wanting. The researcher however believes that jewelry made by former BIFA students of jewelry - making more so employing the skills and techniques acquired from the course, stood a good chance in terms of quality and professionalism, though had a few mishaps due to various circumstances that can be addressed.