SME operator, proud to be Papua New Guinean
Gilbert Woimba and small business owner who operates APMA Carvers, says he puts Papua New Guinea first and the rest of the opportunities in business fall into place.
PORT MORESBY- Local carver eyes APEC as a stage for cultural and talent exposure
Gilbert Woimba is a joiner by trade who also operates APMA Carvers, a small Port Moresby business with a focus on wood carvings. Woimba has carved for over a decade, but he believes that his success is due to putting Papua New Guinea and the customer first and letting the rest of the opportunities in business fall into place.
“Expatriates buy my artwork through the internet. They email a picture of what they want, and then I carve or craft it and send to them,” says Woimba, who sells the carvings in whatever currency the purchaser wishes to use.
“I can only export items that have no issues with customs. So items that I make are usually from deer horns and non-natural fibres, then I export to customers in Dubai and Brisbane.”
Woimba uses natural paints from the soil and sand to provide the rich colours that suffuse the natural wood, which he then smothers with charcoal drawn from the fire, sealing the carving in the artist’s style.
“I would like the delegates and visitors to see that Papua New Guinea has skilful and talented people who can create such beautiful artwork with our bare hands without the use of machines.”
Most importantly to Woimba, APEC provides the unique opportunity to showcase not only this artwork, but also the traditions that supply cultural meaning to them.
“I am here promoting my culture from Angoram, East Sepik,” says Woimba. “My art is known as story boards which tell the folk lore of my father’s people of Kambot, and my mum who hails from Grassland.”
“I am not here to earn money, but I am here to showcase my culture and represent my country while promoting my talent and skills as a carver to the international community,” he added, in anticipation for the upcoming event. During the recent APEC Informal Senior Officials Meeting (ISOM) in December last year, Gilbert was invited as a participant in the business stalls to showcase his art and crafts. He said the APEC meetings provide a stage for local talent exposure, and this to him, was more than what money could buy due to the opportunities it allows for Woimba and others to express their pride in Papuan culture.
“We need recognition from the respective authorities to see the value that our little contributions to this big event can gain economic interest in PNG. We the SME operators can then be able to have a revenue of supporting our business.”
For enquiries into his products, Gilbert can be contacted on: 75530476 or email: Aquinnagilbert39@gmail.com