Winners of the photography competition: “Capturing Cocoa”, received a total of SB$7,400 worth of prizes on 14 June 2019.

The competition—hosted by Strongim Bisnis, an Australian Government initiative, and the local youth creative centre, DreamCast Theatre—encouraged Solomon Islanders to take photographs of women, youth and people living with disability, working in the cocoa sector. The competition attracted 17 entries, mostly from youth, exhibiting both their talent and passion for photography.

Australian High Commission Secondary Secretary Economic, Cass Grant stated that “the Australian Government is strongly committed to supporting women, youths and people living with disability through initiatives that bring about expanded economic opportunities. The ‘Capturing Cocoa’ competition utilised the powerful medium of photography to showcase stories of women, youth and people living with a disability working in the cocoa sector. In Solomon Islands, women make a significant contribution to the cocoa sector in the various stages of production and processing. It is important that their contribution to the Solomon Islands economy is acknowledged and made visible.”

The photography competition was held from 24 May to 6 June 2019 to coincide with the 2019 SolChoc Festival. The Festival—which was supported by the Australian Government and Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock—celebrated the Solomon Islands cocoa sector with technical talks, industry networking events, a chocolate tasting night and a cocoa cooking demonstration in Honiara from 3 to 6 June 2019.

Daniel Kakadi, who was the competition’s overall winner, accumulated the most votes in total over all three competition categories and won a SB$1000 cash prize. Kakadi said “thank you very much to Dreamcast Theatre Solomon Islands and Strongim Bisnis for recognising… local talented photographers… for me, this was actually a milestone where I use[d] my passion in photography to contribute and advocate for change on issues that is [sic] affecting our nation through the photos I capture.”

Kakadi also won the social media category, in which the public casted over 1,600 votes for the best photograph on the Facebook page PhotoUp. Kakadi was awarded a SB$700 prize, along with the subject of the photo, Diana Korasi, who also won $SB700. Kasiano Keir and the subject of his photograph Mariana, won the judges award and each received a cash prize of SB$1500. Zahiyd Namo and the photograph’s subject Tonu Namo, each won SB$1000 for the photography exhibition category.

Over 100 members of the public voted in person during the photography exhibition held at the National Auditorium on 6 June 2019, the last day of the 2019 SolChoc Festival. The overall cash prize was provided by DreamCast Theatre; while the social media, judges choice and exhibition prizes for photographers and their subjects were provided by Strongim Bisnis.

Strongim Bisnis is an Australian Government funded program that supports growth in the cocoa, coconut and tourism sectors with a strong focus on women’s economic empowerment. Strongim Bisnis works with businesses, industry and government to strengthen industry links, help businesses innovate, build commercial resilience and manage market risks.

Source: Strongim Bisnis