Hand-carved African masks in West Africa
"I use brass, aluminum, wood and recycled glass beads in my work. My hope is to work hard and expand my workshop to train more people in my community.""I was born in Accra. My friends describe me as a hardworking, honest and creative person. I craft African masks and wood carvings.
"During my school days, I sold paper bags to pay for my education because there was no money and I didn't want to drop out. I sold them throughout my years in school, which was a very difficult period. I'm happy I was able to overcome it.
"One funny moment was when I fell in love with a beautiful girl and I was afraid to tell her. One day, I sent a friend of mine to call her for me so I could tell her my feelings. When she came over to talk to me, I lost my nerve and told her my mother was calling her.
"I've enjoyed art since I was a child. I was very good at drawing and painting. After junior high school, I learned how to design and paint beads. Once I had learned, I then taught many others.
"Starting out on my own as an artisan was very hard because I didn't have any financial support. I carved the designs that came to mind and I realized people appreciated them. This encouraged me to keep going despite the challenges I was facing.
"I enjoy the uniqueness of my designs and how I translate an image onto a piece of wood. The most challenging aspect of my work is marketing my creations.
"I'm inspired by the master artisan who taught me this work. I use brass, aluminum, wood and recycled glass beads in my designs. The wood quality and its finish are the characteristics I seek.
"I've been able to train six people so far. My hope is to work hard and expand my workshop to train more people in my community."