Grace Bernice Buamah
Traditional beaded African jewelry in West Africa
"I remember that when I started working with ceramic beads, people made fun of me for wanting to revive the lost heritage of our forefathers. I'm happy I stayed on this course."“Greetings lovely people! My name is Grace Buamah. I was born in 1979 in Ho, the capital city of the Volta region of Ghana. My friends say that I am friendly, humble, and generous. I am the first born child of four. My parents are farmers; my dad doubles as a pastor and my mom as a jeweler. They are very loving, caring, and supportive. Because I was their first child, I had to sacrifice my schooling to care for myself and support my family. I was married and I have two daughters, but now I am divorced..
“My life’s journey has not been all that smooth for me. At one point I was jobless and went through really tough financial difficulties. But, through ceramic jewelry, I have overcome those difficulties, and I am very proud of that.
“I once visited a museum and saw an old piece jewelry made of ceramic and was greatly attracted to it. At the time, my mom was making similar jewelry. I got interested in this craft because I wanted to increase the production of jewelry made from ceramic. So, I decided to understudy with my mom in order to perfect the craft. Then I decided to teach two groups of Adidome and Lolobi women from the Volta Region, who now make a living from their craft.
“I primarily use clay, which is quite difficult to work with. We have to dig into the earth, extracting the clay from the soil. Molding the clay into beads takes a lot of time.
“I get my inspiration from nature. I remember that when I started working with ceramic beads, a lot of people were making fun of me for wanting to revive the lost heritage of our forefathers. I’m happy I stayed on this course and didn’t give in to their mockery.
“My dream is to reveal the lost talent and wisdom of our ancestors, while creating jobs for women in my community. I usually sell my products at programs and fairs. I am very happy about the platform that Novica is giving me. Not only do I look forward to making more money, but I also look forward to showcasing the heritage of my ancestors for the rest of the world.”