Bright Kofi Agbetey
Hand-carved sculptures in West Africa
"I earned very well at this market through the sale of my work, which afforded me the opportunity to further my education, and also assist my younger siblings through school.""I am a wood carver who is objective and respectful. Bright Kofi Agbetey is my name, and I was born on 9th January 1981 in Accra.
"I started to learn the skill of carving at age 12 when I’d go to visit my father, Mr. Samuel Komla Agbetey at his workshop when I returned from school. I observed closely what he and his team made and I must admit I was surprised at how they could turn wood into such beautiful items. I developed an interest in knowing more and also willing to learn how I could try my hands at it. Gradually I was taken through the basic training. I was a business student in senior high school but upon completion, my father could not further my education due to financial reasons. Since I had learned how to carve, I decided to veer into that rather than be an idealist.
"I worked with my father at his workshop for about three years. During this period, I was allowed to sell the items I could craft and this offered me the opportunity to buy my own tools to be able to set up on my own.
"I finally got a place of my own in a location where lots of people including foreigners come to purchase hand-carved items. I earned very well at this market through the sale of my work, which afforded me the opportunity to further my education, and also assist my younger siblings through school. Through this craft I have been able to build a shelter for my family.
"I have also had the opportunity to train several students who study art in school and wanted to improve skills whiles still schooling.
"My inspiration comes from my wife, children and friends. My hopes, plans and dreams for the future are to build an art and crafts college where interested youths can be trained to improve their living standard in the country."