“Hello! My name is Francis Adjei. I am the first child of four. I was born in Asamankese in 1985 to a beautiful pair of carvers, Samuel and Alice Addo. Asamankese is a town in the West Akim District in the eastern region of Ghana. Asamankese is a very busy place, since it serves as a market for the local folks and the people in the surrounding communities. Most of the indigenous people of Asamankese are farmers. Life there is less expensive, since the people grow and eat their own food.
“Wood carving is my craft. I use sese wood, acrylic paint, local clay, and polish. These materials are not difficult to work with and I can easily get them from the market. I come from a family full of carvers, which ignited my passion and drive for carving. I got interested in this craft at a very tender age. I used to help my dad with sandpapering his carved pieces after school at the age of ten. I also used to help my dad sell his pieces. When I was 17 years old, I would bring the pieces to Accra to sell at the art center.
“After completing junior high school, I decided to go into the craft business full-time. As the first child, I just wanted to continue the family craft. I really enjoy carving, and I must say that I was born to do this. I am a very creative and innovative person, and I love to express my uniqueness in carving. Even though I come from a family full of carvers, I had to undergo apprenticeship for three years in order to perfect the craft. My uncle, Frank Odei Amoani, taught me this craft, since my dad had moved to Accra and was no longer staying in Asamankese. He gave me deep insight into carving.
“After graduating, I was faced with the challenge of starting my own shop. It was quite a challenge getting my own place to start my business, as well as finding the money to buy the materials. But, with the support of my family and a very good friend of mine, I now have a shop of my own.
“My motivation and inspiration come from the orders I’ve received over the years. This tells me that I am doing something worthwhile and must continue. Aside from giving leftover wood pieces to women in the community to use as firewood, my shop also serves as a tourist attraction for local people and people in the surrounding communities.
“My dream is to showcase my pieces on the international market and expand my shop to employ and train others. I am so happy that Frank Odei Amoani introduced me to NOVICA. I believe that with this platform my dream of becoming an international artisan will be realized.”