“Greetings! My name is Eric Kwafo. My friends say that I am hardworking and very honest. I was born in 1979 to Mr. Emmanuel Kwafo, a quantity surveyor, and Gladys Afari, who is a seamstress. I am the last born of four children–two boys and two girls. I was raised in Aburi, a town in the Akuapim South Municipal District of the eastern region of south Ghana, famous for the Aburi Botanical Gardens.
“My parents believe in education, and they proved this by educating my siblings and me up to the tertiary level. I studied Basic Education in tertiary school. Currently, I am a trained teacher, teaching Basic Design and Technology at the junior high school level. I am married with two children–a boy and a girl. My wife is a caterer and she is currently living in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti region of Ghana. My family is very supportive.
“Aburi is home to some of the finest artisans in Ghana, and being raised there, I grew up seeing some of the finest arts on display by the roadside and at the Aburi Art Village. So, right from the start, I knew I would be an artist one day. Around 1994, I decided not to sleep on my passion and drive to become an artist. I love and believe in creativity, which is why I chose art. As we all know, art comes with meaning, therefore we can read and understand the crafts of artisans.
“I started wood carving by undergoing apprenticeship for two years to learn finishing techniques and later learned how to carve pieces from my brother-in-law, which I must say was a nice experience. In 2014, I acquired my own shop. Aside from crafts, I love teaching, so I have plans to further my education. I am a jack of all trades! I am able to juggle teaching and managing my shop. I have taught this craft to three people, who are now making a living from it. This brings me great joy.
“I use wood, leather, dye, acrylic paint, and polish. These materials are readily available on the market. Finishing the pieces is my favorite thing about my craft. I take inspiration from friends and nature when crafting my designs.”
“Starting out on my own wasn’t easy at all. I had to raise capital single-handedly to buy my own shop. Life is full of mountains, and we must learn to climb them. I remember being disappointed by a business partner, which almost made stop my craft business, but I thank God that I was able to pull myself together and remain in the crafting business.
“Aside from passing on my knowledge and skills to future generations, I dream of growing my business so that my crafts can be international. Speaking of going international, a colleague at the Aburi Art Village spoke to me about NOVICA, saying that it is a platform that sells and markets art products. Since I want to showcase my crafts at the international level, I took the opportunity to join. I am excited, since I know that the NOVICA platform will help me advertise my products and make more money.”