“I’m affectionately called Felix. My friends describe me as good, quiet, and respectful. I am also a hardworking individual. I was born in 1985, hailing from the most beautiful region in Ghana: Aburi, the land of tourists, where all manner of beautiful scenery can be found. Located in the eastern part of Ghana, Aburi has one of the coolest climates, earning it the nickname ‘Small London.’
“I grew up with my parents and my siblings. I am the sixth child of eight. My parents were very hardworking farmers. Not all of my siblings completed junior high school. My siblings and I couldn’t climb the educational ladder due to financial constraints. I dropped out of junior high school as things became very difficult for my parents. Some of my siblings took to tailoring, and others joined in the carving business. I took to carving at a very young age in order to make a little money.
“I learned how to carve from my master, David Maha, in the Aburi Craft Village between 1998 and 2000. The training I had with my master made me very tough. Unfortunately, I didn’t complete my training. In the year 2000, I left my master to learn more about carving from some close friends of mine who also worked in the Craft Village. I learned how to carve and finish wood pieces. By my late twenties, I had a shop where I displayed and sold my finished pieces.
“I have been carving for 20 years now. I love the lucrative nature of my skill, and I have a strong passion for art. I design sculptures made from sese wood polished with potassium. I use chisels and other carving tools. I also use brushes for painting the carved pieces. After the wood is obtained, it is divided into sections. From these sections, we carve our pieces. Carving tools of different shapes are sharpened prior to carving. The design in mind is transferred onto the wood with a pencil, and with the use of carving tools, the design is carved out of the wood. Then, the carved piece is allowed to dry out in an open space, removing excess moisture. Sanding is the next step, giving the piece a smooth finish. The final stage is applying polish, or in some cases, acrylic paint. The piece is then ready for sale. I use quality materials, which give me good outcomes.
“My primary goal is to be able to raise and care for my family. I’m now married with a baby boy. My wife, Winifred, is currently unemployed, which is why I am working relentlessly to take care of my family. Winifred stays home to take care of our baby boy, and when she is out of things to do, she visits my shop to learn how to carve as well.
“So far, I have taught my wife and one other man how to carve and finish. My wife is now able to help out in the shop; while I carve, she helps with the finishing. I’m still open-minded to helping others who come my way. These days, the youth have lost the will to learn this skill; most of them are interested in white-collar jobs. My mission is to help youths learn to be self-employed rather than working for people. Because of this, I teach carving for free.
“I have always known Novica as a place for crafts and artists, but I have just been waiting for the right time when I have enough great samples. Now is the time. I’m hoping to enjoy this opportunity at Novica and become known internationally.”