African masks, wood sculptures and djembe drums in West Africa
"My favorite thing about this craft is making people happy with my creations."Update (July, 2019)
“The 4 years of being part of NOVICA have been the best years ever. In selling my products on the NOVICA platform, I have seen a lot of marvelous changes in terms of production, finances and my family life. Family-wise, I have been able to cater for my own children’s education to the Tertiary level, as well as other children's education.
“While enjoying success with NOVICA, I have also had some challenges, like trying to get land to plant my own trees for wood. It has been very difficult; the price of land is very expensive or not available at all. Now my focus is to target a place far away from Accra to purchase less expensive land. By acquiring the land, I can grow my own trees to obtain wood for carving; that’s a way of encouraging afforestation. I know with time I will be able to acquire land to start my tree planting efforts.
“What I have noticed with NOVICA is that once you get diligent with the business you will certainly grow. My sales have increased by 100% over the past year. Previously I was working in Accra, but now I have expanded to the Eastern region. I only do finishing in Accra. I have four permanent employees, with one of them being physically challenged.
“It’s overwhelming how NOVICA has changed my life for the better, to the extent that my children are graduating from the university. Because of my diligence and creativity, I have a client in Japan who always makes sure he has my products in his shop.”
Original Artisan Story
"My name is Christopher Nyasafo and I was born in Accra. I like to carve wood. Growing up in Accra, I developed a passion for carving. I learned from many teachers like Louis Botchway. I started by helping out with errands outside of the workshop. Gradually, I started to cut logs, then sanding and finishing pieces. Over time, I learned to love this craft.
"I create sculptures, masks and musical instruments. I use osese wood, soot, cola nuts and acrylic paints. I am inspired by colors, the environment and other artists. My favorite thing about this craft is making people happy with my creations.
"I earned a business degree because I knew that I could get further with an education the more I pursued this art. It was very difficult and time-consuming starting out on my own. Getting information about where to get funds to start and sell my creations hasn’t been easy.
"I now teach six assistants in my workshop, and I hope to have more beginners who are willing to learn. I mastered this craft by being willing to learn from my instructors, working hard and being trustworthy. My craft has been a source of income to my assistants who are now taking care of their homes and children. Even the food vendors who come to sell to my workers take the remaining scraps of wood to use as firewood for those who can't afford to buy charcoal or gas.
"My hope is to establish a modern workshop outside of Accra to accommodate and train young people interested in woodcarving. My dream is to establish a farm which will be the main source of my raw materials."