Abdul Salami Amadu
African masks and carvings in West Africa
"The most challenging part of this craft is when am designing my work, and the nicest part is when I mix colors or use colors to paint.""I started doing this when I completed junior high school and couldn't further my education because of financial constraints. While in junior high, I was living in a part of Accra where there are a lot of carvers and I normally assisted them in sandpapering masks and other carvings. This got me interested in woodcarving, and I also did well in art classes at school.
"I was born on August 27, 1979, in Accra. My friends describe me as very cool, a person who loves art and making designs. I especially enjoy designing bowls.
"Right after graduation, I worked in a shoe firm with long hours but very little pay. I did not feel happy with what I was doing. I decided to go back and assist the carvers. Even though they couldn't pay me much, I felt happy and satisfied, and was glad to go to work with each new day.
"I saved the money I was earning for materials until I finally decided to start on my own in 2002. At first, I created masks and sold them at fairs in Togo, Burkina-Faso and Benin. Practicing continuously let me perfect my technique.
"The most challenging part of this craft is when am designing my work, and the nicest part is when I mix colors or use colors to paint. I have no one helping me — I do this work all by myself. My inspiration comes from the things I see around me.
"My hope is to become an excellent designer. My plans for the future are to train more people. My dream is to perhaps one day make history."