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NOVICA Artisan Esther Narh

Esther Narh

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My name is Esther Narh and I was born in Accra in 1995. I create jewelry, and my friends say I'm creative, persistent and responsible.

Starting out wasn't easy because I had to make and sell milk toffee candy to raise money to buy materials. It was a challenging time because I couldn't focus on what I love — crafting jewelry with my own hands.

"An embarrassing moment was when I was in high school and smuggled food for some younger students because they had misbehaved during dinner. I took balls of kenkey — a Ghanaian dish made of corn — and put them in my pocket, but one of my teachers saw me. The teacher made me lie on the floor with the kenkey in my hands and I had to tell everyone passing by that the food was found in my pocket.

"I taught myself how to create designs and showed my siblings my work so that they'd help me choose my best designs. Now, I work on my own.

"The best part about creating jewelry are the materials because they're easy to use. The most challenging part is creating new designs.

"I'm inspired by my own work and the desire to be able to continue my studies. Creating jewelry helps people in my community to value traditional arts and crafts.

"I hope to create jobs for the people in my community and inspire others to create traditional West African beaded jewelry."