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NOVICA Artisan Justina Botwey

Justina Botwey

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My intense love for art began when I was a child and I saw one of my uncles drawing at Cape Coast. He drew beautiful portraits but I never dared to practice because I thought art would be difficult.

I was born in Elmina on Ghana's Cape Coast. It's a beautiful seaside area and was the seat of government until the capitol was moved to Greater Accra. We believe we have the best schools in the country and my parents believed so strongly in education that I never missed out in school. I attended Catholic schools for girls.

"I'm the only child of the Reverend Newlove Kofi Eshun and Reverend Mrs. Esther Barbara Eshun. My parents are very humble and loyal, and that has been my yardstick in life — to always be loyal to people. I am known to be hardworking, honest and disciplined.

"The lessons I learned from my parents were to be truthful and honest with everyone, even children. I intend to pass these values on to my children, so they also become loyal people.

"My parents paved way for me to stay with my grandmother. Growing up as a child was fun because she used to pamper me a lot. She treated me with love and care.

"I studied journalism but my intense love for art led me to jewelry. I started practicing it when I saw my cousin making a beaded necklace, which caught my attention. When she saw my interest, she quickly taught me and I found it easy to learn. I use materials like recycled glass and gemstones, and find inspiration in nature.

"Today, I'm married with a child and my husband encourages me to do more. He even helps out with some of the design ideas. Since my child is still a baby I make sure I get her to sleep before concentrating on my work.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to show you my designs. I dream of one day becoming a great entrepreneur."