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NOVICA Artisan Samuel Okyere

Samuel Okyere

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"I have been creating art for many years. I progressed from a carver and finisher to adding metal work and making drums. I love to sketch, so I create my own designs. Sometimes through dreams I get ideas or inspiration. I learned a great lesson in life, that is not to depend on anyone, and to be disciplined, which has helped my personal life.

"I take care of my nephew and niece, because my elder sister passed on. I used to own a cocoa farm in the Central region. I learned how to farm from my grandmother, who was also a farmer. After the trees on the farm are grown, there isn't much to do except when they yield twice a year. I needed extra resources to help support my nephew and niece, and this led me to go into art. I realized not a lot of people were into carving, so I decided to buy carving tools and started with sanding and polishing.

"My major challenge is the ability to meet timelines but, frankly speaking, you have been very helpful in promoting my art and I have made up my mind to focus all my attention on you to give you my utmost best.”

Original Artisan Story

"I was born on February 16, 1951 at Aburi-Akwapim. I attended the Methodist Primary School, also at Aburi, and then furthered my studies up at the Nsawam LA Middle School in 1965. I then enrolled at the Accra Workers College in 1972 for six years of commerce, accounting, economics, geography, and other general arts.

"Before then I was working with the Ghana Standard Chartered Bank as a messenger. But I realized I could do much better things with my life so, in 1981, I decided to go into the arts, especially carving. I didn't really undergo any actual training, but started carving bit by bit and sometimes sought help from my other colleagues. I sometimes served as a helping hand to some of my colleagues when they had a heavy workload upon them. Through this, my interest in arts — and especially carving — was generated. However, through this minor assistance that I received, I became very skilled in carving. I then decided to settle for full-time carving and depend solely on my own ideas to carve.

"I have three men whom I'm currently training, and sometimes I have workers I pay on a part time basis."