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NOVICA Artisan Francis Agbete

Francis Agbete

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My name is Francis Agbete and I come from a family of traditional wood carvers. I was born December 28, 1976 in a suburb of Accra. I attended the Vakpo Secondary Technical Institute from 1994 to 1996, and upon graduation I enrolled at the Accra Poly-Technical Institute to read Mechanical Technician course grade two. While at school, funding was becoming a difficulty. So during weekends and vacations, I would visit my father's wood carving workshop and assist him by carving some products for sale. I have always helped my father when he's needed me, so coming to assist my father at the workshop at this time of my educational career was not a new job for me.

The realization eventually dawned on me to stay on, work on my own designs, and display my own woodcarvings so that I could earn enough to support my education. I ventured and opened a workshop at the Craft Village near the Tetteh Quarshie Circle. Managing and controlling the operations of the shop was becoming a problem since, as a student, I needed more time for my studies than for my carving jobs. To solve this problem, I explained this idea both to my sister, Mary Agbete and my cousin, Stephen Agbete and asked them about the possibility of looking after the workshop and selling the items I carved while I was at school. They agreed.

"This arrangement has continued to work until now. We opened a new workshop, and not only do I exhibit my own work, but there's my father's work too. The workshop has become a family business that caters to diverse customers including expatriate staffs, tourists and hospitality companies.

"My family and I have showcased our designs at various wood fairs and international exhibitions such as the Ghana International Wood Product Fair, FESTAC and the International Festival for Arts and Culture, in Burkina Faso."