"When I became aware of my talents my spirit awakened, I moved on to look for new opportunities and made use of those I found."
"I come from a very traditional family in the Upper East Region of Ghana, and as a little girl I would go through my daily chores at home as well as running errands filled with a 'hunger' for life. I was constantly trying to figure out where I would end up living, and what I would end up doing with my life. Deep down in my heart I wanted to be a journalist but I couldn't figure out how that could be realized. This period of my life was to prepare me to handle what was ahead, but as a little girl I didn't know and obsessed on my worries.
"At an early age I became a mother and went through a lot of hardships. My family was not very supportive of my having a baby as a young woman outside of marriage. I could no longer handle the scorn and hardship so I decided to do something about it for a better life. I left my home and set off to Accra with my daughter to start a new life with virtually no money.
"In 1998, as I got off the bus in Accra with my daughter, I had only fifty cents to my name. I went through one job after the other to take care of my daughter. On my way home after work, I met an artisan and we became friends due to my interest in the arts. In my interactions with this artisan, I shared a lot of design ideas which were very good. He noticed my natural flair for crafts and encouraged me to go into the arts. I took up the challenge and started creating jewelry which turned out great. I realized it came naturally to me and it was something I could do to earn a living and take care of my daughter.
"Getting into art and crafts represented a major milestone in my life. I realized I had an innate desire to express my creativity through original and beautiful signature accessories using natural materials. When I became aware of my talents my spirit awakened, I moved on to look for new opportunities and made use of those I found. I started to think of what I could do for myself, rather than what somebody could do for me, and I stopped blaming others for my misfortunes.
"I continuously remind myself that the real work of our lives is to become aware and awaken to answer our calling.
"I am passionate about what I do, so I take the time to give each piece a good finish. I craft accessories that are 100% green and reflect my unique personality and quiet regal nature. My love for nature has been my inspiration and is also reflected in my designs. I use a lot of natural materials - these include wood, leather, cow horn and bone, as well as recycled glass beads. I travel throughout the West African region to source the best and right materials to bring out true African designs and culture.
"I often travel from customer to customer trying to sell my products with my office on my shoulders, so creating a studio where I can display and sell my jewelry collections is my next step to expand my venture.
"I am hopeful that I will be able to setup a workshop where I could train youths, especially the less privileged in the communities. I would like to be able to offer them employment so they can be empowered.
"While the road has not been an easy one, an ever growing client base has allowed my venture to experience a great growth too, and I attribute it to hard work, commitment, passion and a great deal of perseverance.
" Now I live in Accra with my daughter and son, and I am always ready to share and teach others. I have trained over twenty women and am also a volunteer with some NGO training programs as research officer, mentor and skill training. My ultimate mission is to share my expertise in design and skill training with as many people as possible in order to empower them to change their lives. I desire to be a model of success to the less privileged in the society through training them.
"Contributing to change and putting smiles on the faces of the youth and less privileged fulfills me as a person."
Mohd Tanveer selects vibrant colors for the design of these modern earrings. The earrings are crafted by hand with layers of papri wood (Indian elm) and are worn on sterling silver hooks. The back is a solid color.
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