Nana Frimpong is the chief carver for the king of the Ashanti. Frimpong's artistry has been featured on BBC's The World, Business Week, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post.
Nana Frimpong is the chief carver for the king of the Ashanti. Frimpong's artistry has been featured on BBC's The World program, and in periodicals including Business Week, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post.
"I feel close to you because, since we began working together, I've been able to realize my dream of providing my children with an education. I have also acquired two cars as well as some land, where I plant cocoa — all of this thanks to you. I have gained a lot of respect from members in my community and, what's more, people who once disrespected the carving profession have now had a change of mind after seeing the benefits. Now that I'm over 60, I consider my relationship with you as my retirement plan. Thank you!"
Original Artisan Story
"I am currently the chief carver for the king of the Ashanti, because of my great ability in carving. Some of my work for the king includes objects with the gye nyame symbol for the supremacy of God, stools, staffs and other royal and ceremonial objects. I have trained and qualified some ten men in the art of skilled carving. I draw inspiration from traditional kente cloth designs, from my family background, and from our rich Ashanti tradition."
"After leaving school I took up carving as a trainee under my father, Kojo Duah. Later, Professor Ablade Glover of the University of Science and Technology spotted my work. I ended up staying under this man's tutelage from 1970 to 1972, compiling additional skills and experience through his direction and guidance. This led me to decide to establish my own workshop.
"I would like the outside world, especially those who buy my works, to know that Ghana has a lot to offer – not only in terms of human resources, but also very good products and artwork like the designs that I create. Every carving that I make has a message; we hope that people will enjoy and appreciate the messages of our culture.
"My dream has always been to invest in my children's education. I am happy to say that this is now possible – two of my sons are in the university, the first of our family to obtain a higher education. My other primary goal is to help my community, so that the poverty that plagues them will be eradicated completely. Above all, I wish to help make it possible for peace and tranquility to prevail in my community and the nation of Ghana as a whole.
"My advice to the world is that we should as a matter of urgency stop all wars so as to make the world a better place for everybody to live in. If we all cherished hard work and dedicated ourselves to our professions, the world would be a more peaceful place."