First of all, after my national service teaching in Ghana, I involved myself in my families’ traditional occupation, which was domestic animal trading. I traded animals like cattle, sheep, goats and even ducks. That was what I used to do, bringing these animals from our village to the city. I used to sell them in the market and sometimes to restaurants.
However, besides this I also concentrated on my professional skills which are graphic designing and painting. I should also mention that I have a background in theology and comparative religion – focusing on Christianity, Islam and traditional African religions. But back to my main passion – art. I started working with graphics and painting in primary school. I used to do basic thread designs and some paintings. In fact, lots of paintings. When I got to junior secondary school, I had to upgrade my skills. It was that time that I leant more deeply about painting.
When I got to senior secondary school, computers were becoming more common in my country. So I decided to do art through computers. I used Corel Draw and other software’s. After I completed my senior secondary school I got admission to a college. Unity College of Art and Theology in Accra. It was there that I started making paintings and handicrafts for sale. I also used to teach some students about handcrafts, sometimes working in private schools teaching children drawing, painting and graphic design. My family knew of these skills I had. But I didn’t get any permanent employment in this field. Though these were the skills and passions I had, what I primarily did for money was my livestock trade.
As I previously said this was the traditional occupation within my family. Let me tell you a brief history of my families’ professions. My grandfather was the chief of hunters in my village in northern Ghana. Whenever they caught any animals, like antelopes, deer, grass cutters, sometimes even birds, in those days, they used to bring it to the road side and sell it to passing drivers. Those which were caught alive were sold to zoologists in the capital town. Sometimes even large snakes were sold. I remember we had skins of large snakes, antelopes, lions, leopards, anything except elephant skin. We used to keep some of these skins in our house to show that we were hunters. We also used to sell these skins to tourists. But it came to a time when my father’s side became less focused on serious hunting, mostly because of the increased forestry and environmental restrictions in Ghana. This was where my family turned back to live stock trading. This was a safe profession. This was my main profession. But art is still my main passion.