Let us introduce you to Mohammed!
Mohammed is our newest team member from our family of local artisans in Ghana who make our beautiful and unique packaging designs.
Mohammed is joining our Africana Skincare family with a new use of material and a new technique which we are really excited to tell you about!
Read on to find out about the new material we are incorporating into our packaging.
Mohammed is originally from Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti region of Ghana. He learned the craft in the 80s era at school when crafts (such as sewing, carpentry, weaving, etc) was a compulsory subject in Ghanaian education. During that era it was believed that learning a variety of crafts could aid you in your future development by giving you access to a larger variety of professional paths to make money. As technology is taking over and influences from the Western world are stronger, handwork in Ghana is losing power & visibility, one of the main reasons we love to collaborate with local artisans who are still in this business.
After traveling around various African countries and learning more of the craft, he settled down in Accra in 2008 with his family and has been here ever since.
New material integrated in our packaging design: cane!
Mohammed specialises in various materials, all from a similar plant species; rattan, cane, bamboo and raffia (he also tends to work with steel and other metals). Out of these, cane will be the material we incorporate into our packaging design, by offering a fourth design which would be the calabash with a cane cover design (very similar to our raffia covers handmade by Ike).
Growing in the Western Region of Ghana, cane is actually a specific part of rattan, which is removed from the outer “bark” part of the rattan tree. Cane is not as porous as rattan, so it can stand up against water and does well in damp environments.
To see the technique Mohammed uses in our cane cover production, you can watch his Youtube interview here.
Mohammed loves his work. It allows him to put his creativity skills into practice and as he tells us, to create something that no one would have expected that could have been created using those specific materials.
“It depends what you put your mind on, so its important you learn how to use more than one material and technique”
He goes on by telling us about a key element into surviving within the craftsmanship sector in Ghana. It is really important to learn how to use various materials and various techniques, as opposed to just one, reason why he specialises in various materials as we explained earlier on. This will open up more doors and opportunities to work and be able to maintain the family.
He also tells us that the job can be stressful at times. This is due to unavailability of the materials or lack of finance to be able to purchase it (something very common in Ghana). This is something that delays work and requires a lot of patience.
At Africana skincare, we are really happy and proud to work with Mohammed and be able to showcase some of his amazing talent to the rest of the world!
If you would like to get to know Mohammed better, watch our English subtitled interview below were he speaks about himself, the materials and the craft.