I was born into a family of very high achievers. My siblings and cousins had the knack of overcoming any challenges they confronted. I was different. I was always the dreamer in the pack and I lived in a world of my imagination. I found solace with crayons, chalk and paper and that was my escape. Thankfully, my three siblings brought home the A’s in Math and Science our parents demanded of us and that freed me to truly be myself.
I was very fortunate to have an educationist as a mother. She took notice of my creativity and ability to transform anything I laid my hands on. It dawned on her at a very early stage in my life that I processed everything differently.
May 2000, when I registered my company was the year Ghana underwent democratic change. The country also went through major economic transformation at the same time.
As Accents and Art evolved, it became clearer to me that I also had to evolve. We were awarded very high profile contracts both privately and publicly. I was eager to learn from the experienced industry professionals that I met along the way. I learned to be humble to pick up skills from the artisans I worked with as well as to upgrade myself with managerial skills.
Today, I stand here as part of this transformation. I wish to see a change in how art and design are taught in all schools. I am convinced that design and technical skills are part of the foundation on which countries develop. They flourish when we take responsibility for them.
If Ghana should develop to the level of Morocco in the North and Botswana in the South, then we should nurture the next generation of engineers, designers, artists and artisans.
This is what we are determined to do in the Art and Design Institute.
The Art and Design Institute will be a first class institution where students have access to state of state-of-art tools and the right caliber of teaching staff. They should be able to collaborate and exchange ideas with their peers from Ashesi University, Stanford Design School in USA or The Berlin University of the Arts in Germany.
Today I wish to express my deep gratitude for the many, many people and institutions who helped me to get here. I share this day with my colleagues in industry, my alliances in academia and fellow artists. You are part of the reason for this day. Working besides you and forming partnerships with you allowed me to recognize what we can achieve together as a nation.