For over two decades now, the Akwaaba Portrait with inscriptions ” Greetings from Nana” and “Akwaaba” which bears the picture of a lady dressed in pure Ghanaian Kente with beads around her neck, whiles pouring palm wine from a pot into a calabash has been seen at every corner in the country.
The simple, but very innovative and creative portrait, has been in existence over eighteen years and is seen in most offices and places in Ghana. Other marketers also sell copies of it at their various shops and now seen in most parts of the world.
Angelina Nana Akua Oduro who happens to be the lady in the “Akwaaba” portrait, shares her story and experience.
” I took the picture around 18 to 19 years. It’s been a long time since I took that picture and within a few weeks it went viral. It was just like magic and I was…..sometimes I tell my friends that, around that time there wasn’t something like social media. So it just went viral on its own. It’s just wonderful” she said.
Upon the portrait gaining much recognition now, Nana Akua makes an appeal. “I want to make an appeal to meet the President and the Ministry of Tourism because it is my face, my picture that has been used but I am not being recognized” she concluded.
In an interview with the brain behind the concept, Mr Joe Osae expressed his pleasure. “People used to tell me, ” Anfa” ( It didn’t work out), and I had to do that more than five times. And all that, do you know how much it cost to do colour separation that time? After doing all that, people will tell me it didn’t go well. Then one day, I was sitting here and I had a call that, Joe, “Now people are liking the work”.
Mr Osae explained he mixed some white powders to get the colour of the palm wine. ” I had to go and look for the Black Kuru to buy. And the clothes I didn’t have money for, so I had to buy the printed Kente. People will come from Ivory Coast and the airport and tell me they have seen my work” he added.
Having admitted that he had no idea the portrait was going to come this far, he stressed that, yes it is time for Ghanaians to recognize the artwork.
By: Clement Annor | Active TV Follow on Twitter @activetvgh