Born in Kwahu Atibie, the Eastern part of Ghana, Ms. Hannah Akomeah is a young Ghanaian carpenter lady who turns used car tires into beautiful home furniture. She is an SHS graduate based in Nkawkaw who has trained many people in this craft-work. She attended the Atibie Methodist primary and JSS School. She later attended the Mpraso Senior High school but couldn’t complete her high school. Hannah Akomeah started her company which involves recycling old car tires into beautiful furniture using African prints, ropes, and anything she lay her hands on if it’s fit to use for her production.
The climate crisis is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, and people are not ready for it. While the crisis has many factors that play a role in its exacerbation, some warrant more attention than others like Food Waste, Biodiversity Loss, Plastic Pollution, Deforestation., Air Pollution, and more,
“Thinking of saving the environment, because I always see car tires lying around in gutters, breeding mosquitoes to bring malaria, and burning them to pollute the air and when we breath in can cause sickness, I got the idea to make furniture with the car tire. It’s my ideas which no one taught me,” she told Salone Messenger during an online interview via WhatsApp.
Hannah Akomeah felt her creative idea will not only give her money but also ensure that the environment is safe for all. After she did her first design using used car tyres and turning them into the beautiful home furniture, she posted it on social media to raise awareness about her business, and raise awareness of climate change and global warming, and also get clients.
“I did the first one in red and white colors and posted it on my Facebook page, people saw it to be very beautiful and had one person asking me to do two for her. I did and sent it to her, and it was there that I got to know I can do it as a side business because when I started it I was working at the bank,” she told Salone Messenger.
What makes her design more catchy is the African prints she is using; especially the popular Ghanaian fabric, kente.
At Salone Messenger, I had an interview with her to share her compelling and inspiring story.
Sallu Kamuskay: How do you compare the prices of your furniture compared to your furniture? ( are they cheaper?)
Hannah Akomeah: “Prices my furniture is less expensive compared to the normal furniture made with wood. Because I don’t buy the tires, I go for them from vulcanizers and they are the old tires which have been rejected by drivers.”
Sallu Kamuskay: What are the challenges you face?
Hannah Akomeah: “Some of the challenges I face are transportation.
Because transportation is high at my place, that even when I get order and I finish with them, my small profit some might have gone into transportation because anytime I go to the market I have to take dropping to transport the goods to my shop. And they price higher amount.
I wish to have my small car one day so that it will help me do my work with ease.
Secondly, most people outside Ghana show interest in buying and learning, but how to transport the goods, and come to those countries to teach people are the problem.”
Sallu Kamuskay: How is it like training young people? Who are the set of young people are training? Is it free or people pay to learn?
Hannah Akomeah: “I feel good impacting my knowledge to others.
As a young girl, if I’ve been able to come up with an idea that is helping me financially and not depend on guys, I aim to train my fellow ladies and gentlemen so they can also do something on their own to generate income and not to be dependent on anyone, and to reduce unemployment in my country.
I train everyone, both young and old, males and females. They pay for the training because it’s my ideas I’m ‘selling’ to people.”
Sallu Kamuskay: Do you wish to establish this initiative in nearby countries? How do you wish to do that?
Hannah Akomeah: “I wish to establish this initiative in other countries too, but now I don’t have any idea how I can do that, so if anyone can help me with how to go about it I’ll be grateful.”