MAKE IN BUBUASHIE: Convo with Ghana’s top metal worker, Constance Swaniker

There’s a neighbourhood in the northwestern suburbs of Accra called Bubuashie. There’s nothing really remarkable about Bubuashie. It’s just, um, it’s just there. Of course, there are the little wooden kiosks along the narrow streets stocking provisions like most places in Accra. There used to be a factory for Ola Balm but I’m sure they too have lost out to some ointment from Shanghai.

But at the corner of Ocquaye St and Homowo Avenue, there’s something going on here… and has been for 18 years.There’s the arresting cacophony of clanging metal, cutting machines and the zzzzzz of welding equipment. It’s a metalwork factory called Accents and Art.

They make bespoke balustrades, furniture and metal art and lots more. It was established by Constance Swaniker in 1999 when she was fresh out of KNUST where she studied Art and worked as a carpenter on the side.

Carpentry and metalwork for a young woman? Definitely unusual. But she’s done it, and in a few days she’ll get a royal visit from the Queen of Denmark! So what shaped her choice of vocation? And what is like for her to work with an all-male team of employees?

I’m live today with the Iron Lady Constance Swaniker at her Bubuashie factory and gallery for a Friday evening drink. Tune in at 7pm on STARR 103.5 FM

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