[ Techiman, Ghana ]
With my new visa extension and some financial emergencies to sort out, I am lingering a few days here in Techiman. In addition to lots of email writing, I’ve had a chance to run long-overdue errands—including a trip to the tailor to repair the shorts I use for riding.
Pure chance deposited me at Yorkee Fashion Design, a mid-sized garment producer tucked away in the city’s sprawling central market. The shop was unremarkable from the outside—simply the first storefront I spotted with sewing machines after emerging from a small alley off the main bus stop. Inside I found a gaggle of young women working earnestly, and laughing almost as hard as they toiled—particularly after I made my entrance. The vibe was more Women’s Boarding School than Fashion Shop.
Over the next two days I returned three times—the last time with my camera in tow.
The ladies (and gentleman) range in age from eighteen to thirty-three years, and most have been employed in this shop for three years. Most come here for technical training after completing General Studies at a local college, and a strong familial atmosphere pervades the workplace. These people are fond of one another, and seem to genuinely enjoy their work. They are gregarious, hopeful, curious, and bright—I feel lucky to have made their acquaintance.
I hope they will forgive me for not being able to put all their names to the appropriate faces (yet), but I can at least introduce the full group here:
Diane (they call her “madame” as she manages the shop; she’s the oldest, at 33)
Agyei (28)—the only man working here aside from the owner
The rest of the ladies, in no particular order, are Tayiteba (22), Akosua (28), Nyarko (18), Mary (20), Boatemaa (21), Abiba (26), and Esther (22).
The following images suffer somewhat from my mishandling of the interior light sources (and some ongoing focus SNAFUs with my new camera), but I trust you can still get an idea of these charming, charismatic folks and the energy of their workplace.