Like several youthful gals of humble origin in Ghana, Afriyie had been apprenticed to a seamstress, the typical title for a dressmaker. She became an excellent craftswoman and practiced her craft successfully in the two Ghana and England, but when it came to taking an apprentice herself, she observed it considerably much more hard in England.
The unofficial arrangement in between a self-utilized seamstress and her apprentice, followed an recognized sample that was widely utilized throughout the casual sector of the economic system in numerous trades pursued by both guys and girls. The instruction typically lasted five decades, at the close of which the apprentice was envisioned to leave to established up her own enterprise. Exploiting a scenario in which alternate paid out work was not offered, the apprentice was compensated no wages, but was usually specified a small ‘chop money’ to purchase foodstuff.
The problem of establishing one’s personal business was normally a absence of capital. Having been paid out nothing for the duration of the apprenticeship the trainee experienced no savings. Some youthful women of all ages ended up aided by their family members and some by a boyfriend, but lots of have been forced to test to remain with their mistress further than the ordinary five yrs. If they ended up both skilful and fortunate, they could possibly be stored on as a paid out assistant but work opportunities ended up scarce and inadequately paid out. Afriyie was lucky to be helped by Kwame Mainu when she moved to Tema to assist him seem immediately after his youthful daughter, Akosua. Her business flourished for a few many years and Afriyie properly trained apprentices in her turn.
When Kwame travelled to Cranfield to research for his master’s diploma, Afriyie went with him. She retained herself occupied and nutritional supplement their modest cash flow by offering dressmaking companies to the tutorial neighborhood, changing modern fashions to accommodate yesterday’s dimensions, and introducing Ghanaian style dresses to individuals ladies who experienced supplied up the struggle. This was perform she could do at dwelling, but with enough opportunity to screen her creations at various social gatherings at the college.
Following a several several years back again in Tema, Kwame and Afriyie returned to England and Kwame took up an academic appointment at Warwick University. Although there was no extended any pressing economic necessity, Afriyie revived her dressmaking action to fill her normally idle several hours and preserve in exercise. Her Ghanaian-fashion dresses proved as well-known as just before and she was before long finding more than enough commissions to thoroughly occupy her nimble fingers. Inevitably, her views turned to utilizing an apprentice.
It was not quick to deliver a younger relative from Ghana but after some time Elsie arrived to fill the position. Afriyie was expecting the exact same type of arrangement as applied amongst mistress and apprentice in Ghana, but assembly other youthful girls at church, Elsie quickly experienced other suggestions. She demanded a right wage and when this was not forthcoming she ran absent to uncover a far better career. The expertise of a great dressmaker may possibly be equally appreciated in Ghana and England, but working a dressmaking enterprise is quite diverse.