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The story of the young Ghanaian graduate making millions out of trash and waste

Essilfie Banton spoke on People & Places

Sun, 8 May 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

His parents wanted him to be a lawyer or a doctor and yet his heart was after the arts.

Without support at the start of his dreams, he chose to set off on the path his parents wanted, albeit pursuing general arts.

Until he got to the tertiary level when his dreams to pursue visual arts had spiraled to the peak; at this point, there was no stopping.

Essilfie started exploring his passion for art. He began with sketching, then painting and just about 2 years ago, he had his Eureka moment.

At this point, he decided to do something different – use waste, what people will typically call trash and convert it into beautiful art; he called it, “Trash to Art”.

From that point, he was unstoppable! He created art after art from sachet rubbers, waste cans, milo sachets, spoilt dolls and many other waste materials he could gather from the environment.

Today, he is pursuing a Master Philosophy of Arts in Education at the University of Education Winneba, hoping to take his work another notch.

Sharing his story with Wonder Ami Hagan on GhanaWeb’s People & Places show, he said,

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“When I started, people were saying, “what is happening to this guy? I was there when a guy called me to ask me if everything is cool. He went to a friend and asked him, [your brother, is everything okay with him]? There was another instance where I was in town when someone drank a bottle of water and threw it away, I picked it up and someone around asked if I’m okay, then I asked if the person who threw the bottle away was also okay.”

Essilfie also explained why he chose this path. According to him, it is his way of solving one of Ghana’s biggest problems – waste.

“Trash - we see them around, they are the same colours that we use to paint. So I tried, I have really suffered a long time deciding on how to use this trash so sometimes I gather them and keep them in my room. I have a room full of trash, I pick them from the environment. I go round, I take my sack and I pick them,” he said.

Essilfie is happy he made that decision because today, he revealed, his first artwork which is a portrait of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is worth over 50,000 dollars whilst others including an artwork of the Black Star Square and others, are worth millions of Ghana Cedis.

Watch the full interview and hear Essilfie tell his story in the latest episode of GhanaWeb’s People & Places:

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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