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Don’t Mention The Animals, Call Them Leather

Posted by Dziffa Akua Ametam on

A few weeks ago I visited one of my favorite artisans, Muhammad to check out his newest collection.

“My products are invaluable. You can search every corner of Accra and you will still not find anything quite like mine.”

“Yoo yate wai” (ok, we’ve heard you).

I glanced around his shop as he brought out his bags; there was no doubt that Muhammad had earned his bragging rights. From cow skin to crocodile skin, to bush animals, he had the finest leather bags and I loved every bit of his collection.

Muhammed proudly showing off his bush meat book bag.

“But why must I call them leather. I think they would prefer to know the animals used to make the bags. Everyone calls it leather. We would be unique if we use the names of the animals instead.”

“Madam, are we trying to be unique or sell? You know our people don’t buy made-in-Ghana and foreigners are all about animal rights. If you mention the animals, they will think we run around hunting animals for bags.”

We all laughed at Muhammad’s over-exaggerated pitch.

We laughed because we knew there was nothing funny about it. Ghanaians do not appreciate the high quality goods produced in their backyard. They will cite all excuses in the world to defend why they never patronize made-in-Ghana goods but instantly pay more for imported inferior goods. Foreigners on the other hand appreciate the authenticity of our handmade goods; they purchase them without needing to be convinced of their quality.

I examined each bag thoroughly and could not believe my eyes. Never in a million years did I imagine Ghanaians were capable of turning crocodile skin into beautiful handbags or baby cow skin into luxurious purses or even making a full blown book bag out of a bush meat.

Oops, I just spent the last five minutes telling you the animals used for our leather despite being warned. I promise we do not hunt these animals down, don't forget to check out our luxurious collection of leather goods here.

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