Kossi

1. What is your role at Ndara?

I am the manager of the Ndara workshop and boutique in Bangui. This means I oversee and manage the production, sales, upkeep, maintenance as well as customer relations in Bangui. But, my most important task is to train and support the artisans; in the skills of sewing, discipline, how to manage a workshop, repairs and all that is the Ndara work. I do my very best to keep things upbeat and to motivate the team to take on new challenges and be more diligent. I am also a tailor and artisan upholsterer and I help produce several of the Ndara products such as the placemats and curtains. I work a lot with Charlotte to develop new products and improve the quality of certain products.

2. What does Ndara mean to you?

Ndara means wisdom. As a team, we all bring our skills and wisdom to work here at Ndara, and we create products that both tell stories of our skills, but also challenges us all to learn new skills. We empower the artisans and we provide work for them. I used to work alone in my workshop, but with Ndara I now have a place where I can teach my skills to others so that it can help them.

3. What are your hopes for the future?

For Ndara, my hope is that the artisans will grow and become stronger, better and more creative through their work. For myself, I would like to become more skillful in my trade; tailoring and upholstering. I don’t want to stagnate at this level, I want to improve. I want to become one of the best artisan upholsterers in the world; not just in the Central African Republic.