83-year-old Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Emma’s Stuffed Toys, has said she would like to impart her knowledge of making stuffed toys to the next generation before she dies.
The grandmother, who makes stuffed toys for a living, was speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM with Benjamin Akakpo on Monday, 24 September.
She stated: “I want to impart the knowledge to people because I’m 83 years and very soon my maker will call me and I don’t want to go into my grave with my knowledge.”
Although she began making stuffed toys in 1959, she disclosed that she was yet to train a single person in the art.
She explained that people always express interest in learning it but get discouraged once they dig their hands into it.
“They like quick money, and this business, too, it’s not a quick-money business; you have to take time. It needs patience, time and interest. If you have no interest, time and patience you can’t do this kind of job.”
According to her, she made stuffed toys to support her husband to cater for the house and her children’s education.
She told Benjamin Akakpo that she got into making the toys two years after Ghana gained independence while she was training in Home Economics, as part of a government initiative training programme of the then-Department of Social Welfare and Community Development.
Born in February 1935, Madam Biney completed her elementary education at The Ola Middle Boarding School, now Ola Training College in Cape Coast. She further enroled at the Cape Coast Hospital to train as a nurse but had to abandon it after a year because of her fear of blood and corpses.
Still wanting to be of help to humanity, she decided to become a social worker and started volunteering at the then-Social Welfare and Community Department of Government, and after three months, was given the opportunity to become a social worker by undergoing formal training in Home Economics, which entailed sewing, cookery and food hygiene.
She was always creative and had an interest in sewing. Without any formal training, Madam Biney, while as young as 10. She excelled at making toys in the sewing department.
Relying on her basic knowledge, she began to develop her own lines and started drawing any animal she set her eyes on, be it in real life or in books or on TV.
She would then cut the drawings into patterns and begin the process of creating the animal.
In her heyday, the artist worked with a lot of underprivileged girls and women, and also orphanages during her career that spun almost three decades.
She stocked up the then-Kingsway and UTC department stores in Accra, as well as other individually-owned shops where she sold a lot of her creations.
She urged anyone interested in learning to make stuffed toys to be at the Grand Sales, Trade Fair Pavilion A from 27th September to 8th October 2018.
“I’m going to show these items at the Trade Fair and I wish people will come and see my handiwork and if you’re interested to learn, I’ll definitely teach you,” she added.