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Most of us live our lives according to what we think we are supposed to do. There are conventions and traditions, the well-worn paths of those who’ve gone before – and trying to do the things that will keep others happy – steering us throughout our lives. But the problem with these tried and trusted modes of living, is that they have been created and decided by other people. And what happens when we follow rules of engagement in this entirely made-up system which have been made up by others, is that we end up living a life that isn’t authentically ours. We exist within the parameters and values of others, and like wearing someone else’s shoes, we find that our life just doesn’t fit. Which is why it’s so important to find the empowerment to live our own lives, according to our values, and to speak our truth through the actions we take. Sometimes, though, finding a channel through which to express this truth isn’t always straightforward. That’s why it was such a pleasure to catch up with my friend Chrissa Amuah. She is a motivated and very inspiring person, whose love for textiles and design gave her a medium through which she was able to express her Ghanaian heritage. But breaking from the traditional stereotypes of ‘African’ design – a broad generalisation that, as we discussed, has been used for many decades to simplify and package an entire vast continent – her work is contemporary, innovative, and uniquely hers. And having found her voice through her work, she also went on to become the founder of Africa By Design. A platform to celebrate the work of emerging designers from across the continent, it has exhibited and celebrated the work of many ground-breaking creators in cultural epicentres from New York to Milan and Dubai. Through her own work and through Africa By Design, she is trying to smash the tired, conventional narrative of ‘African’ design. In this podcast we talk about a wide range of topics, from notions of being different to striving to be better, do more, and realise your potential. Take a listen. To find out more about Chrissa and her work, follow these links: AMWA Designs Africa By Design

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