INSPIRED BY GHANA
VANDA LOPES (ATELIER BOHO)
Ghana is a country that inspires – whether it’s locals, returnees from the Diaspora, visiting tourists or those who get to call it home for either a short or long stay. We chatted with 5 individuals, each from different backgrounds, but with one thing in common – the story of how Ghana has inspired, and continues to inspire them, both in their work, as well as in their daily lives. This week, we chat with Vanda Lopes of Atelier Boho.
Tell us a bit about yourself & give us a brief intro to why you started Atelier Boho?
I was born in Angola to Congolese/Angolan and Portuguese parents. I then lived in Portugal, following that, in Switzerland and finally moved to Ghana in 1995. As an environmental artisan, I felt concerned about the environment and wanted to find a creative way to bring awareness to Ghana’s big problem of plastic pollution.
What inspired you to start Atelier Boho and what inspires you creatively in general?
My inspiration to start Atelier Boho was born out of my passion to raise awareness and instill in people the need to repurpose, upcycle and recycle. It’s the only way if we want our children to live a future in a better environment. As for what inspires me in general, it is the creative repurposing of materials, restoring colonial furniture and organising exhibitions that showcase my passion for the arts.
What is the best thing about living in Accra?
Wow – living in Africa in general is the best! For creative people, I think Accra is very inspiring because you get to meet so many different people and are exposed to different cultures from all over the world.
What’s your favourite spot in Accra to get away from it all?
My home; I find my peace here. It is my shrine, my sacred space. I love receiving and hosting friends, cooking, being in the garden and coming up with new ideas for Atelier Boho. I also love the University of Ghana; it is one of the most beautiful architectural statements in Accra with peaceful and zen-like surroundings.