Like many younger ladies of humble origin in Ghana, Afriyie had been apprenticed to a seamstress, the frequent title for a dressmaker. She turned an distinctive craftswoman and practiced her craft efficiently in each Ghana and England, however when it got here to taking an apprentice herself, she discovered it way more troublesome in England.
The unofficial settlement between a self-employed seamstress and her apprentice, adopted a longtime sample that was broadly utilized all through the casual sector of the economic system in lots of trades pursued by each women and men. The coaching often lasted 5 years, on the finish of which the apprentice was anticipated to depart to arrange her personal enterprise. Exploiting a state of affairs wherein different paid employment was not accessible, the apprentice was paid no wages, however was often given somewhat ‘chop cash’ to purchase meals.
The issue of creating one’s personal enterprise was all the time a scarcity of capital. Having been paid nothing throughout the apprenticeship the trainee had no financial savings. Some younger ladies have been helped by their households and a few by a boyfriend, however many have been compelled to attempt to stick with their mistress past the traditional 5 years. In the event that they have been each skilful and fortunate, they may be stored on as a paid assistant however jobs have been scarce and poorly paid. Afriyie was fortunate to be helped by Kwame Mainu when she moved to Tema to assist him take care of his younger daughter, Akosua. Her enterprise flourished for just a few years and Afriyie skilled apprentices in her flip.
When Kwame travelled to Cranfield to check for his grasp’s diploma, Afriyie went with him. She stored herself busy and complement their modest earnings by providing dressmaking providers to the tutorial group, adjusting right this moment’s fashions to go well with yesterday’s dimensions, and introducing Ghanaian model attire to these women who had given up the wrestle. This was work she may do at house, however with ample alternative to show her creations at varied social gatherings on the college.
After just a few years again in Tema, Kwame and Afriyie returned to England and Kwame took up a tutorial appointment at Warwick College. Though there was now not any urgent financial necessity, Afriyie revived her dressmaking exercise to fill her in any other case idle hours and maintain in follow. Her Ghanaian-style attire proved as well-liked as earlier than and he or she was quickly getting sufficient commissions to completely occupy her nimble fingers. Inevitably, her ideas turned to using an apprentice.
It wasn’t simple to convey a younger relative from Ghana however after a while Elsie arrived to fill the function. Afriyie was anticipating the identical kind of association as utilized between mistress and apprentice in Ghana, however assembly different younger ladies at church, Elsie quickly had different concepts. She demanded a correct wage and when this was not forthcoming she ran away to discover a higher job. The talents of a great dressmaker could also be equally appreciated in Ghana and England, however working a dressmaking enterprise may be very totally different.