Tech & Innovation April 10, 2022 at 09:00 am

This creative genius from Equatorial Guinea makes shoes, bags, jewelry, others using African fabric

Abu Mubarik April 10, 2022 at 09:00 am

April 10, 2022 at 09:00 am | Tech & Innovation

Agripina Ndoho Ngumu Bindang. Photo credit: UN.Org/Africa Renewal

Agripina Ndoho Ngumu Bindang grew up in a polygamous family in Equatorial Guinea. Her father was married to four wives and she is one of her mother’s four children and the 20th of his father’s 53 children. However, when she was only eight years, her parents got divorced.

Although the divorce unsettled her and her siblings, she did not give up on her quest for higher education. She attended Santa Teresita High School obtaining her high school diploma in 2009 and then continued to the National University of Equatorial Guinea to pursue a business management course.

While at the National University of Equatorial Guinea, Bindang got a scholarship to study at the National Institute of Hydrocarbon Technology (ITNHGE). At ITNHGE, she learned about mechanical engineering, processes, electrical and instrumentation disciplines, and obtained a diploma in February 2014.

“In May 2017 I acquired another diploma as a Pharmacy Technician at AFOREPFA (Academia de Formación y Reciclaje de Personal Farmacéutico) technical school still in Malabo,” she told Africa Renewal.

After school, she took to entrepreneurship. She founded AfrikChic by Ndoho, which uses Ankara or Kente materials to make shoes, bags, necklaces, tiaras, earrings, bracelets, hair ornaments and more.

Bindang sources her materials from Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria to make her shoes, bags, earrings, and hair ornaments, among others. However, since the outbreak of COVID-19, sourcing external materials has been challenging due to the closure of borders.

“I sometimes make the bags from hard paper used for making boxes, because getting the right material for it from Nigeria is a challenge. It has gotten worse with the closure of the borders with Nigeria due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she told Africa Renewal.

According to her, these challenges have prevented her from starting her planned design and craft school where the youth in her community can learn how to make different items with the Kente cloth and earn money to support themselves.

Positioning herself as a role model, Bindang said her biggest accomplishment is the acknowledgment and admiration she gets from people every time she participates in an exposition.

“I have taken part in two of such events and I used the opportunity to promote my work. Many young people came to me asking for advice and support to be able to do what I am doing,” she added.

In a message to the youth in Africa, the young entrepreneur said they must take charge of their destiny and not wait for others to find solutions to their problems. “Let’s use our talents to make Africa a much better place. Let’s do it with love, passion and strength,” she noted.

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