The Photographic Journal

Akwaaba Means Welcome

Essay 129 • Feb 6th 2017

In the summer of 2016, I travelled to Tanoboase Ghana on behalf of the Thaakat Foundation and Photographers Without Borders, on assignment to tell the story of the Konadu Basic School.  This school was founded by one man named Clement Opoku Boamah, who had a dream of bringing a free school to an area where previously there was none.  

During my time there, I stayed with Clement, his wife Beatrice and their 2-year-old daughter Liz.  From day one I was welcomed into their family with open arms.  It is the photographs that I took during the day to day life there that ended up being the most meaningful to me.  Meals and chores, spending the day with Bea at her seamstress shop, traveling to visit other family members - these are the moments that helped me to understand what it means to be a part of a family in Ghana, they are the moments I will treasure the most.  

Tender moment between Liz and her grandmother.
Liz enjoying her morning bath.  The yellow beads around her waist are very common in Ghana - they are worn around the waist from a very young age, and are meant to give her curves and femininity in the future.
Bea gives Liz her morning bath.Liz at home.
Clement gets Liz dressed after her morning bath.
Bea goes across the street to her neighbor's house to get her hair put into a new style.Bea and her daughter Liz outside their home.
A selection of African fashions to choose from at Bea's seamstress shop.Liz plays with some fabric at her mother Bea's sewing shop.
Beats seamstress shop.
Bea works at her shop.  She owns a small seamstress shop in Techiman offering custom made clothing as well as alterations.
A worker at Bea's seamstress shop.Bea and her daughter Liz pick up lunch near the shop.
The goat purchased at the local market which will be eaten the next day at the 5 year school celebration.
Beats mother at her home.Prince and Vincent at Bea's parents' house.
Local boy in Clement's Techiman neighborhood.
Vincent (Bea's older nephew) outside their home.Prince (Bea's nephew) on the school bus.
Local girls in Clement's Techiman neighborhood.Clement's neighbor with his kids.
Clement's extended family (wife, sister, nephews, teachers) in the back of the school bus on the way to the monkey sanctuary.
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Prince (Clement and Bea's nephew) enjoying Fulla Falls.GO7A9474
Clement's sister Mary gives her daughter Konadu a bath.

 

Lisa Weatherbee is a portrait and lifestyle photographer based in NYC.  She is invested in the power that photography has to shape our social consciousness.  Her work is a continuing exploration of love, family and the magic of childhood in all of its beautiful forms.

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