(Article by Africa Renewal)
I am an introvert spirit full of creativity. My name is Agripina Ndoho Ngumu Bindang and I’m 30 years old. I was born in Ebibeyin, in the Kie Ntém Province of Equatorial Guinea. I’m one of my mother’s four children. My father has four wives and I am the 20th of his 53 children.
At the age of eight my parents divorced, leaving my brothers and I to live with our mother in Malabo Island, where I still live to date.
I attended Santa Teresita High School, obtaining my high school diploma in 2009. That same year, I enrolled for a business management course at the National University of Equatorial Guinea but did not complete my studies there because I won a scholarship to study at the National Institute of Hydrocarbon Technology (ITNHGE).
At ITNHGE, I 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.
My business, AfrikChic by Ndoho, creatively uses Ankara or Kente materials to make shoes, bags, necklaces, tiaras, earrings, bracelets, hair ornaments and more. I have several apprentices at the moment.
To me, my biggest accomplishment is the acknowledgment and admiration I get from people every time I participate 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.
One of my biggest challenges is getting the equipment that will help take my business to the next level. For now, I’m only able to line the shoes and bags we make with Ankara material. But I need the machines that will help me make the shoes myself.
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.
These challenges have prevented me from starting my planned design and craft school where the youth in my community can learn how to make different items with the Kente cloth and earn money to support themselves.
My message to the youth
My message to the youth in Africa is, let’s stop waiting for others to find solutions to the problems we face in our continent. God gave us different kinds of talents to make our continent succeed.
Let’s use our talents to make Africa a much better place. Let’s do it with love, passion and strength.
We, the youth, are the solutions to our problems. We must take full ownership!
— Africa Renewal Magazine June 2021
The Africa Renewal information programme provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today. It examines the many issues confronting the people of Africa, its leaders and its international partners: economic reform, debt, education, health, women’s advancement, conflict and civil strife, democratization, aid, investment, trade, regional integration, rural development and many other topics. It works with the media in Africa and beyond to promote the work of the United Nations, Africa and the international community to bring peace and development to Africa.