How Do You Keep Your African Spirit When You're So Far From Home?
Rata is a powerful entrepreneur who generates opportunities not just profit. Grass-Fields spoke to her husband and herself about how and why she started her business:
My husband and I moved from Ghana to East London to Nottingham.
When I moved to Nottingham I noticed that the culture is about "I" and not "we". This shocked me because in Ghana is it about "we". You wouldn’t often hear – “I want this. I need this. I don’t have time for this.” I guess it is a different way of thinking. In Ghana, "we" are "I" and only "we" can help "I".
I never wanted to loss my Ghanaian spirit.
But how could I keep it?
How can I move freely when the place I live doesn’t share my views?
I often considered going back to Ghana.
Until one evening my husband and I were out for food and the idea sprung on me. We could start own business. My husband loved the idea and before I could blink an eye we had started our very first hair salon. We have now owned our own salon for 6 years.
I didn’t want to be a hairdresser just because I have a passion for hair. I wanted to have a business that can give me the opportunity to give back to my community. We sponsor young women who want to learn hairdressing. This opportunity is free. We watch them learn and grow into amazing hairdressers. This makes my spirit grow and glow with Ghanaian spirit.
We try to live our lives with a simple phase in mind. If we all act only for ourselves then we will never achieve anything outside of ourselves.
We are We and I is Us!
An interview with Rata Opoku by Bianca Watson
All Hair and Beauty
26 Peveril St, Nottingham NG7 4AL