Interview by Marketing Manager, Malik Abdoul, May 2022
My name is Daniel Baflo. I am 43 and I am the Lead Batiker for Global Mamas at the Fair Trade Zone (FTZ).
When I was growing up, my father was a commercial driver. He worked under government transportation, and my mother sold items on the street. When I was young, my mom left. Raising three kids alone was difficult for my father, so I went to my sister’s house in Nungua and she took care of me. My sister did her best to raise me and it was through her that I learned how to batik. My sister’s mother-in-law, Asi, had a batik business where my sister used to work. I was in high school then, and when I would close from school I would go help my sister and her husband with their batiking.
When I completed high school, I went to art school to continue my education. I have loved art since I was young because I could draw very well. As soon as I finished, Asi offered me a job as a batiker and I went to live with her. After working with her for a few years, I got a job with a company called Baobab Children Foundation in Cape Coast. I was a batik instructor there and I taught the children how to batik. I enjoyed working there a lot. What I liked most about it was training the young ones and seeing them take up batiking as their profession. It makes me proud to know that I taught them a skill they’re using today to make money.
When my sister’s husband was not feeling well, I came back to help them and Global Mamas brought an order for us to work on. It was some of their knit products for kids. They gave me the designs they needed, and I batiked them. When Global Mamas saw the final products, they were really happy with the quality of the work and asked me to join them as a batiker, but I was working for the family business so I couldn’t at that time. However, when Asi was getting ready to retire, my sister’s husband took over the company. Unfortunately, things were not moving well and our orders were low, so I joined Global Mamas in 2018 while dedicating half of my time to the family business.
My first day working with Global Mamas, I noticed that there were a lot of people there. At my former workplace, we were less than 10, so I was slightly intimidated. However, I decided to believe in myself and tell myself that I could do it. My fear went away and I felt very free. Before joining Global Mamas, I thought the batik at my in-laws was the best, but now I know Global Mamas has the best batik in Ghana. I am happy to be working with Global Mamas. Every day I get to learn something new and interact with nice people. Currently, I am supporting my wife and four kids. I want my children to be highly educated in the future so they can make it big. You can’t go very far if you don’t have knowledge or education today. I don’t want to choose what my children will study, I want them to choose for themselves. Sometimes people are good at other things, and it will be easier to learn them if they like it.
I am very proud to be a batiker working for Global Mamas. We always come out with new things that move the company up and forward, and I’m very happy about that. The secret to being a good batiker is to always learn. Any time I work on a new design, I learn from it. If the stamping it is difficult, the next time I’ll find an easier way to do it and make sure it comes out perfect.