This vibrant entrepreneur self-motivates herself to resolve any conflict that comes her way. She grinds to learn about her craft, but stays grounded to expand her ability and knowledge to help others as well.

Do you fear change or do you welcome it?
I don’t fear change at all because it inevitable. Even as a woman, my body has gone through changes since I was born. Some of the changes I wish didn’t happen (like abdominal pains when I have my period). It is what it is, I deal with it every month so change is there whether I like it or not. It makes me Adepa Foriwaa. It is me.
What program are you in?
Material Art and Design, both fiber and jewelry.
  • What drew you to the program?
    The ability to create something pretty and wearable always fascinated me as long as I can remember and that’s my reason for choosing MAAD.

  • Have you changed programs/ considered changing programs?
    No, I have never.
Do you feel your program is the right match for you? Why or why not?
Absolutely. Because for once in my life, I made that choice and I’m happy doing it even when I’m drowning in projects!
What is your background?
I’m from west Africa, Ghana. My hometown is Kumasi, Ashanti region. I come from a family of ten, my father, my mother, my step mother, two half-brothers, two half-sisters, my younger sister and myself.
Cultural influences, individual inspirations:  I believe in originality and what better way to express yourself than where it all started, where I was born.
Childhood: Even though I had a big family growing up, I somehow felt lonely all the time so I would start painting or draw something or try to sew something. That’s how I discovered my creativity.
How did art/design become a part of your life?
I lived it through my parents. My mother’s art was food and my father is an architect. I started singing in middle school with my friends and I loved it. I always looked forward to free period so we can sing.
What was your first experience with OCAD?
When I was asked to come for and interview at OCAD, I didn’t have the required amount of work in my portfolio. In fact, I had 5 items instead of 15. But my interviewer believed in my potential and that was an amazing feeling.
  • How did you hear about the school?
    Through my sister.
  • What drew you to apply?
    The programs they offered and the fact that it’s an art school.
How do you feel about formal education?
I think formal education broadens one’s knowledge so in that regard, it’s a good thing (just not all subjects).
  • Did you come to OCAD right from high school?
    No.
  • Do you feel OCAD is benefitting you creatively? 
    Yes. Because I have learnt a great deal.
What are you doing as a creative outside of school?
Entrepreneurship. I have my own leather manufacturing company in Ghana. And I am starting a brand called Adepafie which is where I will sell luxury goods for affordable prices.
What do you aspire to do when you graduate?
To work full time at a non-profit organization in order to help people.
What do you hope to get out of your education/what have you gotten out of your education?
To acquire knowledge and skills that will help me in the future.
  • Has OCAD been what you’ve expected so far?
    Yes, because I’m learning something new every day and meeting great people.
Who were you before university? Who have you become?
Busy, vibrant, and goal-orientated is who I am. What I personally loathe is waiting for others to validate my existence. I am confident yet humble, expressive yet observant. I fight against plastic expectations to be needles and perfect [sic]. The will to ask for support from friends and family members is something I consider, hence we are each other’s keepers despite the notion that we must be “independent “and “do it all” at all times. I am grounded in my faith and the ability to see my purpose in something greater than myself.
Realistically speaking, 70% of the time I struggle with life. There are definitely bad days but I push forward, even when all odds are against me and I pick up the pace as I go. I try to balance myself repeatedly, knowing when to be selfish and when to be selfless, when to follow my head and when to follow my heart. Loving is my weakness but also my source of happiness. I portray kindness, generosity, compassion, integrity, a willingness to be vulnerable and authentic, no matter what, I am true to myself. I don’t contribute/ participate to the cattiness of others nor do I let them bring me down. I have the utmost respect for myself and what I believe in.
Photography by Charisse Fung