We at 9jafrikfashion appreciate good things when we see them and believe me, this is a good one.
I always go for gold or silver watches (fake or not...*winks*). I think the ladies can explain it better. From their wrist watches to necklaces and earrings and even shoes, they all love gold.
With all that said, featuring on the blog today is the second goldsmith I have ever met in my life and the first female goldsmith I have met. Welcome with me GOLDSMITH MUNA.
Details of an interview with her are below.
9jafrik: What is your name?
Muna: Munachiso Ike
9jafrik: What do you do for a living?
Muna: I am a Gold Smith
9jafrik: Why and how did you become a Goldsmith?
Muna: I have always loved earrings, diamonds, and beautiful ornaments. I like to wear them. I was based abroad and when I came back I was wondering what to do. I spent a lot of time praying and fasting, asking God to tell me what He wants me to do. One day the idea came.
I used to be very artistic in secondary school. I was always among the best in fine arts, particularly molding. I started doing a lot of research, read a lot.
Reading is not enough, you need to practice. Metals are quite hazardous and one needs to be careful.
I looked for a place to train and I haven't looked back since then. One thing I am grateful to God for is that "I am making good use of this gift."
9jafrik: Did you forfeit your university education for gold-making?
Muna: I am trying to build a brand, a big name that won't just be about gold making, by God's grace.
I did my first degree in Accounting and masters in financial services, risk and operations. I had worked previously but I believe my background will give me the platform to establish a big brand. That said, I don't think my university education has been forfeited.
9jafrik: For how long have you been a Gold Smith?
Muna: I started February this year and I thank God I am growing from strength to strength. I have also ventured into leather jobs.
9jafrik: What was the response of your parents when you chose to become a Goldsmith?
Muna: Now many people understand what it entails. My parents were against it. They are still quite skeptical about it but I have a vision and I believe by God's grace I will achieve my dreams.
They always say Nigeria does not produce, that we only consume. I hope to turn that around.
9jafrik: Can you say the Nigerian Society Supports the Art of Gold Making?
Muna: Nigerians like to party and they want to look good. Dubai that everybody goes to buy gold only started producing exquisite jewellery pieces around 1984. Today everybody goes there.
As long as the product is very good, there will always be buyers. Besides, you have silver, gold, platinum, and non-precious metals which can easily be plated.
My aim is not to confine myself to gold. I want to have a hang of everything. Very big jewellery designers abroad work with all sorts of materials.
9jafrik: How do you get your Metals?
Muna: Distributors home and abroad
9jafrik: What are some of the Processes involved in Gold Smiting?
Muna: It involves a lot of calculation, everything has to be precise. It involves melting, forging, annealing and sometimes some other complicated processes. Sometimes you cast (mold) directly. Polishing, filing, you always have to be precise because the beauty of the piece is its finishing.
9jafrik: Invariably, it can be likened to medical surgery?
Muna: In medicine you are dealing with humans. Proper jewellery making is an art as well as a science because you are dealing with chemicals. At the same time you are creating shapes.
9jafrik: Do clients ever pose a challenge?
Muna: So far no. Before I start a piece, I do my research. I also draw out what i want to create. I take my time because my name is always at stake.
9jafrik: Who will you advice to take up Gold-making as a Profession and what qualities are required?
Muna: You have to be uniquely interested in the job. There are times you bang your hands with hammer, burn yourself or even destroy your work piece. It is the love for the job that keeps you going, the thought that you can transform a dirty piece into something beautiful.
You also have to be creative. If you are not you will only copy other people's design and you will not stand out that way. Creativity makes you turn a mistake into a master piece.
Facebook: Ike Munachiso