Name: Chrissa Amuah
AFRICA BY DESIGN is a concept of love by Chrissa Amuah, a textile design MA graduate, from the world-renowned Chelsea College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London. Chrissa describes living with a sense of duality. Although born and raised in London, her heritage stems from Ghana, Togo and Benin; but it is from Ghana that she draws most of her design led inspiration. Chrissa is also the Founder & Creative Director of AMWA Designs (www.amwadesigns.com), an Adinkra inspired luxury homeware and interiors brand. Having made her international debut at SaloneSatellite, Milan Design Week, Chrissa was inspired to create a similar platform for the incredible design talent that spans the continent. With the intent to cross pollinate ideas and talent, within Africa, AFRICA BY DESIGN seeks to re-ignite the sense of pride, emotional and empowering innovation and conviction. Drawing as inspiration the glory of the continent’s ancient empires and kingdoms juxtaposed with the relevance of the continent's contemporary design.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?: Stomach clenching laughter amidst a sea of love and kindness.
Which living person do you most admire?: I always root for the underdog. There are quite a few people that I admire. The common thread between them seems to be that despite the odds stacked against them, their tenacity and courage have paid off and in some way they’ve made a difference.
What is your greatest extravagance?: Maintaining my red hair.
What is your current state of mind?: AFRICA BY DESIGN London.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?: Mama ain't got time for that!
Which talent would you most like to have?: Ability to sing.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?: This isn't the right forum for me to say ;-)
What do you consider your greatest achievement?: Making the decision to clean the slate and start afresh six years ago, in both my personal and professional life. It practically meant starting from scratch and heading into the unknown armed with nothing but faith, hard work and ambition. Being true to myself is the best gift I’ve given to myself.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?: A hybrid between Tina Turner, Beyonce and Adele - imagine the voice and dance moves!?!
Where would you most like to live?: Sometimes it's a central London townhouse and other times it's somewhere more remote surrounded by beautiful greenery. Living by a Mediterranean beach could be nice too. However, at the moment my heart yearns to move to Ghana.
What is your most treasured possession?: Had my alto saxophone and entire CD collection stolen when I was 16 - it cut me up. After that I decided to not get too emotionally attached to material things. That said, the thought of losing my textile sample books causes me great anxiety.
What is your favorite occupation?: Laughing.
What is your most marked characteristic?: I’ve been told it’s a choice between my drive, diplomacy or advocacy for integrity.
What do you most value in your friends?: I am blessed to have the most supportive and encouraging friends in the world.
Who are your favorite writers?: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Zakes Mda, Bernhard Schlink and Roald Dahl are a few to mention...
Who is your hero of fiction?: I’m the worst for remembering which great books I’ve read, never mind who is my hero of fiction. Sorry.
Who are your heroes in real life?: Barbara Yankah – our family Oprah. I aspire to be as patient, tolerant, forgiving and loving as her one day. And, Mr T – one of my best friends. His life story is incredible and I have so much respect for the person he is in spite of the obstacles he’s faced.
What is it that you most dislike?: Rude, argumentative and insincere people.
What is your greatest regret?: I had a birthday party when I was at secondary school; I invited the whole class except two people - cringing now as I type. My only reason being I was worried there wouldn't be enough space in my parents’ house. Til this day I feel awful for not inviting them. It was never about them as people. I don't even know what warped wisdom informed this decision. Gemma and Louise I'm so so sorry!
What is your motto?: Shy girls don't get promoted!