A young Ghanaian artist, Eric Kwaku Gyimah, is changing the picture when it comes to providing luxury homes in Ghana – simply by repurposing shipping containers.
Research by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) shows that the country’s housing deficit over the past 60 years continually witnessed an upward trend, rising from one million in 1950 to 2.8 million in 2010.
However, the 2021 Population and Housing Census data on structures, housing conditions and facilities as presented by the GSS shows a reversal in the housing deficit by 33%. One innovation by Gyimah is gradually helping to turn around the dilemma about building or acquiring a home in Ghana.
Gyimah, who studied banking at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), has found a new passion in turning decommissioned shipping containers into homes.
He explains that taking shipping containers and turning them into well-adapted habitable spaces is a very cost-effective way of acquiring a first home.
Appearing on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Tuesday (13 June), Gyimah said he started the concept by building stylish dog kennels using wood.
“Basically now, I wouldn’t restrict myself to being called a woodworker,” Gyimah said. “I would now call myself an artist. Much as woodwork is what I mostly like, I work with wood, metal, composite panels and other materials to get the finishing you want.
“So, along the line, metalwork came along. I was learning metalwork, even though it is not everything that I do. But if it isn’t something that you are into, you will be forced to learn the other areas,” he said.
Gyimah recalled how “Sam Twumasi, the owner of Villa D’Tuger, came over and saw my work at East Legon and said, ‘I want us to do something amazing on a hilltop at Kokrobite. I want us to build something without blocks.’ And I said: ‘Let’s do a shipping container hotel.’ And he said, ‘Eric, let’s go for it.’ That’s how it started.”
Listen to Eric Kwaku Gyimah in the audio clip attached below:
Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra
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