Like other developing countries, individuals with disabilities in Ghana encounter various forms of discrimination and are often perceived as a burden in society.
Odarley Lamptey, a 15-year-old Ghanaian teenager with speech impairment who has dropped out of school due to her condition has set out to transfer her talent into the crochet art business.
In an exclusive interview with disabilitynewsafrica.com, the mother of the 15-year-old, Madam Agnes Duodu said, Odarley was born as a ‘normal’ and happy kid.
She recounted how at the age of seven, Odarley frequently read the Bible at a local church with a large congregation. However, she fell sick at the age of 9 with malaria and severe body pains. This further escalated to the loss of speech.
“Due to her condition, she has a trunk in her throat and is unable to attend school. She has a home teacher which affords her the availability to engage in other productive ventures.”
Through that, Odarley has found her God given talent which she is most happy about and dedicates time to, each day.
She is into the crochet weaving business and makes designs, such as, hair cap, baby blanket, dress, socks, skirt, beach wears, phone bag & covers, Christmas trees among others.
In addition to that, she is a hair braider with a track record of trendy hairstyles she has braided for friends and neighbours.
“Whatever you hand over to my daughter, she will imagine and create designs out of it. When they ask for specific designs she delivers with precision,” Madam Agnes said of her daughter.
Currently, her works are either patronized by close friends or given out as gifts.
As someone who loves surfing online, she draws inspiration and creativity for her work by observing similar work on the internet.
Odarley wants to celebrate and showcase her work to encourage other physically challenged people and train them to acquire skills in fashion designing.
Her mother translates her daughter’s last word (during this interview) as
“She wants people to know that physically challenged does not equal inability, and therefore she is doing this to show parents that, if you have a child with a similar condition, does not mean hey are not useful to the society.
If you are interested in supporting, her business or any products. Kindly call Agnes Duodu on +233 24 427 6487 (Ghana number)
By Francis Quasie