Starting your own business is no small feat - it is difficult and a journey that so many in Africa have had to take because there is just no other option. For young Dzifa, her journey started when she lost her beloved father while still in junior high school and as a result could not find the funds to complete her bsc computer studies in the university. Here’s how Dzifa found the courage to take the plunge and come out on the other side.
Growing up, Dzifa spent the first four years of her life with her grandparents who brought her up in Kumasi (a city in the north-southern side of Ghana). Her Grandpapa, an accountant, also loved to be around nature and spent a lot of time outside with Dzifa picking flowers and fruits from his garden. At the age of 4 she moved to live with her mother, in Accra, the southern part of Ghana, who is a graphic designer while her father of blessed memory was then studying biochemistry in the UK.
When Dzifa was in senior secondary school, her father yearned her to follow in his footsteps to also become a biological chemist. Dzifa loves her father so much that she took Agricultural Science, Physics in secondary education and managed to gain some degree of success in honour of him. In her first year in tertiary she received a Roll Of Honour and was later offered a 50% scholarship to further her studies. While she was having a great time at school, something unfortunate happened, her mother was unable to continue to fund her education.
She was struck with a new reality as she now had to fund her own studies. Dzifa was on the verge of giving up, she had never expected that something like this would happen to her and at that critical time of her life as a young lady. She felt frustrated and kept on thinking how all she had was taken away from her. “After a failed attempt to gather funds to further my education, I was frustrated and on the verge of giving up and felt suicidal” - she said.
One afternoon, she decided to take a long walk to think and reconnect with her faith. She kept thinking about her life and said to herself: “It’s time to accept the hard truth and know that my life is now up to me.” After she was gone for a while, her family started to worry because they hadn’t heard from her. She finally got back to her family with a beaming smile and an entirely new positive outlook on life. Dzifa from then on tried so many different businesses, She even tried to get a Job but in Africa, finding work is one of the hardest things to do even for the educated.
Dzifa has always been good with her hands, so she decided to make jewelry she had seen her grandmother wear to social gatherings. She remembered how she would make jewelry with her mother’s old necklaces and model to her grandparents as a child. Little did she know that this would open a beautiful new chapter in her life. She made the necklaces and she would wear it around even though it was worn by only the elderly at the time, her friends saw it and were fascinated. They asked her to make more for them too so Dzifa, as a smart young lady with just about 100GH in her purse, made more.
At the age of 22, she is now the founder of WOLF Couture ie (Word of the Living Father). She started making and selling these beaded accessories to her age mates in Ghana who expressed lots of interest. ” I would visit shops and surf the internet for beading techniques and design inspiration. ” - she said.
With her new business, Dzifa quickly realized that in order for WOLF to become what she envisioned, she will need to up her game. One of her major challenges had been just finding the right packaging and branding for her business. She quickly realized that she will need to develop many different skills from branding, marketing, and sales in order to stand out. She basically had to do everything on her own. It was not an easy task for her to sell her products to markets outside Ghana without proper packaging and branding. To gain exposure, she leveraged heavily on social media. She would wear her jewelry everywhere. Using her voice she was able to reach thousands of potential buyers who loved her and kept supporting her growth. In 2019, Dzifa was nominated for the Female Entrepreneur of the year which she later won the award. We asked what makes this a special event for her, here what she had to say: “ It was such a glorious moment! Someone saw my hard work and that meant I made an impact someway, somehow. ”
Dzifa’s own words: “Entrepreneurship is not for the fainthearted, it is hard work with the 3 Ds - determination, discipline and drive. You can do whatever you put your mind to. If you really want it, GO GET IT! Do not let anything stand in your way, when you fall, it is okay to cry but do not waste too much time crying, get up, dust yourself and move on harder. Be an inspiration to the younger generation, you may think no one is watching.. Remember someone is always watching.”
Dzifa is someone with real grit and as an entrepreneur in Africa, you have a lot stacked against you but you also might have a lot of creativity that the world needs to see. Here are her final words: “I am very passionate about what I do. I put my body, mind and soul into every piece I make and though it can get tiring sometimes, it is what I enjoy doing the most.The journey for Wolf Couture has only just begun, I am nowhere near my “destination” but we will get there. Until then we still grind while at it.”