He is an artisan encouraged by his grandparents, who started the business looking to provide a way of living for the family. With all he learnt from his grandparents and parents, he found a shop in the center in Cotnou and started working to continue the family tradition.
The shop where he works belonged to his father, and he inherited it when he died. He is an art dealer selling all kinds of objects. During his 10 years working in the field, he was travelled around Africa looking for treasures, with the help of his older brother. It breaks his heart that his children are not interested in the profession, but he prefers them to look for alternative professional fields. Although he loves his work and the beauty of the African culture, he admits it is a difficult profession and the current situation does not provide too many joys, so he does not want his children suffering the same problems.
Charles is a young student who helps his brother while he continues with his studies. His brother is an art dealer who travels very often and trusts him to take care of the shop. He likes taking care of the shop, talking with tourists and telling the stories behind the products, but he still does not know what his future will bring.
After 32 years working, he knows quite a bit. He works with contemporary objects and antiques and his son is also in the business. He goes to school but helps him on weekends. His grandfather was the first (still alive in their home village) and after his father and now him. He hopes his son will replace him when he’s too tired to continue.
His grandfather introduced him to the field. He likes the profession, but all he can talk about is his dream to travel around the world as a tourist and be able to see in real life so many amazing places. China’s huge mountains have always amazed him. He would even want to go under water to see what’s hidden there.
This art dealer was impressed with the arts and he started working in the field. No family member worked before him, it was passion that brought him to this world. His children will decide whatever they want to do. Sometimes they come and help him, and one of them currently works with him because he could not find another job.
This antique dealer travels around the different villages in the country, looking for unique products and learning their stories. He has been working in the field for 39 years. After his father retired, he continued working with his brother. Nigeria, Mali, Burkina, Ivory Coast, no country is far enough for him to visit in search of new items. He searches for all kinds of antiques, but is a staunch defender of the products that only Benin offers: Guélédé masks, fetish, shango cane, mamiwata… Benin has an unrivalled culture and a history. The only reason why Nigeria has more products is simply because they are bigger and more populated.
Specialized in jewelry, Abilé started working in 1999. At first, he used to come to the market during school holidays. This period would allow him to learn about the profession and practice. He also started learning about antiques. He uses different stones, using also bronze and silver. Though he’s the only jeweller in the family, he’s not the only artisan. There are other members specialized in sculpting, carpets, etc., but they work from home and on request.
Born into a family of artists, he started with his father 15 years ago. The first one in the sector was his grandfather, followed by his father, but neither work anymore, so he is in charge of the family shop. He also enjoys travelling around Benin looking for interesting objects and learning amazing stories.