Assan Ag Midal is a Nigerien entrepreneur with a master's degree in political science who quit his job to devote himself entirely to craftsmanship. This 43-year-old father recycles pallets and tires to create home furniture.
It is while going to buy furniture with his wife, that the latter had the idea to embark on the craft industry. Tired of seeing furniture that he considers fragile, expensive and imported, he decides to collect pallets, tires and cardboard to produce his works in the colors of his country, Niger.
With these finds he creates sofas, ottomans, tables and decorative paintings by adding authentic Nigerian colors and fabrics to enhance and promote his culture.
“What is produced locally is cultural. When we don't import something, when we produce it here and produce it with the means we have, that means that it is already a Nigerien culture that is there. No one can make it their own. When I create a table, I attach a SAKALA TERA-TERA loincloth, authentic from the Zarma ethnic group in the west of the country. Anyone who sees it knows it's Zarmaganda, Tera-Tera. It is authentic Nigerian and so I use that cultural side. And it also allows the visibility of our clothes. Without culture we are nothing,” he told reporters.
The work of Assan Ag Midal is greatly appreciated by Nigeriens and the expatriates who follow him. This is why he created a gallery where he exhibits his work. Today, he delivers decorative paintings for a restaurant in Niamey which already uses his ottomans, tables and sofas. The promoter of the restaurant is very satisfied because his customers appreciate the good works of Assan Ag Midal.
One of Assan Ag Midal's goals is to spread Nigerian culture beyond the borders of his country. To do this, he plans to develop his activity and open galleries in the sub-region.
You can follow his work on facebook here: https://facebook.com/agmidal.assan
Photo credit © Assan Ag Midal / Facebook
Source: Assan Ag Midal (@ agmidal.assan) and AFRICANEWS