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Who is this Woman behind Wajoli African Wear?

She is known as Jessica Wajoli, originally Comfort Jessica Wajoli. Where did she get her passion to begin and run this business in the USA?
I am Jessica Wajoli and I shall tell you how it all started.

I am from Ghana West Africa, of a tribe called Bassare. I was born into a big family of eight (8) siblings. My mom and dad met in the south where both my grandparents had settled. They became farmers because of the rich, fertilized soil in that region. My dad, Mr. KoJo Wagar Wajoli and my mom, Mrs. Lizabeth Adwoa Gari Wajoli had also settled in the south where four of my siblings were born. Then they moved to the Bono Alhafo region, in the city of Kintampo where I and the other four siblings were born.

My dad was a plantation farmer who grew cocoa, corn, yams, plantains, cassava and Palm trees. Our African Palm trees have nuts that we use as palm oil making soap and body cream. My dad was a tall 6’2”, good-looking guy with no money – still, women dreamed about becoming his wife. However, much to their disappointment, he was attracted to my mom who was a very beautiful 5’5” woman.

We grew up in a loving family, not rich, but never hungry. My parents worked hard every day to make certain that we had food to eat. They were proud of their large family in this small village called Suamire, near Kintampo. They were not educated but educated us kids. My older siblings did not like school so they were not forced to attend, however my mom and dad encouraged those of us who did like school. My other siblings worked with my parents on the farm. In Africa, educating your child is not free, so if some children don’t want to go to school, their parents would not insist.

I am very proud of my parents for never giving up on me; realizing that I wanted to achieve something in my life and knowing that education was the first step in that process.

All of us kids knew that our parents were sacrificing every day, working hard on the farm and also selling their produce to families in nearby towns and villages. My mom would travel to other cities to sell their products. In addition, she was gifted in handicrafts making our local soap, body creams, also local alcoholic drinks called pito with corn and millet. She made porridge in the morning to sell to school kids and farmers. My dad had skills like a mechanic – he was able to fix many tools and machines that were used in farming.

As a child of 7 years, I remember following my mom as she journeyed to the villages where she sold her crafts. Later, when I was 10 years old, I could carry things on my head and sell these products to families in our village. My brothers and sisters did the same work until they married. They are all gifted in handicrafts. They are their own boss and take care of their families with the help of their wives and husbands. We inherited the entrepreneurship which our parents had and were used to working hard as young children. They also taught us to be humble in spirit and have respect for others. We were all fortunate to have such loving and talented parents who saw their children as a gift and a blessing from God.

I am proud to have been the owner of Wajoli African Wear for the past six years. Today I have a sizable business with women and men’s clothing, woven baskets in many shapes and colors, and jewelry including necklaces, bracelets and ear-rings. In 2011 I started making jewelry with only five pieces of jewelry which happened to be my own. And, as you will see on my website, the jewelry business expanded 100/fold.

I am blessed to have met some wonderful women who invited me to their church and encouraged me to sell my jewelry. I had five pieces of my personal jewelry which I was reluctant to sell but I decided to sell a few pieces. I felt proud to have earned money for those bracelets and a necklace. I said to myself, This is the start of ‘Wajoli African Wear!

I thank God for my family and friends who helped and encouraged me in so many ways. I could not have done without their support and mentoring.
My parents instilled in me the work ethic they had and convinced me that I was capable of accomplishing my dreams. I pray for my dad’s soul everyday when I wake up. My mom is my living-legend, proud of me where I am today with God’s grace upon me. I wake up running with my head held high because of my proud parents.

It has not been an easy road but with God all things are possi ble. I’m proud of you, Mom and Dad. In the work I do I will honor your name, ‘WAJOLI.’ You make me smile everyday and give me hope for the future. With my humbleness I say thank you, ‘neneletule’ in the Bassare language. God bless you, Mama and Mpaa.

May God Bless you all. WAJOLIAFRICANWEAR salutes you all!

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