He paints beautifully and perfectly. Not the usual PR gimmicks as it is evident in his works of some famous showbiz personalities including Kanye West, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Davido, Rudeboy, Okyeame Kwame, John Dumelo, Kwaw Kese, Pappy Kojo, Jackie Appiah, Shatta Wale, Fella Makafui and Guru.
Known in real life as Emmanuel Boakye, Nanaba’s display of talent and style has also led to the production of works which communicate to those who see them while leaving a lasting impression on them.
He tells us more about him in the interview below.
Nanaba! Why that name? Is your father a king?
I chose it. Because my mum is called Nana, I decided to use that as my brand name. Nanaba simply means Nana’s son.
How did the journey begin?
It started when I was a kid…. I was just doing with crayons but not to draw humans… Just normal sketches… But beginning it a professional job started when I completed SHS. I’m a product of Wenchi Senior High School.
What made you decide to take it as a profession? By your own conviction or someone’s advice?
I was working for someone as a mobile money cashier which I was paid 150cedis a month. One day, I saw some work on Instagram….and I asked the artist how much he charges for an artwork like that. He was like 250cedis so I said to myself ‘I know how to do this so why don’t I start doing it and try market it?’…. One of my friends also helped me a lot.
Which year was this and who is this friend?
This was in the year 2017… And the friend was also my classmate – (Randy) – who had knowledge about how to market art.
You mentioned learning how to draw with crayons when you were a child and starting professionally after SHS. Did you do art in school?
No, I did business. I actually wanted to become a bank manager but sometimes in school, I normally went to visual class to paint with them
Who was the first person you painted when you took the decision to do this as a profession?
The first person I painted was Sarkodie….with his wife which was his girlfriend at the time. After painting them, I took a picture of it and posted it on Facebook. After sometime, someone contacted me that he wants some.
Was there a reaction from Sarkodie in that regard?
Not really…. I don’t think he saw it.
Roughly, how long does it take you to complete a task?
Maximum of six days
Would you say your decision to do painting has paid?
I think is now Ghanaians are beginning to know the value of paintings so I guess it’s now that is gonna pay
What has been your greatest challenge since you ventured into this field?
Consistency… And that’s because I don’t really have much working space. I do it in the house.
Ever thought of quitting, considering the challenges you face?
Yes…but I sometimes tell myself ‘it’s all about timing’.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years and what’s your plan?
My dream is to become one of the greatest and I hope to achieve this by engaging more celebrities as well as bloggers. As part of my plans, I intend attending exhibitions to showcase my artworks.