I’m not sure how my friend Michelle, who I was visiting in Ghana last August, originally discovered Georgette Hakim. But I’m glad she did; our visit to Georgette’s unlikely jewelry-making operation was one of my most memorable experiences in Ghana.
Georgette — who was born in Lebanon but spent her entire adulthood in Ghana — has been selling handmade jewelry in Accra for decades. Georgette is close to 80 and her husband, who ran the business with her, died some years ago. Georgette has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Georgette presides over her incredible spread of silver jewelry. See the bracelet in the lower-left corner of the red box in front of Georgette? I bought that.
All of Georgette’s jewelry, with the exception of the intricate Ghanaian glass beads, is made on the premises in the small workshop next to the showroom. Most of the jewelry is silver, with a bit of gold mixed in, and most of it is designed using West African Adinkra symbols. Georgette sells her jewelry by weight at a very reasonable price.
A silversmith doing his thing in the room next door.
We sat and chatted over cups of strong Lebanese coffee, asking Georgette about her early years in Ghana and how things have changed. Georgette showed us a photo on the wall with her and Bill Clinton, who visited the shop several years ago.
Georgette didn’t pressure us to buy anything although Michelle and I each left with several beautiful things, along with a free pair of dainty beaded earrings that Georgette gave us just to be nice.
A very bad polaroid picture of me, Georgette, and Michelle. The photo of Bill Clinton is behind us.
If you happen to find yourself in Accra, please visit Georgette. Her shop is at the back of a white house on Oxford Street, Osu, opposite the Standard Charter Bank. (It’s best to ask directions from a local, or call Georgette at +233-302-775829.) Ring the bell to be let in. You’ll thank me later.