Gilean Opoku, Australian-born Ghanaian Visual Communicator, talks to’s Gameli Hamelo on what her work entails  and her favourite Ghanaian creatives.

Read on.

You describe yourself as a Visual communicator, what does it mean?

I describe myself as a visual communicator because it seems best fitting for how I do life. I communicate and process everything visually and it doesn’t just translate in my day job as a digital designer, it transcends through my lifestyle, passion projects, my way of thinking, travels and so forth.

You founded Afroklecti , what is it all about? When did it officially start?

Afroklectic started as a platform to celebrate up and coming African-creatives like myself in Australia. Trying to make a mark displaying our community on a global platform, showing people that Africans are out and about doing their thing in Australia. Early 2010.

Do you think Afroklectic has achieved what you had in mind when it started?

I didn’t really have anything in mind. I had something to communicate and blogging seemed like the easiest way to do that. I didn’t anticipate anything from it. I expected it to collapse after 6 months.

Did growing up in Australia influence starting Afroklectic?

Growing up in Australia was the basis of Afroklectic. The site doubles up as a journal recollecting my experiences to date and also my experiences as an African-Australian abroad. I currently live in London, so my experiences are on a new scale.

What has keept you going in spite of the challenges?

My faith and curiousity. I always want to know what comes after the challenge.

What are your thoughts on the attitude of African parents towards the creative arts? Do you think they are supportive now?

Every parent’s expectation for their child is different. There is a general idea that going down the creative route isn’t favourable amongst parents. My parents were very supportive when I chose to go down that path. However, when I was younger I used to tell my Mum that I wanted to be an artist when I grow up and she used to tell me that artists in Africa were usually strugglers. That’s what she grew up knowing and I think that’s the case for many African parents. They don’t know or understand the industry and the different paths one can take. I think times are changing and people’s perception of the creative industry, especially now that there is a creative buzz streaming from Africa and the Diaspora.

How important is Social Media to your creative journey and work?

Everything and anything can inspire me and social media is just the icing on the cake. Instagram, Vsco, Pinterest, Tumblr and Facebook, its all food for my mind.


The Afroklectic Project: Experimental Research was recorded two years ago, do you think the participants would have different answers, should you ask them the same questions now?

I think the answers would be similar. I still don’t think we support each other enough as creatives in Australia. We are quite a small African population in comparison the UK, States, Canada and so forth. It appears that certain things are not made available to us, but I honestly think, it’s up to us to make it happen. That’s how things start and grow.

Any thoughts on the creative arts industry in Ghana? Any favourites?

I am hearing and reading so many great things about creative industry in Ghana. I am especially loving the concept AccraDotAlt and their brainchild, the CHALEWOTE festival, the work of Nana Kofi Acquah and also Akosua Adoma Owusu. I know there are more names, but that’s all I can remember from the top of my head.

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