Meet Henry Opoku Amponsah, a young fashion designer impacting the world with his creative designs.
This is an interview Henry had with My Story Magazine.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? family, educational background
Thank you. I am Henry Opoku Amponsah, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and a student. I’m from a family of 6 out of 7 amazing siblings, I went to St Johns Primary school for my elementary here in Accra Ghana, continued in Opoku Ware School (THE SCHHOL) for my senior high school in Kumasi, then Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology and currently British Academy of Fashion Design in united kingdom.
How was your childhood and growing up like. Would you say it influenced your choice of a career path?
Thanks, coming from a business home, we never got used to our parents growing up, I mean my siblings and I never experienced family love, care and some support when needed, so I was left with no other option than to see my teachers as family I can talk to for advise especially being in a boarding school at that early stages in elementary school, so yes I would say its influence my choice of career because even though I was exceptionally good in graphic design lessons, growing up I always wanted to be a designer, though no one believed or I will say never liked the idea from scratch, my mum was disappointed in me the very beginning.
Can you share your story with us?
From where you started in your career and how you finally ventured into this sector?
“if I start to talk lol” basically, I grew up with that mindset of an entrepreneur thankful to my teachers so life in university I was figuring out how best I could school and work to make money to support myself whilst in school. So by December at that time, I took my business to social media (Facebook) that I will be launching a clothing line very soon and the response and congratulatory messages were impressive, so I used my outfits I made during that Christmas , called four of my friends walked into a studio, created page on facebook and that’s how the journey started, from lecturers , choristers, video shoots, movies ,celebrities, magazines and so on,
I was listed among the TOP 100 students in entrepreneur 2016 by Students and Youth Entrepreneurs’ Network (SYENet) a subsidiary of The African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) .
After showcasing “life at 21” at GhUk fashion show in Camden center London , I became a household name in UK.This earned me an opportunity to appear in British Vogue Magazine UK 14 April Edition, Glamour Magazine featured my “Autum Kente collections” for three continuous edition (May, June & July respectively).
My Resonance collection showcase at Myturn event in ” 399 T chances”Tottenham got appearances of Deputy Major and his wife for Haringey, I have a shop at South Harrow and outlets in Tottenham .
In Ghana I have a fashion house in Kumasi and Accra where most students undertake attachments during their summer holidays which helps them acquire some knowledge and skills.
101 clothing is the official costume provider for Golden Bean Hotel in Ghana, and also official costume designer for Renee restaurant, platinum appartments uniforms.
I got featured in Fablous Magazine issue 3 edition for my resonance ss18 series 2.
I established 101 foundation Global which aim and focus is to donate basic needs, organizing workshops to the less privilege across the globe to make the world a better place.
My first donation was in Ghana an institution called Missionaries Charity Home in Mbrom . I also went to Sao Tome and Principe where school materials were donated to students of Escola Basica De Sao Joao to empower them study hard and recently made donation at AIR AMBULANCE SERVICE in North London.
101clothing has worked with personalities such as ;
Samira Bawumia 2nd lady Of Republic Of Ghana
· Hollywood Actor and award winner in lead role BEST OF NO NATION Abraham Attah
· British/Jamaican born Jazzwad a Grammy Award Music Producer
· Award winning actress and TV Personality Ama k Abeberese
.George Huff of American idol session
. Nana Churcher of the Nana churcher show
.Nigeria’s Media Personality Toke Makinwa
.Award winning Ghanaian actress Jackie Appiah
.Award winning Ugandan Actor Mathew Nabwiso
.Minister for Trade Ghana high commissioner Dr Kofi Addo
.Ace Ghanaian radio personality Lexis Bill
. Gambian Screen Goddess Princes Shyngle
Miss tourism Uk Queen Harriet Ayele
. Aki Ola publications family
.Dr Pauline Long CEO of Beffta
What will you say motivates you?
I will say,my journey from where I started and how far I’ve come.
What are some of your greatest fears and how have you dealt with pitfalls and setbacks?
My greatest fear was lack of family support, when I was starting my career but I’ve grown to understand that behind the fame, behind strangers supporting you as family, behind the higher increase in sales, behind new clients and contracts is GOD causing people to encounter you, reason been that, God is and has always been my source.
What are some of your greatest regrets? If given the chance, how would you do things differently?
Paying attention to the words of my family when starting off my career, I would follow my passion regardless of circumstances and pursue it for its BEST to learn from mistakes than to believe words from family whilst actions says another
What have been some of your greatest accomplishments?
Forbes Africa 30 under 30 class of 2019 Creative category
SOCIOSO EXCELLENCE AWARDS 13
Best Student Entrepreneur
WEST AFRICA FASHION DESIGNERS AWARDS 14
Emerging Designer of the YEAR
IBADAN STYLE &FASHION AWARDS 14
Next Rated Designer
BLACK MUA AWARDS 15
Best Male Fashion Designer
AFRICA YOUTH CHOICE AWARDS 15
Fashion Revelation Of The Year.
BLACK ENTERTAINMENT FILM FASHION TELEVISON AWARDS(Beffta 16)
Best Male Fashion Designer
MR & MISS WORLD FASHION NIGERIA 16
Recognition award for impact of fashion industry
BLACK MUA AWARDS 17
Best Male Fashion Designer
INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVERS AWARDS 17
Best Male Fashion Designer
YOUR BRAND FASHION EXHIBITION 18
Recognition Award for Outstanding contribution to Fashion.
BLACK ENTERTAINMENT FILM FASHION TELEVISON AWARDS (Beffta 18)
Honorary for fashion impact
MAINLAND TV AND FASHION AWARDS 18
Best Creative Designer
Fashion and Lifestyle award 19
Best male fashion designer
What are some of the principles, philosophies and values you ascribe to?
Self Respect, Prayer, Hardwork, determination and passion driven
Can you mention three books you have read and how they changed your life?
The 100$ startup by Chris Guillebeau
Principle of success by DR Michael Addo Agyekum
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
What do you do for leisure and socialization?
I love road trips and sightseeing, I mostly interact with people on social media
There has been an increase in entrepreneurship across the continent and the globe from small scale enterprises to large corporations. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it’s the best way to solve some of Africa’s challenges and improve the lives of people?
To be honest I think it’s the best, an increase in entrepreneurs creates avenue for employment which is one of major problems in Africa. I keep saying this if we always rely on Government to make this happen we will die, the change we wish to see starts with us, I always advice Morden day youth to be more practical in field of interest to add to the theory aspect, reason why my fashion house takes up to 10 to 15 intern students during their vacations.
What will be your advice to others especially the youth about the effects of comfort zones and on the importance of entrepreneurship?
The fear of GOD is the beginning of wisdom, on the journey as an entrepreneur, Success isn’t found in comfort zones, be passion driven in what you do, make positive use of social media for there are destiny and game changers on there. Most importantly don’t let people project their fears into you, you are your own competition
This year is marked the Year Of Return in Ghana, what’s your thought about the effect this can bring to the entrepreneurial space in Africa and Ghana?
The year of return will influence the country and Africa positively in the sense that it will showcase the rich culture and history of Ghana to the world hence making investors want to establish businesses to create employment for youths, amazingly its all over CNN and BBC which I think is a step in the right direction.