52-year-old Lebanese, Nawal Yaghi Fahkri, is a business woman, an artist and environmentalist. She who channeled her inherent creative gift to promoting environmental sustainability and made-in-Nigeria recycled designs, her business host country.
Fahkri had choices to flex her multiple talents. She had resigned from the Central Bank of Lebanon, after 25 years of service, to open a natural-based beauty care line in Lebanon. At the same time, opened the ‘Pink Taxi’ for women and girls in Beirut, Lebanon in 2009.
She chose a different path to Nigeria, where her creative being found wings to fly – this time through waste repurposing and recycling. Her first project, an interior décor for a wedding party, gave her a base and credibility. Her big break however, came with the top-to-bottom design of Wood Bridge (WB) Garden located at Central Area, Abuja, with an engineer, Amin Ismail of Greenacircles. Nylons, bottles, old tires, drums, polystyrene all factored into the designs, yielding into chairs, walls, flowers, and name plates.
Excluding the garden project, her materials are sourced from her home and friends. On rare occasions, like trainings, she buys them.
“I believe in made-in-Nigeria products, and the fact we can get people to patronize locally recycled décor products, which are better than the imported, artificial interior design products.”
Fahkri never studied arts or design. Viewing her talents as a gift, she believes creativity is innate. However, she also believes in skill acquisition through training. Here, her years of business experience kicks in, providing a business aspect to the arts, a feat which has proven unfathomable to artists.
“First, you can’t price Art. But, when artists create art as a business, they can price it. I don’t sell my creations in pieces. I sell in volumes, when it’s business. Produced in volumes, it is cheaper, and of more value.”
“Factors such as volume of works created per day, cost and energy involved also determines prices.”