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Home > Why we do what we do


Some years ago, I used to co-own and run a successful Software Consultancy in
Antwerp, Belgium. My life was a series of business meetings across Europe
coupled with copious amounts of fine wines, lunches and executive hotel rooms
and airport lounges. I was an avid collector of Oceanic and African Tribal Art and a
regular bidder at Sothebys, Bonhams and Christies in London, Paris and beyond.
Tribal Art was just a hobby many years ago, but certainly an expensive one.

My wife Michaela, ran a charitable enterprise called 'fair trade ghana' which she started
in memory of her Father, Dr. Dan Berko - a great philanthropist who did so much for
many villages in Ghana. Fair Trade Ghana has now spread across 5 countries and
supports villages in Ghana, Cote D'ivoire, Liberia, Mali and Guinea. Sadly, Michaela got
very sick and was no longer able to go and visit the villagers, the Chiefs, or indeed get
too involved on the ground with her aid efforts. Steve came to the rescue, and before
I knew it... I was hooked. I started spending a lot less time in Europe and more time
trekking across West Africa meeting Chiefs and seeing what the villages needed.
I have to admit, the allure of seeing what old rare tribal treasures could be found in
the villages myself was also an incentive - certainly cheaper than buying on auction
at Sothebys.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - when you see the suffering of the villagers and
especially the children up close and personal, or visit an orphanage or refugee camp -
it changes ones perspective! I somehow persuaded a group of other avid collectors to
join forces with me, come trekking and also donate much of their time and even many
of their treasured collectors pieces to be sold to fund our activities.
Hence 'Fine Tribal Gallery' was formed years ago and our little projects have grown
and grown from buying a few water containers to digging wells, and from a few
sacks of seeds to lorry loads of sacks of food with medicines and mosquito nets.
We even helped set up a refugee camp for refugees from Mali coming into
Lower Burkina Faso.

Since then, we have opened Tribal Galleries, done many Exhibitions and Tribal shows
and basically pooled our resources, knowledge and efforts to become arguably one of
the best sources for truly 'authentic' African tribal pieces in Europe. We work with some
amazing Chiefs and Elders who utilise a network which stretches across West Africa
down to the Congo River.

Sadly, due to Michaelas MS getting much worse, some members of the team almost
permanently based in Africa, and our lovely Gallery Manager going to try and help
children in India, we decided to wind down our Limited company. Fine tribal Gallery Ltd
no longer has Michaela as it's Director. Fine Tribal Gallery the brand is still run by Steve,
who also sells private pieces under his own name.

We were going to put up some pictures here which would show why we are so
passionate about helping the children in the villages we support, but really you have to
see it for yourself...

IT IS THIS SIMPLE - I/We have arguably much older, better and tribally used pieces than
many of the Tribal Art Galleries in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam or the USA. We try to help all
the villages we take pieces from and work with Chiefs to help support the remotest and
most desperate villages through whatever crisis they face. AND we get to spend all our
time surrounded by amazing tribal pieces and learning of their history and uses from lots
of great old men sitting around camp fires. What more could a man want!!

Do we need any more reasons..?

Steve


Steve - from suits and hotel suites to trekking in the bush, scratching mosquito bites! Chief - my inspiration