Last week, Cathryn introduced us to Kwabena KB who is a dance choreographer in London. This week we’re going to wind our clocks back a few timezones to the west coast of the US to learn about Justin Spio, a Ghanaian-American who I’m sure everyone has seen on the internet in his iconic photo dressed in traditional kente cloth. He is a luxury real estate agent, a model, and an actor!
We asked him to participate in our usual “This or That” game to get an idea where his Ghanaian staple preferences are on the theoretical Ghanaian barometer. I would have to say (to my own benefit) Shatta Wale seems to have the most fans – no cap!
Justin, if you had to choose:
- City or Rural
- Jollof or Waakye
- Kenke or Banku
- Taxi or TroTro
- Ofori Amponsah or Kojo Antwi
- Shattawale or Stonebwoy
Justin: City Waakye Banku Taxi Kojo Antwi Shatta Wale
Tell us about what your business is about?
I’m a luxury real estate agent in Los Angeles, California. I negotiate on behalf of my client either buyer or seller, to get the best deal possible in the real estate transaction. I’m on a team that deals with majority luxury real estate so primarily transactions of $1.5 million or above although I’m always willing to work with anyone regardless of the price of purchase or sale.
What or who has inspired you to build your business/ pursue this career?
I would say that my oldest brother inspired me to pursue a career in real estate. He’s been doing it for 15+ years and has done well. Him and I have lots of similar characteristics when it comes to interacting with people and he has always said that I would do well if I decided to step into the field.
What challenges do you face today building your brand?
A major challenge right now is most people’s biggest challenge… COVID-19. My most effective way of gaining clients is by meeting new people and having face to face interaction explaining to people what I do. However with the “stay-at-home” mandate I’ve had to shift and attempt to gain new clients virtually or through social media. It’s been a challenge but has allowed me to think out the box which is great.
What about you Ghana heritage interests you the most?
What interests me the most about my Ghanaian heritage is the pride that we have.
What interests me the most about my Ghanaian heritage is the pride that we have. I believe that being the 1st sub-Saharan African country to gain independence and having a powerful leader at the time with Kwame Nkrumah set a foundation for Ghanaians of today. We are leaders in Africa and Ghana has put the world on notice through various avenues including: clothing, art, music, sports, history, etc… you name it! Our small country has made a big impact on the world!
How would you like to give back to Ghana through your business/craft?
One of my personal interests in sports. I love basketball especially. I’m still mulling on how I can make this happen but I really want to be included in the development and teaching of basketball to Ghanaians. There haven’t been too many Ghanaians to make it in Mens/Womens professional basketball and I would love to be apart of the front office in making that happen. The talent is definitely there but I think there needs to be more influences from the states to make it happen.