Photo Credit: Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon, Nana Kwame
The Black Repat: Living in Ghana You Have Freedom From Fear
Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon, Nana Kwame has built a successful life in Accra, Ghana after leaving the United States in 2008.
He is a world-renowned master linguist and the founder of Abibitumi where he specializes in live online and offline teaching of various Afrikan languages, including Akan (Twi), Yoruba, Wolof, Mdw Ntr (Hieroglyphics), and Kiswahili.
In an interview with Travel Noire, he talks about what led to his decision to repatriate to Ghana at the age of 28 and why he says his goal is to never set foot on United States soil again.
Travel Noire: What inspired you to move to Ghana?
Dr. Kambon: Why I’m here? One, I am home. And two, some of the unrest that you’re seeing going on throughout the US around George Floyd being killed I was someone who was subjected to wrongful arrest.
The police don’t ask you if are you an upstanding citizen or care about your education. All they see is that you’re Black.
As I am here in Ghana today, I realized that I never worry if police are going to pull me out of my car and stick their knee on my neck. They do tend to do that at the government level, where they’ll disregard your sovereign state and violate your airspace. However, on a day-to-day basis, which is what we see in the United States, which I refer to as the United Snakes, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel with Black people at any point in time where state and non-state actors can continue the anti-black genocide that has been going on for quite some time.
I’m here because I realized that this is a place where I can raise my children safely and where my wife and I can be safe. I’m also here to help build a nation that can stand up to places like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. I’m here to be a part of building Africa to make it that power that can stand up and defeat the enemies of black people.
Travel Noire: Since moving to Ghana, what have you either discovered about yourself, or what are some things you probably would not have realized if you were to stay here in the US?
Dr. Kambon: I first came in 1998, That was just for two weeks. I came here again in 1999. Then I did a year of study abroad from 2000 through 2001. So, from there, I would say that I got a very good sense of what living here permanently would be like.
The culture shock that you will find is the people that are perming their hair and people who are going to church praying to an imaginary white boy on a stick. That’s the culture shock. People are perming their hair and going to church.
That’s a shock because you’re like, okay, I’m coming to Africa. You come here and you find that people are trying to be whiter than anybody on the face of the planet earth. You’ll find people who have white first names and last names, who have never had an African name a day in their life.
Meanwhile, I was born with my name.
The major thing is that you’ll come to Africa, and you’re thinking okay Africa is home. That this will be some sort of a refuge from the wicked. But then when you actually come here, you’ll find some of the most sellout, anti-Black, House negroes.
If you want to meet Africans in Africa, generally speaking, you may have to create them. Because what has been manufactured here over the past few decades, if not a few centuries, is anti-Africans. People who have been manufactured to hate everything about who they are as African people.
In universities and other schools, you would think they’re supposed to teach about African philosophy. But unfortunately, all they know about is Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and they don’t know anything about Africa.
Travel Noire: So, even with the flaws that you just described, how would you pitch Ghana to others thinking of relocating?
Dr. Kambon: I say that here is the battlefront. This is the battlefield and on that side is deep, deep, deep behind enemy lines. You can see that because black people are getting shot down every single day. That’s what happens when we’re deep into enemy territory. You have numerous casualties in that situation.
Here, this is the frontlines of the battlefield, because, you know, it’s a fight over basically for the minds of African people, as well as for the actual soil itself.
What I would say is that because this is the frontlines that you come here and you are ready to do that work of actually creating the Africa that we would like to see.
There are some people who come here, you know to chill out and relax and that’s here as well. There was one brother who said that when he comes to Ghana, it makes him feel like this is what it’s like to be a white man in America because nobody follows you around the store because you’re Black because everybody’s Black.
You all can be just walking around and living, and you have this freedom from fear.
Then in terms of quality of life, I was just on my land and there are all kinds of stuff growing there. We just went up and planted coconut trees and mango trees. We already got pineapples. We’ve got all kinds of peppers, plantains, and cassava, you would literally have to give the effort to starve from hunger.