She was inspired by her own building process as well as the turbulent moments in America in 2020 following the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor.
“There was a lot of racial social unrest happening in the United States in 2020. I remember driving down the street and thinking, ‘Why are we bumping our heads against this wall that doesn’t seem to want to come down?’ I felt we needed something else to leverage and ground ourselves,” she told Travel Noire.
She wanted to tangibly facilitate change and reached out to Stockbridge, Georgia city leaders. As an educated trainer, she wanted to offer sensitivity training for police officers. That one phone call turned into something bigger, and she began to work with city leaders to create a sister city relationship between Stockbridge and Kumasi, Ghana.
Simultaneously, she was in the process of building a home in the Ashanti region capital with her fiancé. Construction was complete just in time as Ghana officials reopened country borders. Their home became an oasis for their inner circle, and the next thing she remembers was friend after friend wanting to stay in their home.
The couple’s home served as inspiration for their friends wanting to follow in their footsteps.
Samuel didn’t say no and, two years later, has helped 15 families build homes and purchase land in Ghana — Kumasi to be exact— in what she calls the “Ghanaian Renaissance.”
She says the movement she’s creating is bigger than just ownership for Black diasporans but being in a place that’s safe.
“I think it’s important that we go to a place where we genuinely and truly feel connected,” she said. “All people around the world have a home, but for Black Americans, because of the unique situation, we feel a little homeless sometimes. America is our home, but it’s not homebase. It’s a place that we’ve adopted.”
She added, “This is about creating another home base in West Africa. We may not know our full genetic coding, but arguably, we know at some point, someone in our family has touched West Africa at some point.”
As the community she’s helping to create grows in Kumasi, she and her fiancé are investing in other ways, such as building a store. Both are committed to consciously bridging the gap between the communities in Kumasi and Atlanta while creating programs to support Ghana’s social-economic development.
The couple will help families legally obtain land, as their team is situated in Kumasi. They work with local chiefs and architects to help families build their dream homes.
For more information on their work or to reach out to L. Nzingha, follow her on Instagram.