Meet L. Nzingha Samuel, the social entrepreneur behind the “Ghanaian Renaissance” who has created her personal neighborhood in Kumasi, Ghana.
In 2019, Ghana’s “12 months of Return” marketing campaign and the continued racial unrest in America prompted hundreds of Black Individuals to hint their roots and are available residence to Ghana. However Samuel had already dedicated herself to consciously bridging the hole between communities in Kumasi, Ghana, and Atlanta by creating applications and initiatives to assist Ghana’s socio-economic growth.
After investing in a number of properties in Ghana, Samuel has made it her mission to help her buddies, household, and colleagues in constructing properties there as nicely.
As a part of her work in Ghana, Samuel helped develop a sister-city relationship between the Honorable Mayor Anthony S. Ford of Stockbridge, Georgia, and Honorable Mayor Christian Adu-Poku of Kumasi, Ghana, and supplied over 100+ instruments and provides to native faculties and hospitals round Ghana.
Talking with BLACK ENTERPRISE, Samuel shared her inspiration to spend money on Ghana.
“I’ve been touring to Ghana for nearly 20 years now, and primarily to Kumasi, the place my godfather lives. I might reside at his compound for 1- 2 months and fell in love with the wealthy tradition and heritage, pleasant individuals, and the great thing about Ghana. I additionally met my fiance throughout these journeys—I’ve identified him for 19 years now. He selected to settle in Kumasi, so we determined to construct a house there collectively.”
“When racial unrest started inflicting main points within the U.S. a number of years in the past, I made a decision to create one other pipeline for Blacks all through the diaspora so we may have a way of possession and belonging. Ghana additionally sponsored the “12 months of Return” in 2019, so it grew to become an ideal storm inspiring me to settle in my “residence” nation and set up my household there.”
“For many people, Ghana additionally supplies a cultural compass, main us residence — no matter the place we could have come from initially. We all know in some unspecified time in the future all of us graced the African shores.” – L. Nzingha Samuel
“I additionally realized my worldwide travels and group growth expertise may actually make a distinction within the house. As soon as my shut buddies discovered I used to be constructing there, in addition they bought land and started to construct. The group expanded quickly by phrase of mouth. Now, there are over 15 households in our group, spanning over 20 plots of land (which is about 5 acres) all through the world.”
“Moreover, I brokered a sister-city relationship between Stockbridge, Georgia, and the Afigya-Kwabre district the place I reside in Kumasi, Ghana. This relationship added one other layer to the pipeline I’m creating between our individuals all through the diaspora and Kumasi, Ghana.”
What are a few of your hopes for bridging the hole between communities in Kumasi and Atlanta?
“It began with Atlanta and Kumasi, however it has branched out from there! We presently have a resident from Jamaica that’s constructing a house, and we’re receiving inquiries each day from different locations round america. Individuals from throughout wish to be part of the group!”
“I hope to create a second section of the group later this 12 months and develop the choices inside each. I wish to create a co-op house the place group residents can spend money on farmland and develop their very own meals. I’m additionally seeking to construct a neighborhood co-working house along with small shops and outlets in order that residents can have entry to native Ghanian meals and produce as nicely.”
“I’m additionally engaged on an ecotourism challenge in Kumasi; an immersive artwork set up bringing tales and folktales from all through the diaspora to life; a sports activities academy for athletes to be seen by worldwide scouts, and an aviation challenge within the space. I’ve additionally been actively working with the local people and group members from the diaspora to construct all the space right into a sustainable and multifunctional vacation spot for the better world group to expertise.”
What was the method like when making a neighborhood in Kumasi?
“It was a fairly simple course of for me as a result of my fiance is Ghanaian and was born and raised not removed from the placement. He speaks the language and understands the system, so the obstacles to entry have been very low. Plus, quickly after I started constructing there, I fostered a relationship with native authorities officers, so I even have their assist.”
“You don’t have any thought who your neighbor is or the place they’re from locally! Everybody builds their residence in the identical space, however we reside amongst the individuals sprinkled all through. We work with Ghanaians within the neighborhood to facilitate change and develop the world. We’re actually turning into one household once more. It’s not a utopia, however it may be no matter we make it—collectively.”
What are some stigmas you hope Black Individuals can break by your initiative?
“I hope Black Individuals can work by numerous our emotional traumas by this course of. We now have a chance to unplug, decompress, and contribute in methods we haven’t had house to do earlier than.”
“We even have a chance to easily “matter” by advantage of our very existence versus having to clarify why we should always “matter” to anybody else. We all know everybody gained’t transfer to Ghana, and we additionally know we’ve got numerous work to do inside our personal communities at residence.”
“We hope to influence our collective consciousness by constructing relationships with our brothers and sisters overseas that may influence and affect our actions again right here within the U.S. and around the globe. We are able to create a base the place we’ve got the liberty to maneuver about and set up ourselves in methods we’ve got not been capable of earlier than.
“I additionally hope Black Individuals shed the stigma that continental-born Africans “don’t like us” (and vice versa). There’s numerous miscommunication and ignorance on each side of that dialog.”
“The extra we go to and expertise Ghana and different nations all through the diaspora, the extra we are able to have a mutual appreciation and respect for each other’s existence and contribution.”
Inform us about your sister-city relationship between Mayor Anthony S. Ford of Stockbridge, Georgia, and Honorable Mayor Christian Adu-Poku of Kumasi, Ghana.
“This relationship is the brainchild of myself and Dr. Alan Peterson II, Financial Growth Director, Metropolis of Stockbridge. I used to be driving by the town and thought of how I needed to do extra to fight the racial unrest taking place all through the U.S. on the time, particularly inside Stone Mountain, Georgia, at that second. I then met with Dr. Peterson, and we remained in communication as I traveled backwards and forwards to Ghana, establishing the group.”
“Dr. Peterson shared his imaginative and prescient of what this sort of relationship could possibly be for the residents of Stockbridge, particularly small to medium-size enterprise house owners and entrepreneurs. The District Chief Govt of the Afigya-Kwabre South district in Kumasi, Ghana, was very keen about this chance to fortify relationships within the U.S. From there, Dr. Peterson and I have been capable of dealer the connection between each events and set up their sister-city relationship. The doc was formally signed in December 2021, and I introduced it again to the U.S. in January 2022. Now, we’re presently working to determine applications and initiatives that will likely be mutually useful for Stockbridge and Kumasi.”
“We hope to create a pipeline for enterprise house owners to journey and look to Ghana to supply and manufacture items. We are also establishing methods Stockbridge residents can set up industries inside this district in Ghana, serving to to construct the workforce there and to assist their companies again residence within the U.S. We’re going to sponsor festivals, cultural exchanges with West Africans and different group members from the diaspora, to share sources, data, and create concepts for future growth.”
“We additionally wish to communicate to group members on each side to see how we are able to guarantee younger women and girls can assist each other between the 2 cities. Above all else, we hope to interrupt down obstacles on each side and have each communities develop from the chance.”