|An African Election started as my journey back to the Africa of my childhood. In 2008, 28 years had passed since I had last set foot in Ghana — a country on the West Coast of the African continent. I had spent seven years of my boyhood, moving between two cities: Accra, the country’s modern, coastal capital, and Kumasi, the capital of the ancient Ashanti kingdom.
With my fortieth birthday quickly approaching, my history had suddenly become important to me. The landscapes of childhood leave indelible marks on us all and I wanted to go back to the place where my emotional memory began. So I made my way to Africa to look for the traces of my childhood that would enable me to find out more about who I was by discovering who I had been.
I chose the year 2008 for my return, as the result of an inner calling. The fact that my trip occurred at the same time that presidential elections were being held in Ghana and that the United States was about to vote its first Black president into power, was coincidental. Yet, these elections, in both the U.S. and in the relatively, small country Ghana, would become a reflection to a man bracing for his forties. They would open my eyes to the reality of modern day politics in a fast-paced and globalized world; a world in which people were living between high-tech and the middle ages; a world in which money ruled and where hunger and fear still threatened to undermine cultural values and the integrity of man.
Still, Ghana seemed different. Despite poverty and hardship, the country had held on to the cultural and spiritual inheritance that had made Ghanaians a proud people. Did I have a cultural and spiritual identity? That was what I was here to find out.