Prince Mensah was born in August 1977 in Accra, Ghana. He attended Adisadel College, Extra Mural Academy, African-American HIV University and Mediation Training Institute. His works have been published in One Ghana, One Voice, Munyori Journal, UNESCO's Other Voices International Project, and the Dublin Writer's Workshop. He lives in Maryland, USA with his wife, Charisse. Prince is open to visiting colleges and universities in the USA to promote Ghanaian poetry and culture. Feel free to contact him about opportunities to market African poetry.
Prince is the head of North American promotions for One Ghana, One Voice.
Five questions with Prince Mensah:
1. You live in the US. What was the reaction in your own community to Obama's victory?
I had the honor of witnessing this historic event with my father. Both of us were in awe of this spectacular event. I had all my Ghanaian friends on the phone after 11:10 EST when it was certain Barack had won. I was drenched in tears of joy. I felt exceedingly proud to be an African. I felt happy to be alive that moment. America had finally come to terms with the wisdom and intelligence of the black identity. I wept for my ancestors who came to America as slaves and for those whose brethren were taken away from them. I wept because I was witnessing history, a déjà vu that took so long to occur. The tears were the catharsis of a race long underestimated and a world in thirst for an example of excellence.
2. What do you think Obama's victory does for the hopes of Africans?
Barack Obama is not the President of Africa, so I think in as much as his victory holds symbolic essence for Africans; we cannot goad him with our expectations. Barack’s obligations, first and foremost, are to the good people of the United States of America. Barack’s success should inspire a paradigm shift in African politics. The Mugabe-style of politics and the senseless civil war mentality have to be buried once and for all. The world has reached a junction of common sense and we, Africans, cannot be left behind. We cannot allow stagnant traditions and redundant systems to impede the progress that our continent badly yearns for. Young Africans must begin to agitate for change. Chieftaincy must be made dynamic and relevant in our cultures. Traditions and customs have to be reassessed to meet 21st century challenges. Corruption and cronyism must be purged from our countries if we can ever attain the change we desire.
3. Do you think Obama's personal connection to Africa will influence the way his government treats the continent in the coming years?
It should. Barack is in a unique position to revamp US foreign policy towards Africa and other parts of the world. Other countries and cultures deserve the same respect that the USA demands from everybody else. The sermon of equality is both for the preacher and the congregation. Barack has the opportunity to do the right things the right way. America is great when it is good. Nobody likes bullies and the euphoria over his election is a perfect PR opportunity to launch a comeback of American leadership in the world.
4. In your particular position of being both an African and an American, do you feel a particular personal connection with Obama?
I do. I am like Barack’s father: a student sojourner in America. I have an American wife and I am exceedingly glad that our children can look at Barack Obama and see the possibilities in their respective destinies. I find a connection with the President-elect because, like him, I have dreams that seem impossible. The wonderful thing is that, like him, my dreams shall also come to pass. The most beautiful thing about his success is that it is not primarily based on color. It is based on his character; his willingness to dream and change the world, one person at a time.
5. You have two new books out. Could you please tell us more about them and what we can do if we'd like to purchase a copy?
My two books are "Memoirs of a Native Son" (a book of poetry about an African in Diaspora) and "Seven Steps to Amazing Love" (A Guide for Christians in search of true love). "Memoirs of a Native Son" is about past and present exceptional Africans. It goes into the psyche of a young African, still caught up in the struggles of his/her fathers, as well as fighting his/her own battles. "Seven Steps to Amazing Love" is a no-holds barred discussion about how to use principles in the Bible to get to the love of your life.
"Memoirs of a Native Son" can be bought online through Publish America, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Target. The ISBN number is 1606729365 if you want to purchase it from a local store. The ISBN number for "Seven Steps to Amazing Love" is 9781606478844. It can also be purchased online through Xulon Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders and Target. I hope everyone gets a chance to get a copy.