My name is Kobby. Or rather, Kobina: a name given to Akan boys born on Tuesday. I was born in London and raised between there & Cape Coast; Ghana’s former capital.
In the UK, kids teased and called me, ‘Ribena’ or ‘Corn on the Kob’. I took it in stride. Then my parents sent me to Ghana to learn how to be Ghanaian. On my first day in primary school there, I introduced myself as ‘Koh-BEE-nuh’ and had my new classmates on the floor in stitches. At the time, I didn’t understand why. To this day, when someone says my name the way I did that day, I know exactly where I know them from.
Today I hop between London and Accra, but the latter is where I have laid my hat.
Here, I am a writer, a lecturer, and a DJ on Ghana’s rising creative arts scene. One with an endless fascination with modern African culture. This is my third blog since 2007. I will forever regret deleting the first of them.
Since moving for good from London to Accra almost a decade ago, I have experienced everything from being a security expert and heading a market research department, to being a journalist, DJ & new media executive with Ghana’s biggest media group, and becoming one of the first people paid by the Ghanaian government to work in social media. I was also the editor of DUST: a Ghanaian magazine that combines creativity and popular culture with social awareness-raising content. Each one of these came as a surprise to me: I studied law and my Master’s was in International Studies and Diplomacy. I enjoyed the latter a lot more than I did the former.
As a DJ, I was part of London’s Amplified collective, with whom I organized events for the likes of The Roots & Estelle, and spun sets supporting everyone from Amadou & Mariam to Erykah Badu. Here in Ghana, you’re likely to find me supporting dope artists at the Asabaako Festival; on stage at Alliance Francaise, collaborating with accra[dot]alt; or dropping the odd set at Republic..
I currently teach Written & Oral Communication, Social Theory, Leadership, African Philosophical Thought, Africa in International Affairs, and Text & Meaning at Ashesi University – Ghana’s first liberal arts college.
Akan. African. Geek. Ghanaian. Londoner. Father… these are all words that describe me too.
I live to add a couple more.