My name is Kobby. Or rather, Kobina. It’s 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 primary school in the UK, kids teased me, calling me ‘Ribena’ or ‘Corn on the Kob’. I took it in stride and eventually won them over.
Then my parents sent me to Ghana for the first time to learn how to be Ghanaian. On my first day in 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. At least for now.
Here, I am a lecturer, a writer, and a DJ on Ghana’s growing arts scene. I have 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. My Master’s was in international studies and diplomacy though. Suffice to say, 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.
No parties and weddings, please.
I currently teach communication and critical thinking courses at Ashesi University – Ghana’s first liberal arts college – where I also run the Writing Centre.
Akan. Afropolitan. African. Geek. Ghanaian. Londoner… these are all words that describe me too.
I live to add a couple more to that list.