I met Nathaniel the night the new president of Ghana was announced. Nathaniel, who is 27, owns a hair salon in the country’s capital city. With dreadlocks reaching past his hips, he never has to worry about buying a scarf.
December 10, 2016 Accra, Ghana
Dayna: If you could have one superpower in the world, what would it be?
Nathaniel: Well, I would love to take the world in my own way.
D: Okay. What do you mean by that?
N: Like, everybody has his or her own life to live. So live your life the way you want to, even. Don’t listen to what people will say. Be you. That’s it.
D: That’s it.
N: That’s it.
D: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
N: My work.
D: What’s your work?
N: I have my own work. I am self employed. I have my own salon, that’s my work. I love my work so much. That is what keeps me going.
D: What’s your favourite thing about it?
N: My favourite thing about it is I always get new ideas. I always get new ideas. That is my favourite thing about it.
D: Where do you get your ideas from?
N: I will say it’s a God given talent. Do you believe in God?
N: You don’t believe in God, but we Africans, we believe in God. So I will say it’s a God given talent.
D: Are you Christian?
N: I am hundred percent Christian.
D: What is the most beautiful place that you know? Not necessarily a place that you’ve been or a place that–
N: –That I know or a place that I want to be.
D: Anything, yeah.
N: A place that I want to be or that I know?
D: A place– it could be anything, it could be–the most beautiful place you can think of, have heard of, or you know of. Any of them.
N: The most beautiful place… place I like… peaceful place is Ghana. But I really wanna be in US.
D: Where in the US?
N: That is the place I wanna be.
D: But why?
N: I want to like, um, to see how that place look like, like, to have that feeling like, to know what is going on there.
D: What made you curious about Texas?
N: They mind their own business, they do what they want to do, nobody talks about you, you are on your own, you do what you want to do, that makes me want to be in Texas. Seriously.
D: Where did you hear that?
N: I have friends there. A lot of friends there. A lot. New York, US, Texas, and a whole lot. I have a whole lot of friends over there. And they have been telling me a whole lot that is going on over there. I really want to be there right now. Right, right, right, right now.
D: Right now.
N: Right right now. Right right now.