I met Nana Konamah on our way out of an event. I stopped her to compliment her outfit because she looked so regal and confident and that type of presence requires acknowledgement. Years later, we reunited in Ghana where she invited me to participate in her forthcoming brand launch. Days later, she took me to visit Elmina Castle and it was a moving moment that asked that we return to the basics of what it means to be alive and well. Though spontaneous, this #PurposeIs conversation was a welcome return to fully immersing ourselves in the moment. Nana is one of my favorite wellness advocates and I am so happy to share her perspective of purpose and authenticity with you in this video below filmed at Elmina Castle in Accra, Ghana.
NANA KONAMAH (NK): I am Nana Konamah, I am from Ghana, and I live and work in Accra most of the time although I like to consider myself very global. Right now we are at Elmina Castle, the first and I think the most important building on the slave coast here in West Africa in Ghana, what used to be known as the gold coast. In fact it's called el mina because it literally comes from the Portuguese term for "The Mine". So that just tells you a lot about what this place represented for the European Transatlantic Slave Trade and what this also means in a larger context for the colonization of Africa.
YARMINIAH ROSA (YR): So given that we are here alive and striving, and the history of our people striving and being resilient, what does purpose mean to you and how do you live with purpose?
(NK): Gosh I think that is just such a loaded statement and I think that purpose for me is very much tied to authenticity and I think that staying true to yourself and staying true to your calling. And I recognize that for some people calling comes and its internal and they know and they feel it. for some people its experiences, maybe they come to a place like this (Elmina Castle) and they are reminded of the struggles and they decide to make a change in their lives. And I think that Purpose is very much connected to voice and stillness and really allowing whether its internal processes or external experiences to inform that and always just listening. Purpose for me is being authentic yes, but it’s deeper than that - it’s consistently listening to that authentic voice and authenticity means nothing if we are not at least listening to it and giving it the power it deserves.
Nana Konamah While her background includes work in banking, renewable energy + public health, Nana Konamah Boateng's lifelong passion is everything health + wellness. She spends her free time in the kitchen developing plant-based meals + honing her skills as a low-key beautician. She created Pure Persona, a line of simple, high-quality haircare products crafted from African-grown plant botanicals + guided by the time-honored beauty wisdom of our African foremothers, to gently nourish, enrich + protect natural hair without harsh chemicals or alteration. Nana hopes to foster a culture of self-acceptance among women of the African diaspora with Pure Persona. She's also a certified Yoga Teacher, a bibliophile, hip-hop head + definitely everyone’s coolest, most stylish friend.