Rehema Bah is African-American from Oakland who is currently undertaking her independent studies at the University of Ghana here in Accra. In Ghana she has decided to adopt an Akan name which she relays to people who want to know her name. That name is 'Yenmre' [pronounced: yen-me-ray; our time]. For her, the name signifies that it's time for Africa to take on the world to reclaim its past glorious history.
As a dancer herself Rehema teaches various African dances, and is currently rehearsing a theater production with the School of Performing Arts headed by Nii Yartey at the University Of Ghana.
I invited Rehema to the Freedom Centre where i volunteer three times a week to facilitate a number of events ranging from film shows (documentaries), poetry and public forums. The Freedom Centre is socialist and pan africanist in outlook. Will write more about the activities of the Freedom Centre in subsequent posts.
I got introduced to Rehema through a socio-politically passionate friend, Kai Brown, who is also an African-American married to a Ghanaian in Oakland. She had visited the Centre together with her boyfriend to donate a couple of Kwame Nkrumah books to the library and DVDs for the weekly friday filmshows. Kai also wanted Rehema, while undertaking her masters program to also have a feel of the the Freedom Centre.
We arranged and had her to be the main feature for the Monday Groove poetry, readings and music sessions. Being someone so concerned about name and identity, she decided to share with the group her favourite passage from 'Someone Knows my Name' written by Lawrence Hill. It was her attempt to emphasize the importance of why Africans must maintain their indigenous names other than taking on european and arabic names. A phenomenon she decried and described as 'too prevalent in an African country like Ghana'.