Freda Koomson to most but Efua Nana Aigywah Koomson to a select few and now to you my Ezibota community. I’m the product of a Liberian-Ghanaian union come to life in the 1980s. I’ve ferried between my Liberian-American identity as well as my Ghanaian-American identity, between Brooklyn and The Bronx, now Staten Island and Rockland County and now Pittsburgh, between Cassava Leaves and Dokun and Fried Fish, between American and British value systems, between African Islam & Christianity, between parents both staunchly proud and stubborn in their heritage and lineages, between the personal struggles it took for them to arrive here. To arrive at me—a beautiful struggle born in Brooklyn after hours of what I hear was, well— a beautiful struggle.
Public speaking and the love of storytelling was born unto me at a young age when I recited the poem “I am a Black Child” at the age of 5 or 6 for my daycare’s Black History Month celebration. I later went on to win first place for my district, District 17, and eventually represented the beautiful borough of Brooklyn as a 4th grade storyteller with the Ananse fairytale “Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky”. While some of us may believe “water no get enemy”, I’d argue it does.
Water, like writing, can help shape histories and the beauty that is born out of it’s eventual violence to the landscape it passes through may be both temporary and lasting at the same time.
Writing has been my therapy for quite some time, despite my tentative pen and tentative thoughts. I’ve questioned myself as much as I’ve questioned the world and I’m onto my 3rd or 4th journal. I’ve dibbled and dabbled in spoken word and poetry and most recently have decided to rejuvenate my writing via this platform.
Ezibota re-birthed a voice in me at an interesting time in my life when I wanted to marry my interests in Healthcare, my desire to have an impact within and for the African diaspora, and do something I’ve always loved. As I stated, writing has been my therapy and post a stint of Medical School in Cuba, I contemplated what else made me valuable to the world outside of my medical school ambitions. I slowly started to refocus on the barebones of the things I love. I love to help people, I love to dance, I love to cook, I love to write, and I love studying and writing about people, places, and languages. I’m in love with beautiful struggles and I hope to memorialize some of those through Ezibota.