It never ever occurred to me [that I’d be Otuam’s king]. I realized that on this earth, we all have a calling. We have to be ready to accept it because helping my people has really helped me a lot to know that I can really touch their lives. I would have really regretted it if I hadn’t really accept this calling.Peggielene Bartels • Discussing the process that led her from becoming a U.S. citizen with a modest secretary job at the Ghanan embassy to the first female king of the Ghanam fishing village of Otuam. When her uncle, the former king, died in 2008, she accepted the position after a 4 a.m. phone call. Bartels, who had lived in the U.S. since her early 20s, became a U.S. citizen in 1997, and while she continues to work her secretary job, she makes one monthlong trip per year to the city that calls her king — where she wears a crown and holds a scepter, but also works hard to improve the situation for people in the community. A movie about her life (starring Queen Latifah) is expected to be released next year, and it already sounds like a better premise than King Ralph.
February 2, 2013 // 13:03 // 10 months ago