Dr. Deborah Tamakloe, an assistant professor in Early, Middle and Exceptional Education at Millersville University, has a unique perspective on Dr. Daniel Wubah’s upcoming inauguration. Like President Wubah, Tamakloe was born in Ghana. She’s serving on the inauguration committee and is thrilled to work at a university where the president is also the king for his village in Ghana.
“I’m excited to hear a forward-looking speech from Dr. Wubah at the inauguration,” said Tamakloe. “I know his speech will steer our University in the direction it has to go, so we can all be proud. I will be proud.”
Tamakloe says there are no other kings from Ghana who are university presidents. “This is phenomenal. It’s historic for us, for Ghana,” says Tamakloe. “The inauguration will showcase Millersville and how we embrace diversity. It will also showcase Ghana and put us in the limelight. It gives us, the young up-and-coming Ghanaians living in the United States, hope that we can actually do whatever we set our minds to.”
Tamakloe says kingship is common in Ghana. “They used to be our traditional authority and had jurisdiction in all matters in the olden days. Now we have the judiciary, but kings remain respected leaders of our villages and oversee the day-to-day affairs.”
She says the pomp and circumstance of an inauguration won’t be too out of the ordinary for the Ghanaian delegation, “We were colonized by the British, so we pretty much mirror them. In Ghana, we call this an investiture. I never had the privilege to attend one throughout my education in Ghana. I’m fortunate to be able to attend, not just any inauguration, but one of our own!”
With a delegation coming from Ghana, Tamakloe says she will tell them that Millersville is a great place to be and work. “I’m very proud to be here because I have colleagues who support me on all fronts, and students who not only love me, but are eager to learn from me, as much as I am eager to learn from them. An added source of pride for me, is having a leader who is a native of Ghana and a king.”
What to wear to the inauguration? Tamakloe will be in Kente cloth, the traditional/national cloth of Ghana. “It’s very colorful, it is hand woven and made from silk and cotton yarns. It’s very heavy and can last a long time. However, it cannot be worn to brace the snow. It doesn’t snow in Ghana, so anything below 60 degrees… we will be in our sweaters and long sleeves.”
At home, Tamakloe cooks traditional Ghanaian food for her husband, who is also from Ghana and their 18-month old twins. When they travel to Ghana they come back with their luggage full of food; salted and smoked fish, and yams. If you visit, you’ll hear a variety of languages. Tamakloe speaks more than seven languages and the twins are learning the Ghanaian language and English.
Wubah’s inauguration is set for Thursday, April 18.