for the memories"
The King is I
ANTHONY EPHIRIM-DONKOR 88T-94PhD had returned to his homeland of Ghana in West Africa late in 1993 to conclude doctoral research on African spirituality when his familys home in Mprumem was surrounded by villagers.
Donkor was seized and cast into isolation for seven days. He had been chosen, by traditional means, to succeed his great-uncle as the new king of his village.
Some people vie for the position of king, he says. I did not have any interest, but my aunt, who was a queen mother, had nominated me.
His selection as king would dramatically change his life and the lives of his wife and three children, and for a time, Donkor, known in his village as Nana Obrafo Owam X, considered abdication.
Five years later, Donkor realizes the time he had spent in the United States pursuing an education made him a particularly appropriate candidate, and he has committed himself to improving his villages educational opportunities, agriculture, and infrastructure.
I hope to be one of the bestif not the bestking for my village, Donkor says.
Donkors Emory connection has served him well. When, after being enthroned, he returned to Emory in 1994 to complete his degree, he sought the advice and assistance of James W. Fowler, now director of Emorys Center for Ethics in Public Policy and the Professions, who was his mentor in the Candler School of Theology.
Donkor and Fowler established The Friends of Mprumem as a charitable foundation to support the village. Mprumem is home to roughly one thousand people, who have little access to running water, electricity, sanitation, or education.
In January 1999, Fowler traveled to Mprumem for the dedication of a primary school named after him and his wife, Lurline, who had raised $20,000 for the school. Fowler also brought a cache of medical supplies donated by Atlantas St. Josephs Hospital.G.F.