The average person has dreams of one day waking up and finding himself a rich heiress or a long lost member of a royal family. For most people, this remains but a dream, but for an embassy worker in Washington, it actually has come true. Peggielene Bartels has been working at Ghana’s embassy since the 1970s.
A little more than a year ago, Bartels got a call at 4 a.m. She learned that the king of Otuam, a town in Ghana about an hour from the capital. As things turn out, the former king was the uncle of Bartel, and after a traditional ritual of determining the next in line, Peggielene became the new “Nana.”
“Nana” is actually the honorific that the people of Ghana bestow upon people of stature. They use it to refer to people like kings as well as grandparents. Now, Bartel is royalty. The decision to take on the responsibility was not that easy for her. In fact, she struggled with it for three months, before she realized that she could not run away from her destiny.
So what is the life of the new king like? After traveling to Ghana for her coronation, Peggielene went back to Washington and resumed her post as a secretary. She does her own laundry, drivers herself around in a 1992 Honda, and answers to her boss. She serves as a “commuting king,” dividing her time between her being a king and being a secretary. She says that when she retires in five or six years, she plans on moving to Ghana and serving as their full time king.
Fairy tales do happen in real life, don’t they?