King of West African tribe returns to landscaping job in Canada
Jeff Lagerquist, CTVNews.ca
Published Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:04PM EDT
Vancouver residents looking to hire some landscaping help this fall could end up with royalty tending to their hedges and bagging up leaves.
Eric Manu, a Langley, B.C. man who was crowned chief of the Akan tribe in the village of Adansi Aboabo No. 2 in southern Ghana last year, has returned to Canada for a few months, where he is resuming his job as a landscaper.
“Sometimes we go to the (job) site and they say, ‘You are the chief. I saw you on TV. Why are you doing the landscaping?’” he told CTV News. “This is humbleness you understand. Anytime I’m in Canada, I’m proud to work for my boss.”
Manu, 32, moved to B.C. in 2012 after marrying a Canadian woman he met in Ghana. But his uncle, who had served as chief of the tribe, died two years ago, placing Manu next in line for the honour.
Hanging up his crown, even temporarily, isn’t a decision Manu takes lightly. He’s using his time in Canada to raise money to improve the health care standards for his tribe of 6,000.
Manu and his Canadian boss Susan Watson started a foundation that packed a shipping container with medical supplies, school supplies, and clothing that arrived in Ghana this spring. The To the Moon and Back Foundation hopes to continue raising money and donations to send a second shipment and improve the local medical clinic.
“The whole village was quite poor. The clinic only has a midwife and a few nurses. There is no doctor on site,” said Watson.
-With files from CTV Vancouver