Page last updated at 19:55 GMT, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

London woman made African queen

 Liz Busch
Liz Busch first went to Ghana for six weeks in 2006 as a volunteer

An anti-royalist grandmother has become queen of an African tribe in honour of her charity work.

Liz Busch was made Queen of Santrokofi in Ghana in recognition of her work setting up four children's centres.

She first visited the country in 2006 on a six-week placement as a volunteer but has since decided to stay.

The 59-year-old, who grew up in Wimbledon, south-west London, said she was honoured but found the privilege a "bit embarrassing."

"I've been an anti-royalist all my life so it's a bit weird but I couldn't turn it down - they didn't ask me, they just said that's what's going to happen," she said.

Ceremonial cloth

"They have loads of kings and queens in Ghana, more than we have and we have got one too many."

The Ewe tribe made Ms Busch its queen at a ceremony on December 27 and its members now call her Nana Dansuwa the First.

There are children here who share a pen in school because they can't afford to have a pen each
Liz Busch

Nana means queen and Dansuwa was a tribal chief, who died about 80 years ago, who was known for developing the community.

The new queen was given a throne, a sash, a ceremonial cloth and jewellery at the ceremony and is now able to join the tribe's elders at decision-making meetings.

"As far as I know it's completely unusual for a white woman to be chosen," she said.

"People bow to me but I think it's just because it's new. I find it a bit embarrassing."

She hopes news of the honour will raise the profile of her work and the need for more donations to improve life for African children.

"There are children here who share a pen in school because they can't afford to have a pen each," she said.

Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific