Eric Manu became the chief of a West African tribe after his 67-year-old uncle passed away in 2015. Manu had been living in Canada for three years with his wife and child while working as a landscaper. However, upon hearing about the death of his uncle, he returned to Southern Ghana to take his position as leader.
His uncle had been the leader of a 5,000-person Akan tribe in Adansi Aboabo II, a tribe that had been struggling for most of Manu’s life. In 2015, Manu received a call from a relative who informed him that the tribe had selected him to be their new leader. Honored, Manu agreed to lead his people, seeing it as an opportunity to improve their quality of life.
However, eight months of his coronation, Manu returned to Canada, putting away his chieftain attire and taking up his shovel once again. He planned to raise money and create strong relationships to help his tribe get back on their feet.
Manu commented that ” Some people are surprised that a chief is working and cutting their hedges […] People have to be humble. Even a chief can be doing this kind of job. I’m not going to change my attitude. I’ve been simple from day one.”
Before returning to Ghana, the owner of Manu’s landscaping company, Sue Watson, started a nonprofit called To the Moon and Back Foundation. The charity collected computers, books, clothes, bikes, and any other supplies that could fit inside a 20-foot shipping container.
Watson traveled to Manu’s village for his coronation, where the goods were distributed among the villagers. Currently, it is unknown how long Manu will be working and building connections in Canada although his efforts have already made a significant impact on his tribe.