Oy3 Amara!

Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe was born in Ghana and immigrated to the U.S. in 1996. She holds a BA and an MA in English from Ohio Dominican College and the University of Dayton respectively. She was a Bay Area transplant while she worked on her Masters in Theological Studies. She graduated with distinction and was awarded the Marcella Althaus-Reid award for Best Queer Essay in her graduating class. She is ABD in her MFA program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She brands herself the perpetual student.

Within the span of her life, she has inhabited multiple roles, most of which seem to have nothing in common except that the majority have something to do with education. Her adult working career began in Daycare and After-School programming and continued to Student Affairs/Residential Life work first at the University of Dayton, and later on, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. While a graduate student at the Pacific School of Religion, she served as the Earl Lectures Coordinator for the annual Earl Lectures in Berkeley, CA. She’s worked several odd jobs at various times in between, but the most notable of them all was when she worked as a Quality Control Inspector and general warehouse worker at Red Envelope, inspecting, packing and fork-lifting people’s orders. None of her degrees mattered then; it was all about quality and making the numbers.

Kuukua characterizes herself as a memoirist, essayist, and writer of social commentary. She is the author of several essays and prose poems. Some of her essays have been anthologized in: African Women Writing Resistance (UW Press), Becoming Bi: Bisexual Voices from Around the World (BRC), and Inside Your Ear (Oakland Public Library Press). Her essay, “The Audacity to Remain Single: Single Black Women in the Black Church,” was anthologized in Queer Religion II (Praeger Publishers). She writes for Spoonwiz, The Feminist Wire, and Musings.

She has her hands in three projects currently: The Coal Pot, a Culinary Memoir celebrating her Ghanaian roots, Musings of an African Woman, her blog which features a collection of personal essays about immigration and assimilation, and a foodie magazine. Her scholarly and writing interests lie at the intersection of race and skin color, African culture, Black women’s bodies, expression of voice, and non-conformance and performativity.

Kuukua is a writer, dancer and culinary artist, proud to be an African woman and a politically queer woman of color.  She avidly feeds a voracious travel bug that occupies the hinterlands of her soul, so is often found wandering various parts of the world.  Currently, she has returned to the Empire and is weathering the so-called liberal New England serving as Residence Director at a small college. She is struggling with liberal people’s attitudes, the bemused stares and the inability to wear her hoodies.