Nana Aba; US Navy Veteran, Poet, Author


Nana Aba- The Empowered African Queen Voicing the Truths of a Nation

Arlington, WA

Nana Aba Article for The African Magazine
written by Nana Aba
Life has challenged me numerous times, testing me with all manner of adversaries and taking its
pound of flesh. Looking back, I find there is much I have to reflect on and my own unique life
circumstances have gifted me with truths and wisdoms beyond my years.
{Photo 1}
In my thirteenth summer, my life was forever changed when, after years of living in an African
refugee camp and endless interviews and challenges, my family and I were finally chosen to
receive refuge under the International Organization for Migration Program. I recall that during
one particularly memorable interview, the Gentleman had asked me
“Why do you want refuge, and what do you want to do with that opportunity?”
Without hesitation I responded,
“I don't want to die here, I want an opportunity to change the world.”
{Photo 2}
The year 2013 saw me making the decision to join the US military, which led to six years filled
with tears, pain, trauma and growth, discovery. After my time spent in defense of my adopted
country, I came to terms with the understanding that I had given enough of myself to others, and
it was high time to heal the broken pieces that had been scattered into an abyss of hurt and
So, began my journey to healing.
I spent a fair amount of time figuring out and wondering what healing looks like for me; a proud
African Woman, a US Veteran who fought to protect the country who brought her peace and
security for the first time in her young life. What does healing look like to an African Immigrant
with a strong will to survive, torn between her love for two nations.
On the surface, the truth is this: it looks Painful. It looks Uncomfortable, it looks
heartbreakingly like Fear. It looks like Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness.
On the other side of that, there's a Bold, Beautiful, African Queen who isn’t afraid to give a voice
to the voiceless, whose screams of frustration and pain echo silently in the abyss that hers had
gotten lost in for years.
{Photo 3}
I am Nana Aba.
Nana Aba, with a fierce determination to survive that pushed me beyond my limits and has
enabled me to chase my wildest dreams and begin a voyage of not being afraid of my thoughts
or my voice. A voice that was once silenced, but never again.
{Book Cover}
My book Stolen Heritage was birthed from pain, during trying times when my spirit was broken
beyond what I thought was repairable. I forged the personality of my heroine, Asha, as an exact
replica of the strength I always knew I had but could never seem to keep a strong grasp. I gave
her the opportunities to shine through every obstacle she faced and the power to choose her own
destiny. I crafted her character to emulate strength. She is a revolution. She is me, and I am her.
I always understood the passion I had to join the military and despite the painful lessons I
learned, I hold dearly the pride and sense of accomplishment that I gained being a Sailor for the
US Navy.
And when I wrote ;
“Queens don’t cry, they prevail”
I’m speaking for every single woman who has to fight daily to keep her crown, she may cry
through the process as I did, she may break and fall down a few times, but she will keep her
crown on and prevail. Always!!!
Follow Nana Aba’s Journey on:

Stolen Heritage by Nana Aba
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