Waveney Charles, is about “all things Africa,” so much so they call her “Ms. Africa.” She has charities that she supports there, and now she’s making plans to build a home in West African, Ghana.
Charles has been about the business of supporting charities since she was a child, and now she supports two different orphanages in Ghana, Good Shepherd Academy and Mama Sofia Trinity Home Academy.
“I love charity and being in my community doing things,” said the Virgin Island resident, who’s also a member of People for a Better Community, a nonprofit organization based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. On top of this, she’s also co-founder of 2 Yaa Sisters, a touring organization that combines touring and charitable giving.
How does this philanthropist do it, well one of the actions that she takes is whenever she travels to Africa, she carries a duffle bag filled with supplies to donate to her charities, then she shops in African markets and returns home with merchandise to sell, and she uses the funds to continue supporting her organizations.
Charles became attracted to the mother continent after being invited by a friend in 2016 to take a tour of Ghana with the Africa For the Africans organization, facilitated by the Bomani Tyehimba. Charles loved what she saw; she found beautiful land surrounded by mountains and trees.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to live in Africa,” said Charles, a sales representative for Home Depot, “I just felt connected.” She went home and told her family that she had found the place where she wanted to spend the rest of her life.
She and a friend who she met on the Africa For the Africans tour have since purchased property adjacent to one another, and have also traveled the country several times familiarizing themselves with local customs and cultures. “We’ve learned so much about the culture and how to do business there. They’re much more laid-back. It’s very much like the Caribbean.”
Last year, the “Thelma and Louise” duo purchased property in Asutsuare Junction, near Tema. The friends purchased one acre each directly from a local chief. Charles, who has already selected her home’s blueprint and began clearing the land, expects to build a 2,200 sq. ft. three-bedroom house slated for completion in about a year and a half.
Ms. Africa strongly encourages Black people to visit Africa to see what the continent has to offer. By at least traveling to Africa, African descendants are fulfilling the dream of Marcus Garvey. “People need to see how they can give back to Africa and do business there,” she added. “The biggest thing that Black people have is fear. I have met white people and all they have is a backpack and a credit card. We (Black people) have to get our priorities straight. Chinese people are there, and white people are there; they’re all enjoying it (Africa). You want to be a part of what’s happening.”