Nana Tea is a social media influencer whose name has come to be associated with providing for underprivileged members of society. Through his platforms, the charitable influencer aids students, people with disabilities, and widows to ease their hardships.
In this interview, he shares how he went from just hawking in the streets to becoming an influencer. Nana Tea had no idea he would end up a well-known online personality whose name would be associated with the charity when he moved to Ghana’s capital Accra in search of a better life.
Because of the difficulties he endured as a child, he has always wanted to help those who are poor, but celebrity was the last thing on his mind. The rural-raised 35-year-old now uses his social media popularity to address issues that impact the underprivileged, gaining him a strong reputation among many people, including celebrities.
But despite what his cheery personality and endearing grin would have people believe, his route to becoming an online celebrity was not a cakewalk. James Annor Tetteh, the second of six children, was born in Asesewa, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. ”Mensah Dawa Presby Primary and Junior High School (JHS) were where I first attended. But I moved to Odumase Krobo, where I finished class four and attended Roy International School,” he told YEN.com.gh.
He remembers how his father begged the JHS principal to let him attend school for free due to financial constraints. “My father was unable to afford my education. But due to his relationship with the proprietor, I attended the school for free.” He remembers having adoring parents and siblings as a child. However, his mother’s sudden passing hurt their growth as kids.
”Before she passed away when I was just 14 years old, she had a distant relationship with my father. My siblings and I had to relocate to Odumase Krobo, the capital of Lower Manya Krobo Municipal District, where we resided in our maternal uncle’s mansion. ”Her death affected us greatly because she was our pillar,” Nana Tea told YEN. He recounted that he and his siblings had to cater for themselves at some point. “Things were tough.
We sometimes had to beg to feed ourselves. Some neighbors had to bring food to our home sometimes.” Nana Tea told YEN.com.gh that he had to hawk ice water to support his education, combining his studies with selling after his mother passed.
”I hawked ice water, corn and cassava dough to support the family. I, however, topped the entire class when I wrote the BECE in 2004,” says Nana Tea. He was admitted to Manya Krobo Senior High (SHS) following his Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), where he received a total score of 10.
Even still, his peasant farmer father was unable to afford to pay for his schooling. ”He begged the headmaster of Manya Krobo Senior High for me to attend the school for free. I joined my mate three weeks to exams,” he recalled. However, Nana Tea’s luck changed when, during his first year of SHS, he was awarded two scholarships from the government and Plan International Ghana.
‘I gained admission three weeks before the exams, but I performed and received a scholarship from the school and Plan International Ghana.” His hope of continuing his education at the university hung in the balance as Nana Tea finished his General Science coursework at Manya Krobo SHS.
He told YEN.com.gh that between 2007 and 2010, his older brother pursued a higher national diploma (HND) in Science Laboratory Technology from Accra Technical Institute, which has since been renamed Accra Polytechnic. ”I did my national service at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) after the HND program. I got the opportunity to manage the Sege Health Centre with the help of the district director. ”I later got another job to work elsewhere in 2014,” he tells YEN.com.gh.
The social media influencer told YEN.com.gh that his quest to help the underprivileged in society stemmed from his childhood trauma. “Helping people had been my desire. My grand-mom also instilled it in me.” He gained notoriety after assisting a young boy who was having difficulty lugging a log. He took a photo of the kid and posted it on his platform, where it quickly gained popularity.
While others bashed him for posting the young boy, one woman outside the country donated GH¢200 to the child. ”That story was the first to gain me massive attention on social media. So, I gave the child the money and thanked the benefactor on Tell It All,” he recalled.
The social media star has become renowned for his numerous charity drives for needy people including persons with physical disabilities, struggling single mothers, and widows.
For a gifted but impoverished girl who was accepted into St. Roses Senior High School but was unable to afford basic school supplies owing to budgetary constraints, he recently donated GH14,000 to her. The social media influencer’s request for assistance led to the girl receiving substantial help.
Yet, Nana Tea considers his blood donation drive and awareness creation of the condition of a physically challenged street hawker as his most notable acts of kindness in society. ”The physically challenged woman received a $1,500 (GH¢16,350.00) scholarship with my help. Someone also flew her from Tema to Tamale and she’s now helping other people.”
The father of a set of twins who tied the knot with his wife, Barbara Amoah, on February 15, 2020, after they met on Facebook, has won hearts due to his kind deeds. Nana Tea was invited as a result of Hon. Kwaku Agyemang-Manu’s initiative to promote blood donations in Ghana. George Akuffo Dampare, Ghana’s Inspector-General of Police (IGP), and Nana Tea have also met.
Most recently, the social media influencer was included in a list of Ghana’s top 100 most important change agents for 2022. Through his platforms, Nana Tea hopes to touch the lives of many people, lessening their suffering and spreading happiness.