At a time white men were suspected as imperialist agents, this British colonial servant Jimmy Moxon became a tribal chief in Ghana
The life and times of colonial civil servant, Roland James Moxon makes interesting reading.
Here was a man, who upon Ghana’s attainment of independence on March 6, 1957, unlike other former colonial agents, who left the country on their own volition, opted to stay and take Prime Minister Nkrumah’s offer of those ready to stay to help the state advance.
By the time he died on August 24, 1999, Moxon had been a bookseller, restaurateur and curiously; a chief.
He was Ghana’s director of information services and later tasked with generating publicity for the construction of the Volta River Authority’s Akosombo Dam – Nkrumah’s single most ambitious project.
Moxon did produce a book ‘Volta: Man’s Greatest Lake’ but how this Brit became a chief is what intrigues many.
The Shrewsbury native schooled at Donestone School, Macclesfield, and St John’s College, Cambridge, where he read history.
A colorful fellow who loved humour, he availed himself to appreciate and enjoy the Ghanaian way of life and it helped that he saw much of the country serving as a district commissioner in various Gold Coast stations, including Dodowa, Aburi, Kpandu and Accra. Moxon’s diplomatic skill saw him through difficult times including when he had administrative authority in Greater Accra at the time of serious anti-colonial rioting before independence.
Soon enough the man born on January 7, 1920, built himself a cottage on the hills at Aburi in Ghana’s south, not far from where his supervision as a district commissioner (DC) stretched. Involved in Aburi society and the elders valuing his counsel, he was enstooled on the eve of independence as Nana Kofi Obonyaa Onyaasahene – chief of the patch of land under the silk cotton tree where his cottage stood.
He would later be promoted to the position of Ankobiahene of Aburi, a genuinely important position in tribal culture.
For his home country of Britain, he visited yearly to demand his unpaid colonial pension, have medical checks and visit family.
Jimmy Moxon was many things before he passed aged 79 from cancer. Upon retiring from government service, he became a bookseller, publisher, poultry farmer and restaurateur. He founded Ghana’s Oxford and Cambridge Society, and through it, kept in touch with many influential people in the country.
He even received an OBE in 1957 but what Nana Moxon wasn’t, was a married man.