Peggielene Bartels has lived in the US for thirty years, and works as a secretary at the Ghanaian embassy in Washington, DC. But she is also the King of Otuam, a village in Ghana.
Nearly five years ago, Bartels was startled out of bed by a 4 a.m. phone call. When the person on the other end informed her that she’d just been named King of Otuam, a village of 7,000 on Ghana’s coast, it felt like a dream.
The call wasn’t as random as it sounds. “King Peggy” hails from a royal line that has ruled the Otuam village for more than 200 years. Her uncle held the post last, and before he passed, he named Bartels his preferred successor. His niece, after all, was well-educated, younger than 60, and blessed with good character—all integral to the post.
Bartels takes both her responsibilities seriously- her job at the embassy and her subjects in Ghana. Even from a distance, she has caused real change in Otuam. Read how she does it at mental_floss. Link