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At birth I was named Pobee Joseph by my parents. Mwintombo-kangnaani is the special additional local name that my grandmother gave me while I was growing up as a boy of about 4 years. It is a Waalii/Dagaare name, the native tongue of my grandmother.

The name means “Who should God send if not me?” It suggests the connectedness of the African, more so my grandmother, to a belief in a Divine Source Force; that all things owe allegiance to and consist in this divine force. And that all living things, particularly humans, are subjects to this divine source. It is on this basis I got this name.

My grandmother told me that some souls were drawn to be messengers and interpreters to this divine source force and that I was one of them.

Growing up I did believe I was indeed a messenger and interpreter of this divine source force. I was drawn into creative writing and oral arts and specifically into poetry/spoken word. Most of the themes and subject matters I wrote was about things I did not understand nor had fair knowledge on. It was usually about things that souls of my age were not familiar with. My deep voice was something in itself.

When I began mounting bigger stages and platforms, people felt my creativity and wanted to know me better. When I mentioned to them my name Mwintombo-kangnaani, it was not easy for them to get.

I shortened the full name to MWINTOMBO to make it easier, especially for my fans. My grandmother sometimes called me by that short form too. But that still seemed to be challenging, mainly for people who don’t speak Waalii/Dagaare and for non-Africans. That’s why I changed it to Poet Pobee.

But in the end, MWINTOMBO is who I am. It is my connectedness as an African to the world and to a Divine Source Force. I love being me and all that I am meant to be.

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