Delanyo’s Mandla Story
Norvinyewo miefoa? (Ewe, Ghana)
My people, how are you?
My name is Delanyo Mensah, and I am the Head of Growth and Development here at Mandla. I joined the team last year as a freshman at Vanderbilt during the middle of the pandemic. Like many others, during quarantine, I spent a lot of time in self-reflection. One of the things I realized during this time was that I wanted to develop a stronger connection with my culture.
As a first-generation Ghanaian growing up in a small Southeast Ohio town I was removed from many of the cultural ties and traditions that my parents experienced back home. And like many other immigrants, my parents prioritized learning English and assimilating to American culture. This led to me developing receptive fluency in their languages, Ewe and Twi. I always had a strong desire to learn the languages, however, I was often discouraged by my parents' lack of commitment to teaching me as well as the absence of resources for me to learn on my own.
So when I was approached to join the Mandla team it was a definite yes. I had the opportunity to not only deepen my connection with my own culture and learn my native language but I had a chance to help the thousands of people who wanted to do the same. To me, Mandla is not only a language learning platform. It is a community and a tangible representation of my generation's desire to reconnect with the Motherland.
After being on the team for over a year now I can say wholeheartedly that I not only believe in our vision to preserve and teach African languages but that I am extremely proud of the community we are building. In a short period of time, we have launched an app with 15 languages and grown a following of over 7,000 on social media. I am proud to be part of such an amazing team and I am excited to see what the future holds for Mandla.
Head of Growth and Development