Rev. Fr. Andrew Campbell, Parish Priest of the Christ the King Catholic Church in Accra has disclosed how he came to be known by the local Ga name of Nii Lante.
The clergyman who arrived in Ghana five decades ago as a 25-year-old was sharing his life and work as a priest in a tell-it-all interview on Accra-based Asaase Radio’s Sunday Night programme.
On how he got the name Nii Lante, he told the host of the programme, Nana Yaa Mensah, that it was a result of his closeness with Ga chiefs when he used to work at the Sacred Heart Parish also in Accra.
“When I was working in Derby Avenue, the whole area was under my control, looking after the Sacred Heart Parish, it was all my responsibility.
“So I knew all the Ga chiefs, I used to visit them … and I heard the name Nii Lante, so I asked what’s Nii Lante and they said it is a first born boy in a family and I am the first born boy and so I said I like this one. Ever since then, at the beginning I was (casually) just Nii Lante, Nii Lante; now it has caught on.”
He added: “Even the president calls me Nii Lante, so I am the first born boy of my family, so it is a beautiful title. It reminds me of my Ghanaian citizenship because I have been here in Ghana for the past 50 years.”
Aside his responsibilities as Parish Priest, Fr Campbell’s other known engagement is work with lepers at the Weija Leprosorium.
He is founder of the Lepers Aid Committee and has revealed that as he prepares for retirement from the church, he will go into full time humanitarian work.
He said he planned to remain in Ghana because it has been home for the better part of his life and that he wanted to be buried here.