Kuukua Dzigbordi Yomekpe was born in Ghana, and immigrated to the U.S. in January 1996. She holds a BA and an MA in English from Ohio Dominican College and the University of Dayton respectively. She was a Bay Area transplant while she worked on her Masters in Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion, at the end of which she graduated with distinction and was awarded the Marcella Althaus-Reid award for Best Queer Essay in her graduating class. She is ABD in the MFA program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Within the span of her life, Kuukua has inhabited multiple roles, the majority of which have something to do with education. Her adult working career began in Daycare and After-School programming and continued to Student Affairs/Residential Life work, first at the University of Dayton, and later on, at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, State University of New York and Le Moyne College. She’s worked several odd jobs at various times in between the prestigious academic gigs, but the most notable of them all was when she worked as a Quality Control Inspector and general warehouse worker at Red Envelope, inspecting, packing and fork-lifting people’s orders. None of her degrees mattered then; it was all about quality and making the numbers.
Kuukua characterizes herself as a memoirist, essayist, and writer of social commentary. Her scholarly and writing interests lie at the intersection of race and skin color, Black women’s bodies, expression of voice, and non-conformance and performativity. She is the author of several essays and prose poems. Some of her essays have been anthologized in: African Women Writing Resistance (UW Press), Becoming Bi: Bisexual Voices from Around the World (BRC), and Inside Your Ear (Oakland Public Library Press). Her essay, “The Audacity to Remain Single: Single Black Women in the Black Church,” was anthologized in Queer Religion II (Praeger Publishers).
Kuukua avidly feeds a voracious travel bug that occupies the hinterlands of her soul, so is often found wandering various parts of the world. Currently, she has returned to the Empire and is weathering the Central New York weather and playing mom to the Black, Indigenous, Students of Color at her latest PWI.
Kuukua has her hands in three projects currently: The Coal Pot, a Culinary Memoir celebrating her journey as a Queer, Black, and Neuro-diverse woman, Asempe Kitchen, her Vegan Pop-up, and Musings, her blog which features a collection of personal essays about life as a Black woman in America, loving women, and educating away the stigma of mental illness in all communities, but especially in her own Black community. She moonlights as a chef crafting vegan African dishes, and serves as co-chair on a Racial Justice Committee at her current PWI trying to change the world one PWI at a time.