Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Boyd Npho Hayes, July 6, 2016

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Growing up in Southern Africa and Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: I'm Jack Wilson interviewing Boyd Hayes, uh, for Africans in the Bluegrass, uh, history, uh, project.

Segment Synopsis: Boyd Npho Hayes describes his experiences going to elementary school in Botswana, the U.S., and Zimbabwe. He talks about being an outsider first in Zimbabwe as an American and then in the U.S. as an "African" kid with an accent who liked cricket. He did try football in high school in Jessamine County. He made friends with other kids who were outsiders.

Keywords: Asbury College; Family; Identity struggles; Johannesburg, South Africa; Maun, Botswana; Mutare, Zimbabwe; Outsiders; Schooling; West Jessamine High School; Wilmore, Kentucky

Subjects: Education; Families.; Identity (Psychology)

GPS: Johannesburg, South Africa
Map Coordinates: -26.204444, 28.045556
GPS: Wilmore, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 37.861944, -84.661667
GPS: Maun, Botswana
Map Coordinates: -19.983333, 23.416667
GPS: Mutare, Zimbabwe
Map Coordinates: -18.966667, 32.633333
00:13:31 - College experience at University of Kentucky and identity

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Partial Transcript: And you graduated from West Jessamine and came to UK?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about how he got reconnected with Africa at University of Kentucky, joining the African Student Association, taking courses about Africa, and building an adult identity after having a fluid young identity. He is American but he feels very African. He says joining the Peace Corps is an opportunity to serve both America and Africa.

Keywords: University of Kentucky

Subjects: Identity (Psychology); Peace Corps (U.S.)

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:16:42 - Peace Corps

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Partial Transcript: Okay, tell us--

Segment Synopsis: Hayes describes his experience with Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana, Kosovo, and Ukraine that sparked his interest. He would have gone anywhere with Peace Corps but wrote that he would prefer Africa because of his passion for the continent.

Keywords: Senegal

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

GPS: Senegal
Map Coordinates: 14.666667, -17.416667
00:19:44 - Journalism major at University of Kentucky and South African internship

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Partial Transcript: Um, okay. What did you, uh, what did you--going back to UK, what did you major in at UK?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes describes his journalism major, working on the Kentucky Kernel newspaper covering women's basketball and later as sports editor. He went to Capetown with an Arts and Science program one summer and then returned the next summer 2014 and did an internship at the biggest soccer magazine on the continent, Soccer Laduma, where he created Fan Park on the web. In South Africa he learned a lot about himself, communicating cross-culturally, and having a job. He explains that a journalism major "teaches you how to learn a lot and synthesize that in a way that other people can understand easily." He hopes to do a blog as a Peace Corps Volunteer and meet NPR correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton.

Keywords: Blogs; Cape Town, South Africa; Forestry; Internship in South Africa; Journalism major; Kentucky Kernel; Ofeibea Quist-Arcton; Soccer; Sports writing

Subjects: Journalism; Journalists; University of Kentucky

GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
00:31:24 - Keeping up on news in Africa

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so how do you, uh--given your interest in, in South Africa, and Zimbabwe, and Botswana, and now Senegal, how do you, how do you keep in touch?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes describes how he keeps up on a daily basis about news in Africa through friends, South African press, All Africa website, and the BBC. He talks about the importance of social media, and the peaceful protest in Zimbabwe initiated by the #This Flag.

Keywords: #This Flag movement; All Africa; BBC; Facebook

Subjects: Social media.; Zimbabwe

GPS: Zimbabwe
Map Coordinates: -20, 30
00:35:03 - Good and bad experiences in the U.S. and Africa

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Partial Transcript: Can you, can you give me an example, I guess in two, two places.

Segment Synopsis: In the U.S. he talks about being asked the "dumbest questions" like "Did you ride tigers? Wear clothes?" His worst experience was other people deciding his identity -- American, African. The good experiences were meeting other Africans and finding at the university people were much more open, interested. He took part in the Taste of Africa, and wore Ghanaian clothes in a fashion show. In Zimbabwe he was "terrified" of school and skipped school, got in trouble. A good experience was the gardener/cook John taught him to play cricket, took him along to the townships. During his two times (seven months) in South Africa, he spent a lot of time in township of Guguletu. He talks about the advantage of his middle name Mpho, in South Africa. His bad experience was dealing with older white South Africans' Afro-pessimism.

Keywords: African Student Association; African names; Afro-pessimism; Botswana; Duality of identity; Experiences; Guguletu, South Africa; Setswana (language); South Africa; University of Kentucky; Zimbabwe

Subjects: Identity (Psychology)

GPS: Botswana
Map Coordinates: -24.658333, 25.908333
GPS: Guguletu, South Africa
Map Coordinates: -33.983333, 18.566667
GPS: South Africa
Map Coordinates: -30, 25
GPS: University of Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.033333, -84.5
GPS: Zimbabwe
Map Coordinates: -20, 30
00:49:37 - The future

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Partial Transcript: Um, you're going off to Senegal.

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about the advantage of joining the Peace Corps in terms of paying back loans, going to graduate school, working for the government and a non-profit, and getting back to Southern Africa.

Keywords: Graduate school; Senegal

Subjects: Peace Corps (U.S.)

GPS: Senegal
Map Coordinates: 14.666667, -17.416667
00:52:26 - Identity

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Partial Transcript: When, uh, you meet somebody for the first time, um, how do you identify yourself?

Segment Synopsis: Hayes talks about his love of Kentucky, but that doesn't tell the whole story. He usually says he was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived in Botswana and Zimbabwe. His parents would say he was a global citizen. People are always asking him where he is from because of his appearance and accent. He speaks a little of Shona, Setswana, Zulu, Xhosa, and Afrikaans. He would learn a language beyond English if he moved back to South Africa. He talks about the different perspectives on the U.S. from the outside and inside.

Keywords: Botswana; Global citizen; Johannesburg, South Africa; Kentucky; South; Zimbabwe

Subjects: Identity (Psychology); Languages

GPS: Botswana
Map Coordinates: -24.658333, 25.908333
GPS: Johannesburg, South Africa
Map Coordinates: -26.204444, 28.045556
GPS: Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 37.5, -85
GPS: Zimbabwe
Map Coordinates: -20, 30