his Life

The Gold Coast Fund

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The muted tread of thousands
Pounds the seething dust
As a ragged band of thousands
Breaks a sacred trust

Xenophon he leads them
This broken band of ten
For they are searching ever searching
For the shores of Greece again

They are men of gold and iron
Whose sword to them is life
As the travel ever travel
With no sight in end but strife

From Athens, Thebes and Sparta,
From all of Greece indeed
They hailed the call of Persia
And marched to Darius’s seed

They met one day at noontime
Those whom they swore to fight
For they gave their oath to Cyrus
To defend his right

The elder slew the Younger
That fateful day at noon
And Tissaphernes his general
Made a bloodbath ‘till the moon

The plain was turned to ocean
Made red with Grecian blood
Splashing waves of scarlet sea-drops
To the moon that shone above

She raised her eyes in horror
At this sight no eye should see
And called upon the gods that day
To answer her this plea

“Oh gods high in Olympus
I beseech to you this day
Save these Greeks from Persia
For they have retribution to repay”

The gods looked to Cunaxa
To the ground stained crimson red
And swore that day to Artemis
That the Greeks would live again

The Grecians fled from chaos
Battle weary and resigned
For they thought their end was coming
‘Till Zeus gave them a sign

A man of Athens was he
This man called Xenophon
Who rose up from the ashes
To lead them wide and far

They marched past rocky pathways
And swam through briny seas
To reach their hearts desire
The stony shores of Greece

They reached their hearts desire
One bright and shining day
And knelt to thank Olympus
For giving them this day

So ends the tale of Xenophon
The glorious, the brave
Who led the Greeks from Persia
to the shores of Greece again

Poem by Kojo Owusu Minta


Tender child, oh so young
from death’s sting thou hast been stung
Reaching for the aerie heights
Pulled down below by watery sprites

The dulcet tones of angels dear
Beckon to this child near
Sweetly whispering words of calm
Their choric odes a tender balm

Dressed in alabaster white
Encircled by a cloud of light
Tender arms encircle thee
and lift up from the raging sea

Leaving dross of world behind
A shadow lifts up to the sky
Sacerdotal hands guide thee
As thou enters unearthly realm

Does a mother weep for thee?
Down below, on earth’s soft green?
Or does she wait for thee above?
An angel waiting for her son

Poem by Kojo Owusu Minta

The Aesthetic of the Ascetic


Kojo Minta, College '09, European History, Classical Studies, Religious Studies

The Aesthetic of the Ascetic


This study examines the casuistry of William Perkins in order to reconcile differing contemporary representations of the puritan tradition. These differing conceptions centered on whether puritan doctrine produced comfort, or despair. Puritan divines acknowledged that despair was a serious issue among their flock, and the varied works read and composed by the godly indicate a sustained engagement with despair, which was often precipitated by uncertainty over the assurance of one’s election. In Reformation theology, however, the doctrine of election was viewed as providing uncommon comfort to the believer. Reading Perkins’ casuistry allows us to understand that puritan divines did believe that the doctrines they espoused represented comfort, but that they also realized that, paradoxically, the more developed one’s conscience, the more likely one was to realize more fully the wretchedness of one’s sin and thus fall into despair. The casuistry of Perkins, specifically, his Cases of Conscience, are emblematic of a conscious and concerted effort on the part of Elizabethan divines in the 1590s both to preempt and treat a specific malady, despair, among the godly.

Undergraduate Explores Human Trafficking in Africa

Thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa attempt to enter Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, and news media are rife with reports of such journeys that end in tragedy. Moved by these stories, Kojo Minta, C’09, traveled halfway around the world to explore the forces behind human trafficking in Africa.
Minta explains, “I initially suspected that the Tuareg, a semi-nomadic group that inhabits the Sahara, played a large role in trafficking people from Africa to Europe because they are one of the few groups that can navigate the desert.”

Funded by Penn’s University Scholars program, Minta—a history, classical studies and religious studies major—spent several weeks in Mali and Morocco interviewing a range of sources, including the congregation of a local church, American Embassy officials and members of the International Organization
for Migration. He discovered that trafficking is enabled by complex networks of people and processes that cross the Sahara. For example, one method involves Tuareg smugglers delivering immigrants across the vast desert to another group of smugglers in Morocco, who then prepare boats to move them across the
“I was surprised by how interconnected northern and sub-Saharan Africa are,” Minta says. “Those outside the continent often view an irremediable divide between the two regions based on ethnicity, language and culture, but the two are tightly linked in many ways.”

Minta says conducting interviews about a topic as sensitive and explosive as human trafficking posed a tough challenge, even with his skills in French and Arabic. However, this on-site fieldwork was also essential in allowing him
to challenge and expand his initial hypothesis about the Tuareg.
“It’s easy to do research in a library and remain in a certain frame of mind,” Minta says, “but when you are situated in an entirely different place, you are forced to slip into another frame of mind. I know that my research would not have been as successful if I had not had the ability to look people in the face and hear, in their own words, the stories of their struggles and triumphs.”

Taken from the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences. State of The School 2007-2008