Greetings from America

Amos Kinbote, Prince of late Capitalism

May 10, 2023

Amos Kinbote is an Al-Dounian émigré, presently working full-time at the American Dream, a fast food chain with locations all across the States. He’s so good at it that he was awarded employee of the month twice in a row, a first in his Queens franchise. He earns less than minimum wage, but is often reminded that he can eat all he wants. Although his landlord does not accept fries as payment, Amos is grateful to have his job, and delights in making customers feel welcome. His own arrival stateside was greeted with less than open arms, but Amos is not the type to complain.

Fig. 1. — Amos Kinbote commemorated on Al-Dounian stamps.

"I have been given a luxurious suite in a grand palace, replete with all the trappings of royalty."

In letters back home, he swaps facts for fables to appease his mother’s worries about his well-being and financial situation. Amos left Al-Dounia in order to make a name for himself in America, but quickly learned that it would be harder than he’d imagined. The Al-Dounian currency isn’t worth much outside the African nation, which nobody he meets has heard of. Despite being of royal descent, he’s had to start over and work his way up—a fact he’s as proud of as his heritage. “This is the way it’s done in America!” he says. Last month, on the annual casual Friday, he swapped his work uniform for royal regalia inherited from his great-grandfather, a decision he now regrets. Customers mocked his outfit and he quickly became known as the Nigerian prince, a moniker he found confusing as he is not of Nigerian origin. “I don’t mind, I’ve been called a lot worse,” he says. Ever humble, he apologizes for his sartorial choice, “I shouldn’t have worn it. In America, it's the customer who's king.”


"Mother, I am doing so well here in America. I have already made a name for myself at work and have been recognized for my talents."

Fig. 3 — Official royal photograph, featuring the dashing Amos Kinbote.
Amos is sitting in a barbershop in his new city in America, waiting to refresh his look. He is positioned at the other end of the barbershop on the right side of the image, and on the foreground, we see a blurry head positioned on the left side of the image. The general color pallet of the image is blue and green, and we can see an American street outside the barbershop. In the background, we can see wooden sculptures of African faces, which remind Amos of home and add warmth to the image. The ambiance is lit by neon lights, which create a colder atmosphere. This image might represent the start of Amos feeling like he has found a community that will accept him. Shot by Jean Malek for the series "Greetings from America."
Fig. 2. — A letter from Amos Kinbote to his mother, approximately three months after arriving in America.
 In this image from the series "Greetings from America" by Jean Malek, we see Amos in his off-white and red fast food job uniform, standing inside the restaurant and wiping the glass of the front with a cloth. He appears lost in thought, perhaps reflecting on his past or thinking about his family back home. The triangular cotton white hat with a red strip is visible on his head.