Nana, the oldest of fourteen children in his family, attended the Government Bilingual Practicing High School in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He emigrated to the United States in the 1980s, with only $428 to his name. He completed a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1992, and a master's in biomedical engineering at the Catholic University of America, also in Washington, in 1994. He also holds an international master's of business administration from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business from 2001.
Nana practiced as a business consultant in Washington with Accenture and Wasalos LLC, where he was CEO. He later worked as a director of process engineering for Catalina Marketing, and is presently employed Nashville, Tennessee.
Nana entered the Democratic primary as a challenger to incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Shelby. He lost the nomination, 56% to 44%, to Ron Crumpton and decided to launch a write-in campaign in the 2016 general election. In 2017 he qualified again as a Democrat to fill the Senate seat left vacant when President Donald Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. As a candidate, Nana has emphasized the need for truthfulness in government and condemned hypocrisy. He supports increasing the minimum wage, providing resources to combat prescription drug addiction, curbing unfair trade practices, and increasing access to educational opportunities.
Nana has also worked as an NCAA soccer official. He and his wife Florence have three sons, Nanda, Wanci and Kedy,
- Mosely, Brandon (March 21, 2016) "Nana Says the Almighty Instructed Him to Run for Senate as a Write In Candidate." Alabama Political Reporter
- Yurkanin, Amy (June 14, 2017) "Democrat Charles Nana to 'demand our leaders tell the truth' in senate campaign." The Birmingham News
- Nana for Senate website