The 26-year-old headed off on African Nations Cup duty with Senegal having plundered 15 goals in his first five months with the Magpies, and his 13 in the league leave him behind only Arsenal's Van Persie at the top of the charts.
For Ba, whose road to the top has been long and arduous, that is a source of immense satisfaction. "I'm aware of the journey I have made," he said. "I have now got the chance to express myself, to do what I have always wanted to do in my life, and I make the most of it every day.
"I'm not really surprised. I know I am capable of playing well, as I have managed to do in the first half of the season. It's more than a surprise - it's a feeling of pride to be so high in the scoring charts alongside quality forwards like Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Robin van Persie.''
That situation may have changed when Ba and new Newcastle team-mate Papiss Demba Cisse return from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, although the Newcastle frontman intends to resume domestic duties having made a major impact on the African stage.
He, Cisse, Mamadou Niang and Moussa Sow will vie for places in Senegal's frontline, although he insists the men who get the nod will receive the full-backing of those who miss out.
Ba said: "Everyone wants a starting role, but honestly, if that chance falls to another player, we will be happy for him and give him our full support. We have been preparing for this competition for two years. We are a group of friends and most of us have known each other for a very long time. The good mood in our team will help us go far.
"Personally, I just want to carry on in this vein and win titles. That, after all, is the ultimate goal when you play football.''