Ghana, A Cultural Journey

By Ni-Ammun Onyemachi Safohin Kobiona Yankah

The "Wall of Return" symbolizes Ghana's desire to have members of the African diaspora to repatriate to the continent.

The “Wall of Return” symbolizes Ghana’s desire to have members of the African diaspora to repatriate to Africa.

In March 2019, the “Year of Return,” we traveled to Ghana with the support of Dionne Ferguson of Our Good Journey Together and toured this beautiful country with John Kweku Eduafo of Authentic Ghana Tours.

We were taken to the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra. Dr. Nkrumah, who became the first President of an independent Ghana, is buried there. We then visited the Dubois Centre in Accra, which was the home of the great African-American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois after he moved to Ghana. His wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, a venerable freedom fighter in her own right, is also buried there.

We traveled to Kumasi and visited the Centre for National Culture, the Prempeh II Jubilee Museum, and the Okomfo Anokye Sword Site. While in Kumasi we were told the story of how the Golden Stool came down from the sky onto the lap of Nana Osei Tutu I, who lodged a sword into stone and said that if someone comes for the stool, he must retrieve the sword in order to do so. Lastly, while in Kumasi, we visited a huge street market, which had approximately 11,000 vendor locations. This market has been said to be the largest open-air market in all of West Africa.

We also traveled to Lake Volta, which is man-made and was created in the construction of the Volta Dam under the personal supervision of Kwame Nkrumah. This was the only man-made lake in the world until one was constructed by China. This dam provides electric power to the nations of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, and Ivory Coast as a measure of self-sufficiency and self-determination.

We were taken to the village of Apenyi in the Central region of Ghana, where I was formally welcomed into the village. I was given cloth & sandals that belong to the chief of the village. I was invited to sit alongside him and the queen mother along with the council of elders. Afterwards, I was invited into the chief’s home to share a drink with him & the queen mother. This was an overwhelming experience that I will never forget!

We were taken to Assin Manso “Slave River,” where as kidnaped Africans, we took our last bath in the Motherland before being forcibly taken to enslavement castles along the coast prior to sailing to the Americas and Europe. Thus we never saw our ancestral homeland again. Here, a wall of remembrance has been erected where Africans in the diaspora who return to Ghana can record their return on the wall itself. The Ghanaian government promised to engrave these recordings. An inscription was made in stone at this site, which reads, “NEVER AGAIN!“

We visited Cape Coast Enslavement Castle in Ghana, which has now been converted into a museum. Here we also saw the infamous “Door of No Return”, which was one of the last images of Africa many of our ancestors saw before sailing to the Americas and Europe. We learned that the “Door of No Return” was renamed “The Door of Return,” thus we now have returned to our Beautiful homeland.

We visited the Elmina Enslavement Castle, which is now a museum. The tour guide was very well versed in African history as well as the history of enslavement in this castle. The spirits, tears, anger, agony and dehumanization of our ancestors can still be felt there. Yet we exclaim in resounding unity with our sisters and brothers throughout the continent and all of the diaspora, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN, NEVER AGAIN!!!

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