2019 festive season concluded the much anticipated Year of Return initiative which was launched in September 2018 by President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to welcome Africans in the diaspora back to their respective roots.
The initiative, according to some returnees, ignited more spiritual and emotional historical insight into their backgrounds. It commemorated exactly 400 years of the arrival of the very first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States of America.
For Hollywood actor Boris Kodjoe, his experience in Ghana was “profoundly transforming”.
Mr Kodjoe whose name widely spread as a vocal propagator of the Year of Return initiative, in an interview with Whoopi Goldberg, described his experience as ‘a profoundly transforming’ one which did not only highlight historical roots of African diasporans but also provided an opportunity to reclaim lost cultural identities.
“The rest of the world…doesn’t get a positive visual representation of Africa. All we hear about and all we associate Africa with is famine, war, disease…mass exodus to Europe due to decades of one-dimensional media coverage. We wanted to change that narrative, we wanted to show people the vibrancy and diversity of Africa…We brought a hundred people over there to experience Accra, Ghana to go to the slave castles…and it was a profoundly transforming experience for every single person…” Boris Kodjoe said on ‘The View’.
The actor and his wife Nicole Ari Parker were not the only diasporans who strongly patronized the Year of Return initiative. Others included; rapper, T.I. and his wife, Kenyan Hollywood star, Lupita Nyong’o, Hisham Tawfiq, Danny Glover, Samuel L. Jackson, Ludacris, Steve Harvey, Tina Knowles, Idris Elba, Jackie Aina and several others.
Meanwhile, the government of Ghana has again launched the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative to further engage Africans in the diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas as trade and investment co-operation, and skills and knowledge development.