Year of Return: Full Circle Festival to bring 500 stars to Ghana

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The 2019/2020 edition of the annual Full Circle Festival is set to see some five hundred (500) people tour and experience Ghana from December 2019 to January 2020.

The 2019 Full Circle Festival is in partnership with Essence Ventures thus dubbed Essence Full Circle Festival. It will take place in Accra in December and complete the Year of Return commemoration – marking 400 years since the first enslaved Africans, mostly Ghanaian arrived in Jamestown Virginia as part of the transatlantic slave trade.

ALL ABOUT ESSENCE FULL CIRCLE FESTIVAL

The specially-curated, week-long immersion will enable engagement between U.S.-based cultural influencers and business executives with Ghanaian and regional leaders and communities, including explorations of history, cuisine, music, fashion, beaches, nightlife, commerce and more.

In an interview (video) on Hot 97 online with Ebro, Boris Kodjoe described how the festival began with his family and later grew to one-hundred and twenty people, mostly Hollywood stars in 2019. Boris added that the festival was in 2019 seeking to bring about 500 people to experience Ghana. He also touched on the Importance of returning to Africa and how the Full Circle Festival was going to touch all corners of the African continent.

 

ESSENCE Ventures in an article published on their website also outline how they are taking another major step towards supporting cultural ownership and economic collaboration through the launch of the ESSENCE Full Circle Festival.

They outline the focus of the festival on a three-part mission to:

(i) support cultural ownership and economic collaboration among Africans on the continent and people of African descent in the Diaspora;

(ii) connect Black communities globally for the exchange of ideas and shared objectives that leads to cultural monetization and community reinvestment;

(iii) facilitate the learning and discovery of the many facets of Africa’s beauty, excellence and opportunity globally.

For Essence, their partnership in the annual ESSENCE Full Circle Festival is to create an experience that “will focus on showcasing African nations increasingly as global destinations by highlighting their critical roles as ancestral, spiritual, cultural and commercial epicentres.”

“This partnership recognizes Ghana’s role as a beacon for people of African descent in this Year of Return,” said Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo. “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019, is a conscious effort to cement our pan-African legacy. Throughout the Year, the Tourism Authority has worked with several partner organizations to welcome home our brothers and sisters from the Diaspora. The Essence Full Circle Festival is a welcome addition to the activities and will hopefully become one of the legacies of the year which celebrates African resilience.”

The 2019 ESSENCE Full Circle Festival will include the first-ever ESSENCE Global Black Economic Forum: Africa, which will convene entrepreneurs, executives, entertainers and government officials to discuss how new opportunities for economic development and cultural exchange can be created.

“In furthering our mission to serve Black women deeply across the globe, ESSENCE is honoured to answer the call to ‘Return’ with the creation of the ESSENCE Full Circle Festival, beginning with Ghana and subsequently extending across the continent,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc. “We are grateful to be able to use the power of our platforms and the influence of our networks to positively impact narratives about Africa, as well as positively impact the people of Africa and the Diaspora through cultural and economic exchange.”

 

Also Watch: Jidenna Talks New Music, African History, Polyamory

 

 

 

About 2018 Full Circle

The inaugural Full Circle Festival also included the participation of President Akufo-Addo and took place in Accra in December 2018, led by Full Circle Festival, LLC partners Boris Kodjoe, Patrick Kodjoe, Bozoma Saint John – all of Ghanaian descent – and Nicole Ari Parker. More than 120 invited guests including business executives, influencers, and celebrities from the United States travelled to Ghana for cultural engagement and ancestral reconnection, resulting in nearly 10,000 positive social media posts and half a billion media and social impressions, as well as an estimated economic impact of more than $70 million in tourism revenue.

 

 

Source: essence.com

Congressional leaders and Black Caucus mark 400th anniversary of slavery in Kente

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Members of Congress observed the 400th anniversary Tuesday of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in America at a time of renewed interest over the history of slavery and its continued impact on contemporary society.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer arrive for a Congressional Black Caucus ceremony commemorating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the English colonies.

 

Questions about income inequality, reparations for slavery and other issues from the nation’s history of enslaving people are spilling into politics and culture with a reckoning not seen since the Civil Rights era.

The Republican leader of the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, said slavery in America led to “many shameful moments” in the country, including in Congress.

Congressional Black Caucus Visit Ghana

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not attend the ceremony but said as he opened the Senate that slavery was in many ways the country’s “original sin.”

McConnell’s own family history came under question earlier this year after it was revealed his ancestors reportedly owned slaves generations ago. On Tuesday, he said, while progress has been made, “change has come too slow.”

Speaker Pelosi and CBC delegation tour historic sites in Ghana

Pelosi called for passage of the Voting Rights Act, legislation that is part of a package of House Democratic priorities for Congress, ahead of the 2020 election.

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Ca., the chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, called on colleagues to examine and embrace all parts of the nation’s history.

Congressional Black Caucus delegation lay wreath at Nkrumah park to mark 400th anniversary

“We are so fortunate to live in this amazing country with our incredible history,” Bass said.

“All of our history is what makes this country a great country,” she said, and encourages all Americans to contribute to the “fight to build a more perfect union.”

Source: Myjoyonline

‘Go to Ghana’ – Hollywood star Danny Glover advocates ahead of Year of Return trip

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As if it is as a sequel to the call made by Steve Harvey last week “This is home”, Danny Glover returns to Ghana 47 years after the first visit and encourages all people of African origin to “Go to Ghana” in this year of return.

The American actor, film director, and political activist known as Danny Lebern Glover is headed home as part of a large group of African Americans coming home to visit Ghana for the year of return. The group is here for the Jamestown to Jamestown event taking place tomorrow at Jamestown Accra marking the exact day 400years ago since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown Virginia on August 20, 1619.

 

Danny Glover is known for his lead role as Roger Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon film series. He also has leading roles in the films The Color Purple, To Sleep with Anger, Predator 2, Angels in the Outfield and Operation Dumbo Drop. Join us…

Program

Arrival – 8am @ Airport

Durbar – 3pm at Jamestown

 

#Akwaaba
#yearofreturn #visitGhana #diaspora #africanculture #culture #travelnoire #heritage #tourism #steveharvey #Accra #travel #travelAfrica #history #heritage #dubois #400yearson #blackhistory #africanhistory #excellence

Year of Return: Danny Glover and NAACP President head to Ghana for ‘Jamestown to Jamestown’

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American actor, film director, and political activist, Danny Glover is expected to arrive in Ghana with National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as part of the Jamestown to Jamestown’ event to commemorate Ghana’s Year of Return.

Steve Harvey ‘Comes Home’ for Year of Return

To commemorate the 400-year anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival in the United States, NAACP leaders, activists and entertainers will travel from Jamestown, Virginia, to Jamestown, Accra, as a part of Ghana’s “Year of Return” initiative.

“Jamestown to Jamestown represents one of the most powerful moments in the history of the Black Experience,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “We are now able to actualize the healing and collective unity so many generations have worked to achieve in ways which bring power to our communities in America, Africa and throughout our Diaspora.”

Read Also – Deborah Cox Visits Ghana for Tear of Return, World Music festival 

The trip, which kicks off on Aug. 18 in Washington, D.C., is open to the public. Participants will travel via bus to Jamestown, Virginia, for a prayer vigil and candle-lighting ceremony that marks the African “Maafa,” a term that describes the suffering embedded in the past four centuries related to enslavement. Participants will then travel back to D.C. for a special gathering at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, designed by Ghanaian architect Sir David Adjaye, prior to departing to Ghana on a direct flight for seven to 10 days of rich cultural, spiritual and cathartic experiences.

PROGRAM

Sunday

Day 1: Aug. 18, 2019

The Arrival

We begin our trip in the Nation’s Capitol – Washington, DC as the meeting point where we will take a bus ride to Jamestown Virginia (Colonial National Park) for a prayer vigil and candle lighting ceremony marking the 400 year anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arrival and honoring the memory of all those stolen from Africa over 400 year ago.

Monday

Day 2: Aug. 19, 2019

Our History

Our morning starts with a special visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture designed by Ghanian architect Sir David Adjaye on the National Mall before departing to Ghana.

In the afternoon we depart from Washington Dulles International Airport to Kotoka International Airport in Ghana, West Africa on a direct flight with South African Airways at 5:40 pm.

Tuesday

Day 3: Aug. 20, 2019

Akwaaba (Welcome)

We arrive at 8:30 am into Kotoka International Airport’s new International Terminal. After a warm cultural welcome, we check in our hotels and prepare for the evening’s activities.

In the late afternoon, we move to Jamestown, Accra to be welcomed by local chiefs, politicians, community leaders and the traditional council of Jamestown. We end with an ancestral healing ceremony at the ocean.

Wednesday

Day 4: Aug. 21, 2019

Business, Development & Investment Summit

Join leading government, NGO, and private sector leaders for workshops, discussions, presentations, panels, and networking for a full day of learning about business, development, and investment in Ghana. End the day with a special networking happy hour hosted by one of Ghana’s leading CEOs.

*Individuals not participating in the summit have the option of group day tours or self-guided tours.

Thursday

Day 5: Aug. 22, 2019

Business, Development & Investment Summit

Close out the the final day of the summit with a half day of business networking, closing panel discussion, and presentation on active capital investment projects in Ghana. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with leaders in the banking industry, as well as leading private sector and non-profit CEO’s.

Friday

Day 6: Aug. 23, 2019

Cape Coast Castle / African Ancestry Reveal

After breakfast, we depart Accra for Cape Coast in the Central Region driving through several fishing villages and coconut tree lined beaches.

Prior to touring Cape Coast Castle, we pay a courtesy call visit to the local tradition Council of Cape Coast. Participants will complete a comprehensive tour of the Cape Coast Castle slave dungeons, and the West African Heritage Museum. After walking through the Door of Return we begin the African Ancestry reveal.

End the evening with the Resilience Beach party at Coconut Grove Beach Resort.


Saturday

Day 7: Aug. 24, 2019

Assin Manso / Last Bath Slave River

Attendees will visit Assin Manso Last Bath Slave River, the burial site of the two former slaves exhumed from New York and Jamaica interred in Ghana on Emancipation Day in 1998. The Slave River was where the enslaved Africans had their last bath before their trek to the coast for shipment to the western world never to be returned.

Extended stay participants will move on to Kumasi and others will return to the hotel for their final night.


EXTENDED TRIP OPTION TO KUMASI


Sunday

Day 8: Aug. 25, 2019

Departure

Attendees who complete their journey today will head back to Accra to visit the Arts Centre for gift shopping, farewell photos at Independence Square and a final meal before departure

Kumasi

Kumasi is home of the great Ashanti Kingdom. Extended stay participants will attend the Akwaside Festival at Manhiya Palace, the seat of the Asantehene – King of the the Ashanti people. Akwasidae is a festival held every 42 days to honor personal and community ancestors. This is an opportunity to experience traditional Ghanian culture in all its splendor, color, grace, strength, and vibrancy.


Monday

Day 9: Aug. 26, 2019

Kumasi Craft Villages

After breakfast we visit a few Ashanti crafts villages. Bonwire is famous for Kente cloth production. Observe weavers exhibit their skills in producing the clothe and try your hand at it. Ntonso, noted for its indigenous artisans whose expertise lies in Adinkra textiles printing using traditional symbols that express the spiritual, moral, political and socio-cultural philosophies of the Akan people. Ahwiaa – the woodcarver’s village specializing in woodcarving such as the Ashanti stools, fertility dolls and walking sticks.

After Lunch, we return to Accra.


Tuesday

Day 10: Aug. 27, 2019

Accra City Tour

After breakfast go on a city tour of Accra visiting the vibrant open air Makola Market offering fresh farm produce, clothes, electronics, and other goods. Continue through Old Accra visiting Independence Arch, and Black Star Square, Accra’s ceremonial grounds.

After lunch visit W.E.B. Dubois Centre for Pan Africanism and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, burial place of the first President of Ghana..

Source: Ameyaw Debrah

2019 Ghana World Music Festival with Deborah Cox slated for August 2-4 at Fantasy Dome

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The year 2019 marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown Virginia. Taking this as a milestone to celebrate African resilience and also call African in the diaspora home, the Year of Return Steering committee supported by Joy Prime and Hitz 103.9 FM, brings to you the Ghana World Music Festival.

This event, expected to take place on August 3rd and 4th at the Fantasy Dome in La, Accra will treat patrons to a weekend of incredible global music from 7pm each day.

The first annual Ghana World Music Festival is a celebration of the power of the Ghanaian music and the sounds of the diaspora. Music is more than entertainment, its empowerment and unifier of people, helped birth Ghana World Music Festival.

The festival will feature music and artistes from Ghana, across the African Continent, the Caribbean and the US.

A rich myriad of genres will be on display from Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Highlife and Afrobeat. The festival will serve as an anchor event to Panafest 2019 while continuing to support the mission of the Year of Return Initiative.

On the bill to perform is Ghanaian reggae and dancehall artiste, Samini; Jamaican reggae band, Third World; Canadian Grammy award-winning RnB songstress, Deborah Cox; Jamaican Jazz and reggae artiste, Ernie Smith; Jazz artiste, Irvin Mayfield and many more.

Grab your early bird ticket for GH₵ 50 now till Thursday, August 1.

Regular GH₵ 80, VIP GH₵ 150 and VVIP GH₵ 450.

Ticket outlets:

PINKBURRY ……….Labone, Spintex,  East Legon

NYONYO ESSENTIALS…..American house, East Legon

MY CELLPHONE REPAIRS…..A&C Mall, East Legon

NALLEM CLOTHING……Accra Mall, West Hills Mall, Osu Mall, Junction Mall, Achimota Retail Centre.

 

Log onto http://ghanawmf.com/ for more details.

 

 

2019 Ghana World Music Festival Is A Celebration Of The Music Of Our Diaspora

The first annual Ghana World Music Festival 2019 is a celebration of the power of the Ghanaian music and the sounds of the diaspora. Music is more than entertainment, its empowerment and unifier of people and with this spirit, the Ghana World Music Festival was conceived.

The festival will feature music and artists from Ghana, across the African Continent, the Caribbean and the US. A rich myriad of genres will be on display from Jazz, R&B, Reggae, Highlife and Afrobeat. The festival will serve as an anchor event to Panafest 2019 while continuing to support the mission of the Year of Return Initiative.

Year Of Return: Ghana’s Ambassador To The US Visits Speaker Pelosi Ahead of Historical Trip

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Ahead of the historic trip to Ghana, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, met with Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, at her office in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, July 25, 2019.

The speaker extended an invitation to Ghana’s Ambassador to review key matters regarding the upcoming trip.

 

In his remarks, Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah touched on Ghana’s existing relationship with the United States, and the need to enhance the friendship between the two countries. “Ghana is very excited about this trip, and for us, it’s a call to open a new page to ensure a better relationship.”

On her part, Speaker Pelosi expressed her deepest gratitude to the President and the people of Ghana for commemorating 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. “We go on many trips, but nothing compares to this one. We feel a special connection because of our history. The historical nature of commemorating 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans makes this trip special. Truly, this trip strikes to the heart” the Speaker said.

 

The visit will include a tour of some of Ghana’s historic slave-trading ports including Elmina and Cape Coast Dungeons, the Slave Heritage site at Assin Manso which houses the remains of slave ancestors brought down from the United States including a former U.S. Naval officer, Samuel Carson among others. A forty-member delegation will accompany the Speaker on this trip including members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Joseph Ngminebayihi, Head of Consular Department, Kofi Tonto, Head of Information & Public Affairs and Bernard Acquah, First Secretary/Political Affairs.

Source: Embassy of Ghana, USA

Nkrumah, Padmore and Du Bois, Honoured in PANAFEST Wreath-Laying Ceremony

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PANAFEST & Emancipation officially opened with a wreath-laying ceremony remembering three important pioneers in the Pan African movement; George Padmore, W.E.B. DuBois and Kwame Nkrumah. All three were passionate about uniting the global African family and were responsible for laying a foundation that made a positive change for people of African descent.

PANAFEST & Emancipation are deeply rooted in celebrating the African family and teaching the knowledge and heritage of our people. The events are taking place from 24th July – 2nd August at locations in Accra and Cape Coast. This year’s theme is ‘Beyond 400 Years: Reaching Across Continents into the Future.’ The first day’s events began at the W.E.B DuBois Centre for Pan-African Culture in Cantonments, Accra with a ceremony that included the laying of wreaths on his grave. Everyone then moved to the George Padmore Library where Padmore’s remains have been laid to rest to also perform a ceremony laying wreaths in his honour. At this location, an eternal flame was lit. “May our commitment to the cause of Africa and to the upliftment of its people everywhere on the continent and the Americas wherever the black race should find himself never die by the lighting of this flame,” said Ben Anane-Nsiah, Product Development Manager at Ghana Tourism Authority.

The final part of the program was at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra Central. Dignitaries and notable people from the diaspora were in attendance including Stephanie S. Sullivan, the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Akwasi Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Claudia Turbay Quintero, Ambassador, Embassy of Columbia, and Dr. Thomas Mensah, Chemical Engineer and Inventor, and H.E. Dr. Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission Diaspora African Forum, are just a few of the key attendees at the event.

A.J. Johnson, an Actress and Motivational Coach from the U.S. participated in the events with laying a wreath in honour of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president. She said she couldn’t believe that she only came to Ghana for the first time just over 6 months ago and now here she was participating in a significant event. She was honoured to be asked to lay a wreath in memoriam of Nkrumah.

Steven Golding, President of UNIA Jamaica, delivered a compelling speech at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. He spoke of how Jamaicans positively received President Nana Akufo-Addo on his recent trip to Jamaica, “We look forward to the day when all African nations will welcome home with open arms the sons and daughters of those who were ripped from this continent hundreds of years ago, because as Peter Tosh said no matter where we come from as long as we are black we are Africans.”

Dr. Thomas Mensah, Chemical Engineer, Inventor and holder of 14 U.S. patents gave his keynote address just before the crowd moved towards the wreath-laying at Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. His passion for uplifting Black people globally resonated in all he said. His motto, “The Right Stuff Comes in Black Too” is meant to inspire us to believe in the possibility of success when we believe in ourselves and learn to work together. It’s about breaking the negative stereotypes about Africa and black people worldwide.

This is just the beginning of many events scheduled over the coming week for PANAFEST & Emancipation. For more information on upcoming activities, visit the website www.panafestghana.org.

Year Of Return: Ghana Navy Partners GTA, Year of Return and PANAFEST for historic “Return Journey”

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The Ghana Navy is collaborating with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Panafest Foundation to organize a symbolic boat ride from Cape Coast to Elimina Castle for diaspora returnees as part of the Panafest Akwaaba ceremony on Friday 26th July 2019.

The Cape Coast and Elmina Castle/dungeons together with the many forts that dot the Ghanaian coastline played major roles as holding points for millions of the captives who were transported to the Americas as slaves.

The boat ride is a symbolic reversal of that infamous voyage of ‘No Return’ and a statement of Ghana’s willingness and readiness to welcome all sons of Africa back home in this ‘Year of Return’ and thereafter.

The Ghana Navy plans to deploy a Snake Class Patrol boat and smaller Defender class boats for the historic journey.

The collaboration with the Navy highlights the growing interest of the Year of Return Project which was officially launched by the President of Ghana in September 2018.

Boat rides will start at 8:00 am at the Cape Coast Castle ‘Door of No Return’ to the Elmina Castle ‘Door of Return’.

This historic trip has also been tied to activities marking the Ghana Navy’s 60th Anniversary celebrations.

There would however be canoe rides alongside.

Connecting Jamaican and Ghanaian Identities Through the ‘Joseph, A Quest for Identity’ Film

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With so many stories being told about the history, heritage and culture of both Africa and the  Caribbean, we’re continually learning more about the personal stories of connection between African and Caribbean people.  It’s only fitting that during this, the Year of Return, a movie is being filmed in Ghana and Jamaica that explores this reality.

 

‘Joseph, A Quest for Identity’ is a movie that explores the life of a Jamaican man who has Ghanaian roots through his grandfather.  He has spent his life in Jamaica with no real connection to his roots in Ghana. He never really considered exploring his roots because after all, he sees himself as Jamaican and not an African.  However, through a series of life twists and turns, he ends up making the life-changing trip across the Atlantic to Ghana. Where he finds himself on a journey of self-discovery.

The movie has already filmed scenes in Jamaica and is currently in production with the scenes in Ghana.  The production crew has filmed in both the Central Region, Greater Accra and Kumasi to capture the arrival of Joseph in Ghana and all his experiences learning about his history and the importance of developing a real connection to his long lost family.

 

A team from Ghana Tourism Authority and Year of Return visited the cast and crew on set while they were filming in the Haatso area of Greater Accra.  Many were already acquainted with Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority after his recent trip to Jamaica with President Nana Akufo-Addo on his tour of the Caribbean islands. The trip was an effort to re-establish relationships with the people in the global African diaspora communities.  This is a concerted effort by the president as part of Ghana’s Year of Return initiative, inviting people to return to Ghana.

 

 

The Year of Return commemorates the 400 years since the first documented ship of enslaved Africans arrived in the United States at Jamestown, Virginia.  But it’s also known that enslaved Africans made arrivals in the Caribbean islands. There are still communities today in countries like Jamaica that have practices, cuisine and even dialects used that are the reminders of West African heritage.

Marietta Carter-Narcisse, is the Producer of the film and she said this film is so important. “We have so many stories to tell and we have to tell them through our own mind’s eye.”  Often times African and Caribbean people have had their stories told by outsiders and it’s important that we start creating more films, theatre productions and television shows that speak from our perspective. Films like, ‘Joseph, A Quest for Identity’ also draw attention to the fact that many of us don’t even know each other.  “I think it’s so important [the film] because this is our motherland and we don’t know each other…It’s so important for us to really understand why we do what we do. And so Joseph [the movie] was an opportunity for us to really bridge that gap of identity for all of us. Especially now with the ‘Year of Return here in Ghana 2019 and 2020 in Barbados.  I think it’s critical that we understand [each other].”

 

There are many misconceptions by Ghanaians about people from Jamaica.  The same holds true about Ghanaians, many of them don’t know much about Jamaicans or people from other Caribbean Islands. “I’ve met people in Ghana who think Barbados is in Jamaica! But it’s an island on itself.  In fact, it’s the closest to Ghana geographically and many enslaved Africans also ended up there…It’s as though our history has been erased, there needs for education to teach Ghanaians more about Caribbeans,” Carter-Narcisse said.

 

The movie has a diverse mixture of actors and crew from all over the globe and it contributes to a story being told that truly represents the global community.  Ghana’s own Harold Amenyah is one of the actors in the film along with Jamaican born Stogie Kenyatta and Alison Hinds, one of Barbados’ best known Soca Artists. Amenyah plays the character of Nii, a friend of Joseph’s from Ghana.  As Joseph’s friend, he takes him around Ghana showing him the culture and traditions of the country.

Amenyah said the film is going to give Jamaicans and people in the Caribbean a sense of belonging.  He explained that his character shows Joseph the things that give Ghanaians an identity and he soon sees things in Ghana that connect his forefathers with things he can also identify with as a Jamaican. “People who are going to watch this movie in the diaspora are going to realize how much of similarity and how connected we are because all they see and hear is what the media tells them. Now because of this film, they are going to get a chance and the opportunity to see for real…some of these things that they have just heard about,”  Amenyah said.

 

 

Award-winning Director Marcia Weekes who is the director of this movie said the idea for the film was inspired by the story of a woman in Jamaica who had the bones of her ancestors exhumed and brought to Ghana for burial.  The connection between Ghana and Jamaica continues to be strong and often discussed. ‘The Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ has played a significant role in bringing together people from the African diaspora.  It also recognizes the resilience people of African descent and embraces all who have the desire to connect with their African roots.

 

The crew has filmed in different cities in Ghana, including Cape Coast, Accra and Kumasi

during the Akwasidae Festival. Amenyah believes this movie is going to make an impact.  “The footage that we are getting [while filming] will rack their brains and make them feel that, yeah, there is definitely a place called home for them somewhere here in Ghana.  It’s going to give Jamaicans a sense of identity and make them know that indeed they are connected to Ghana, not just by hearsay, and that is going to be evidenced through the film.”

Written by Ivy Prosper

 

Year of Return: Minister of Tourism unveils Ghana, Centre of the World monument

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A monument has being unveiled at a site in Tema, Ghana, where the Greenwich Meridian runs southwards through the ocean to meet the equator at the centre of the earth making the country the closest to the centre.

The Greenwich meridian (longitude zero degrees) meets with latitude zero degrees at the south of Ghana. That point of intersection is the geographic centre which is 611km from Ghana. According to Lieutenant Commander Stephen Manu of the Ghana Navy who was onsite to explain the phenomenon, although the figure might seem big in real terms, it places Ghana as the most proximate country to the centre of the earth.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

 

“You may think 611km is too high, but however, that’s the smallest distance from any country with reference to the centre of the earth, he stressed”

The site is located at Hole Seven of the Tema Country Golf Club where the unveiling was done last Saturday as part of the Year of Return edition of the annual Ghana-Centre of the World Golf Tournament organised by the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) who are spearheading Ghana as the Centre of the Earth project.

Speaking to the Press on the sidelines of the event, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said government is desirous of developing a project around it to sell Ghana as the centre of the earth.

 

“This project comprises supporting the Tema Golf Club to develop the golf course into an international standard one which can host international golf tournaments here in Ghana. We are also going to develop a religious aspect to the project which is the Presbyterian Church, located in Community One which will be a religious pilgrimage site for tourists coming to Ghana.

“We are also going to build an iconic tower just like any tower that you can identify in other countries; for instance, the Eiffel Tower in Paris. We are also going to develop a Port for passenger cruise ships to dock in Ghana to come and see the positioning of Ghana as the Centre of the Earth”, the Minister said.

Stressing the importance of the passenger terminal for instance, CEO, GTDC, Kwadwo Antwi said it will be a great way of boosting the country’s tourism receipts.

“We are working with the authorities at Ghana Ports to be able to develop a passenger terminal for cruise ships. We have been told from their manifest that there are cruise ships passing upwards of 15,000 and 30,000 people. So we’ve asked ourselves what it would look like if we are able to discharge all these people for the purposes of holiday and for reveling.

“If they came here to our country it means our hotels are full, our restaurants are full, it means transportation services will be patronized, it means there will be people buying our arts and craft. So that is what is driving us to be able to create this ecosystem that not just create opportunity for people to have pleasure but to do business and to develop the country’s GDP as well,” averred Antwi

Mrs. Oteng-Gyasi said with consultants at the final stages of designs and estimates, the project will take off soon.

“Currently we have engaged consultants who are working very hard to finalise the designs and estimates for the projects. Once that is done, GTDC who is the agency in the forefront of the project will seek investors to collaborate with in order to realize the project.

Barbara Oteng-Gyasi teed off the Year of Return edition of the Ghana-Centre of the World Golf Tournament

 

We hope that by the end of next year we will have something on the ground to show for the Centre of the World project,” the Minister assured.

Source: Voyages Afriq