The vibrant West African country of Ghana, historically used as an important port for the British slave trade, has been a major tourist and cultural hub, especially for blacks and entertainment industry stars such as Kendrick Lamar and Gabrielle Union. It’s more and more on the map as a destination. , SZA, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper.
This winter season is destined to be particularly busy thanks to two festivals focused on using the power of entertainment to reunite the global African diaspora. “People are discovering [Ghana]it’s in our blood, so it’s part of the process of reconnecting,” says the Ghanian-American queen sugar Actor Kofi Shiriboe has been visiting his ancestral land regularly since 2016.
The annual Afroquera Music Fest kicked off on December 28th and 29th. This year will be his 6th year. This year’s line-up included an all-star roster of musical talent, including Burna Boy, Fireboy BML, Shatter Wale, and homegrown stars Stoneboy, Gakie, King Promise, and Kids. Curated around the theme of ‘Afrofuturism’, this year’s experience also features a two-week ‘Afrokera Expo’. This is a series of panels, screenings and discussions exploring topics related to innovation and growth in Ghana and across the continent.
The Afro Nation Music Festival (December 29th and 30th), which takes place around the same time as Afrokera, was founded in 2019 and takes place in Accra, featuring headline performers Meek Mill, Billboard Afrobeats chart-topping Lema, Featuring Ghanaian music stars Black Sheriff and Kameed.
And just in the new year, Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa will be at the historic Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana on January 6th for a “cultural experience rooted in intercontinental collaboration.” Hosts the first ever Black Star Line Festival. In addition to concerts featuring performances by the co-founder, Erykah Badu, T-Pain, Jeremih, Sarcodi, and others, a week-long series of panels featuring his discussions, art exhibitions and nightlife events related to the occasion is done.
The Black Star Line Festival is named after Pan-African leader and activist Marcus Garvey’s short-lived Black Star Line. Ghana’s flag) is “a radical diasporic crossroads of music, thought and creativity at a moment when cosmopolitan Africans are rapidly evolving and Ghana serves as the gateway to the continent”. According to a letter from the founder of the official website.
in an interview with rolling stone, Chance the Rapper said: … Ghana is, in many ways, the global center of blacks, and over the years blacks not only in the United States, but also in the Islands and the United Kingdom spend time and make relationships. ”
The trend continues as countless other black American musicians and actors have recently made pilgrimage trips to the country with similar considerations in mind.
Kendrick Lamar released this June A day in Accra, Ghanais a mini-documentary in partnership with Spotify that chronicles his first trip to the country with stops such as Virgil Abloh’s Ghana Freedom Skatepark. And in September, Danai Gurira joined. Good morning AmericaRobin Roberts in Ghana for the premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
In October, Gabrielle Union celebrated her 50th birthday and traveled to several African countries, including Ghana. There she took part in a ‘final bath’ ritual in her ancestral river, Asshin her Manso. In this river, slaves were bathed before being taken to ships to decide their fate.In an interview with iNews UK during the press tour for the new Disney animated film strange world, Union said: I have never been clearer. My soul has never been cleaner or lighter. That’s my superhero origin story. ”
Afrochella started in 2017 as a pure party and has evolved into one of the largest annual events in Ghana, using entertainment as a tool for returning home and learning. “We started [it] To celebrate our culture, we felt there were four communication mediums we could use: food, music, art and fashion,” said Abdul Karim Abdullah, co-founder and CEO of Afrochella. THR“We understand that tourism can be greatly boosted by any of these mediums…We have always considered our festivals, through Ghana, to be the bridges between the diaspora and the continent.” The 10-day Afroquera cultural experience is facilitated through a travel package that includes air tickets, accommodation and domestic tours. Travel packages are created in collaboration with partners such as Travel Mo, a global travel agency that recommends travelers stay at Accra’s Labadi Beach Hotel and Kempinski Hotel Gold. Coast City or Tang Palace Hotel. (In October, Coachella’s owner and organizational partner, Goldenvoice, filed a California lawsuit against Afroquera after the festival’s organizers applied to trademark the Coachella name in Ghana. In ongoing cases, and trademarks.)
“December in Ghana, and Africa in general, is the time when people tend to go home for a satogai experience,” says Abdullah. “When we first started, Ghana had a great nightlife. I felt there weren’t many places to gather…invite other friends from the diaspora to see all the amazing things happening on the continent and hopefully we can work together and make each other’s You can develop an environment where you can build
According to Abdullah, the demographics of the people who attend Afrochella have changed significantly over the years, with around 30% of participants coming from outside Ghana in 2017, while in 2018 the number increased to 40. increased to %. Attendance in 2019 jumped to 16,000 from 12,000 the previous year. This is also thanks to the Ghana Ministry of Tourism, which has encouraged members of the African Diaspora from around the world to visit Ghana in his 2019, also known as Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’. It was hauled off the coast of Ghana and ended up in Jamestown, Virginia.
“In 2019, there was a huge surge in the number of people coming from the United States. [the initiative]’ says Abdullah. “Most people abroad tend to get their teachings from secondary or tertiary sources such as television. The history of slavery, we get to learn from people who can tell us exactly what our food tastes like…these kinds of experiences are priceless to you.We make sure you get them straight from the source.”
Each year, the Afrokera team employs between 750 and 1,000 Ghanaian locals for seasonal work. The festival launched the Afroquera Foundation in 2019 to lead philanthropic efforts in the community, including educational scholarships and raising awareness around food insecurity.
“Really our mission is to capitalize on the influx of tourists coming to Ghana,” says Gifty Boakye, director of the foundation. “People obviously come to experience the festival, but then when they arrive in Ghana they realize, ‘Wow, I’m in Africa. There are people here who live happily on very little. So even though he’s only in town for a week at the festival, he gives them the chance to experience what giving back feels like. ”
The latest tourism report for 2021, released by the Ghana Tourism Board, recorded 623,523 arrivals and corresponding revenue of $803.8 million, up 107.7% from the previous year. Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) forecasts that the number of international tourists arriving in Ghana will rise to 1 million in 2022, with income of 2.3 billion for him this year.
Many black Americans have also permanently moved to Ghana, some in response to incidents of hostility and white supremacist violence encountered in the United States. African Americans are reported to have immigrated to the country. (At a ceremony in Accra to mark the 2020 killing of George Floyd, Ghana’s Minister of Tourism Barbara Oten Gyasi said: “You don’t have to stay forever where you don’t want to.”) Emigrating to Ghana in an interview with Oprah Winfrey said: Please know that I am important, please take care of me. ”
Shiriboe, who recently completed a seven-season tenure at OWN’s queen sugar,To tell hollywood reporter When he first visited Ghana six years ago, he said it was “fresh, calm and empty”.
“As human beings, as artists, it is our intentions that ground us and we need direction. queen sugar And life began to move rapidly, I started rethinking everything, looking for new intentions and new anchors,” explains Siriboe. “
Over the years, he’s seen more and more black peers visit the country, both in and out of the entertainment industry. I visited the continent for the first time when I played at a festival.The growing popularity of Afrobeat music shows how popular travel to and interest in West Africa has become.
“I have friends in Los Angeles and New Orleans. [where Queen Sugar filmed] They send me Afrobeat songs and recently introduced artists, and I can see how the music parallels the whole continent,” says Siriboe. “As black people, we are looking for new places. America taught us long ago what we mean to this country.
shooting is over queen sugar, Siriboe has future plans to move to Ghana, predicting the emergence of a “new Africa” in the next 20 years. “The land is beautiful, the people are beautiful, the food is delicious, the soil is fertile.
Gale Bean as Wonder Bell on FX snowfallMs first visited Ghana in 2016 and has been there every year since.
“Our careers as actresses are fundamentally fluid. The Christmas holidays are a surefire holiday, and after my first trip to Africa, I made a vow to return every year to welcome the New Year,” she says.
Bean is now building his first home in Ghana and thinks black production studios like Tyler Perry’s in Atlanta, Georgia are “amazing.”
“Often projects are shot in Canada or elsewhere. [for instance]We know it will be very helpful for the economy of Africa,” says Bean. “We are so integrated with the locals. Being in a place where we are black majority is a different feeling. It’s so warm, beautiful and reassuring. It’s something I hope every black person can experience.” It gives me a sense of self-esteem and happiness.”