American comedian and actor, Steve Harvey, has recounted the “real pain I felt going back to Ghana’s slave castles”.
Harvey visited the Elmina Castle in Ghana’s Central Region on Saturday, 17 August 2019.
The producer and radio personality visited the historical relic built by the Portuguese in 1482, as part of a tour of Ghana in commemoration of the Year of Return to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia.
The overwhelmed comedian, who was taken to the dungeons that held the slaves before departure from the shores of Ghana in the then-Gold Coast, was later seen sitting on a stone with his head bowed down in grief.
He later took to Instagram and stated that he “could feel my ancestors on me”.
“Powerful beyond words that I can explain. I encourage as many of you as possible to go home for your ancestors. Their strength is in each of us and we must honour their ultimate sacrifice in all that we do”.
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This was real pain I felt going back to Ghana’s slave castles…I could feel my ancestors on me… Powerful beyond words that I can explain. I encourage as many of you as possible to go HOME for your ancestors. Their strength is in each of us and we must honor their ultimate sacrifice in all that we do. #TheYearofTheReturn 🎥: @madebycourtney
Harvey, who visited El mina with his family also toured the Cape Coast castle where he was presented with a large seashell with inscriptions as a souvenir.
The comedian, in turn, advised the indigenes to “never give up” in life and pursue their dreams with daily prayers to God.
Already, very notable diasporans of Ghanaian descent such as WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, Idris Elba and Boris Codjoe have visited.
Also, African-American actor Michael Jai White and actor/producer Samuel L.Jackson have also visited Ghana.
Additionally, African-American musician Jidenna and actress Rosario Dawson, have also been to Ghana.
A lot of activities have been earmarked for the Year or Return such as the Black History Month with the African-American Association of Ghana, Back2Africa Festival, Ghana Independence Day Celebration, the pan-African Student Summit, JaGha Reggae Festival and Heritage Paragliding Festival in Kwahu.
Others are Black Prophet Homecoming Celebration, PANAFEST, GOD BOX Spiritual Pilgrimage, Chale Wote, Afrochella, among others.
The Ghana Tourism Authority, and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture are working in partnership with the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Jubilee House, the pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (Panafest) Foundation and The Adinkra Group to steer the year-long Year of Return celebrations.