Late last year, we hosted a giveaway for one-lucky African-American to join us on a 'Journey to the Motherland'. This year, we took that trip!
Porsha was our lucky winner for a giveaway and this trip was to help her connect to her roots and the motherland - this was an opportunity to reconnect with her ancestral roots, learn about new culture and history, and create amazing memories. The trip was organised by us at Besida with the help of a traveling agency, Certified Africa.
Landing in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, Porsha was greeted with open arms and welcoming smiles by the local guides. It was a welcome feeling of belonging, of connection, and of homecoming. The Certified Africa team hosted a dinner that night at a local restaurant.
Porsha (left), Ella - Besida's team member (right) at the airport
On Day 2, there was a traditional naming ceremony before exploring Accra. During the naming ceremony, Porsha was given a Ghanian name 'Naa Shika' which symbolizes wealth.
Karl - Certified Africa's team (left) explaining to Porsha the meaning of her Ghanain name
Porsha at the Chief's Palace for the naming ceremony
We had the opportunity to explore Accra and the city was bubbling with energy and activity - from the busy markets to the colourful street art. We visited Independence Square, where Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, declared independence from British colonial rule in 1957. It was a powerful moment, standing on the same ground where Ghana's fight for freedom began.
Porsha at the Independence Square
We then visited the W.E.B Du Boi Center. The Du Bois Centre is a library to commemorate the late W.E.B DuBois. This centre serves as a museum feature DuBois life and his personal library. There was a tour guide who gave us an amazing lesson on the life and achievements of DuBois.
Porsha at the DuBoi Museum
The day was not over yet as we visited the Makola market - one of the busiest market in Ghana where Porsha was treated to an unending sight of beauty. Local artisans and designers carefully crafted vibrant African print garments, jewellery, and accessories; each piece told a unique story. We also tried out some street food - beef kebab and some amazing coconuts.
Porsha getting her hair braided at a local saloon
Porsha enjoying her new look
Day 4 was such an emotional moment for all of us as we visited the Cape Coast Slave Castle and the Assin Manso Slave River. It was a haunting reminder of enslaved Africans' brutal and inhumane treatment. While walking through the dark, cramped dungeons where enslaved Africans were held captive, we were overcome with sadness, anger, and grief. We were moved to tears by the stories of the millions of lives stolen and destroyed by the transatlantic slave trade. But we also felt a sense of resilience and hope, knowing that our ancestors had survived the unimaginable and paved the way for us to be here today.
We passed through the "Door of No Return", where slaves exited and left their motherland. We imagined the hopelessness they must have left, knowing they would never return home. Today, the "Door of No Return" has been commemorated as the "Door of Return" to await the descendants of those who were forcefully taken.
We also toured the Assin Manso River, where our ancestors took their last bath before being sold to slavery. The group honoured the memory of our ancestors by pouring libations and offering prayers. Read more about these slave sites in our post here
Despite the painful history of the slave trade, Ghana it s a land of beauty and joy. There are stunning beaches and areas to be explored while soaking up the warm sun and breathing the fresh air. On Day 5 & 6, Porsha spent her time relaxing at the Big Blue Resort & Spa where she had the opportunity to partake in fun activities such as Quad bike, Swimming pool, Football 5 aside, Table tennis, Beach(bodyboard), Aerobics, Spa, Board games, and aerobics. These activities helped in bonding and forming lifetime friendships.
Porsha at the Big Blue Resort
On Day 7, there was a business session with a local consultant who shared with us some business ideas and guides should we wish to invest in Ghana. It was such an amazing and eye-opening event as all business related questions were answered.
Meeting with the Local Business Consultant
Of course, a trip to Ghana would only be complete with trying out the delicious local cuisines. There was everything from spicy jollof rice to crispy plantains to fresh seafood and the local street food to be indulged in. It was a fun and memorable experience that brought one closer to Ghanaian culture.
Throughout our trip, we were struck by the warmth and kindness of the Ghanaian people. From our tour guides, who took their time to educate us, to the shopkeepers who welcomed us into their stores, and the strangers who initiated conversations with us, we felt a sense of connection and community.
The trip was not just about sightseeing and adventure; it was also a trip of self-discovery. There was an opportunity to connect with the locals and hear their stories, which opened one's hearts and minds to the beauty of Ghanaian culture.
Some amazing Ghanian delicacies
Leaving back home on Day 8, left us with lessons, memories, and the emotions of the journey. Porsha had a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to have this experience and a sense of responsibility to share her stories and insights with others.
We hope that the trip to Ghana inspires people to discover Ghana's hidden treasures and connect with the African continent's rich culture and history. Porsha thanked Besida for the amazing trip and for providing a safe space for black women to learn about their roots. She encourages everyone to take the time to reconnect with their roots and explore the beautiful continent of Africa. The trip to Ghana may have ended, but its impact on Porsha's life will last a lifetime.
Here are some memorable photos from the trip. Be sure to visit our Instagram page for more highlights!
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