BACK TO AFRICA: INVESTING IN OUR HOMELAND
After tracing my roots to the Motherland, specifically Sierra Leone (Mende) and Liberia (Kru), I had two immediate goals: repatriation and investment. I’ve done the former; I’m working on the latter; and I recently met a www.africanancestry.com family member who’d done both! Once he traced his maternal roots to the Ga Adangbe peoples of Ghana, Brooklyn native, Brian Williams, made the trek to the capital city of Accra in 2005, and today is a proud owner of Ghana’s Sanaa Hotel!
The Sanaa (which means “treasure”) Hotel is wholly owned by people of the Diaspora and is located a stone’s throw from Cape Coast Slave Castle and just minutes from Elmina Castle.
After learning of his lineage, Brian set out on a pilgrimage to Ghana’s capital city, Accra. According to Brian, “I saw an elder there who looked identical to my aunt who raised me. She was in a marketplace. My Guide introduced me to her and she said I looked like her father who was sent to the states and never came back. After she heard I was there in search of my ancestry, she told me her brother was a Paramount Chief in a place called Kokrobite (a small fishing village west of Accra). So, I went there and sat before a group of elders. A Linguist asked questions. Then, they decided I was part of their group – without even looking at my DNA documents, they knew. They said, ‘you’ve been accepted.’ Then, they did a traditional naming ceremony there at the Chief’s house.”
On a return visit in September 2010, Brian was enstooled as Chief Nii Arde Anum 1, the “Noa Mantse” or Development Chief of three Ghanaian villages.
Center: Brian Williams aka Chief Noa Mantse
Still living in the U.S, Brian makes the trek to Ghana every 3-4 months to fulfill his chiefly duties of building up visibility of the villages and aggregating education supplies. He also heads up security at his hotel and elsewhere in the country. A security specialist and Private Investigator by trade, Brian trains security professionals throughout Ghana, including the former President’s secret service team.
Brian is just a handful of African Americans who’ve invested in Africa once tracing their roots there. If you’ve traced your roots to Africa and have an interesting story to tell, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to share it here. Until next time…
AfricanAncestry.com Fast Fact: