Thirty-One (31) African Americans have officially embraced their Ghanaian roots through a beautiful traditional naming ceremony held at the Yiadom Hwedie Royal Palace in New Juaben, Eastern Region of Ghana.

The event, held Sunday December 31, 2023, was chaired by the Paramount Chief of New Juaben, Daasebre Kwaku Boateng III.

The diasporans participated in traditional naming rituals, symbolized by sipping water and palm wine, signifying their sincerity in accepting Ghanaian names and a commitment to distinguishing between good and bad, always doing what is right.

Certificates bearing their newly acquired names were presented to them, adorned with treasured traditional beads.

Additionally, they were integrated into various Royal families, including Agona, Ekuona, Aduana, Bretuo, Ayokuo, and Asona, who gifted them with beads as well.

Courtney Brooks, the leader of the group call “Adventure in Black” , was named after Nana Afia Tabiri, the goddess of the New Juaben Traditional area.

She was gifted with a traditional stools a revered regalia use by high priests and Priestess in Ghana.

Other black Americans who participated in the naming ceremony were : Stacie Gibson (Nana Anima Ampofowaa), Michelle Wortham(Afia Serwaa Bonus), Chelsea Bright (Ama Awi) , Zakiya Stewart (Abena Sarpongmaa), Derek Evans(Kwame Annor Boateng ) , Dorothea Evans (Afia Nyamaa) , Vickie Wilson(Yaa Moobe) , Loretta Summers (Abena Pankyee) , Karlyne Wade Richardson(Akua Akyaa) , Natasha Clemons (Yaa Afrakoma), Frederick Clemons(Twumasi Dankwa), Jennifer Moore(Yaa Akoma Serwaa Bonsu),and Alicia Richardson (Afia Agyapommaa).

The rest are Micaiah Bell( Akua Asantewa), Kristen Richardson (Akosua Afrakomah), Marina Dates (Adwoa Agyeiwaa), Darynell Bell (Kwame Ankomah Asare), Tamika Nolen (Ama Boamah Baafi ) , Wesley Nolen (Bash Acheamfour ) ,Sharon Burner (Ama Fra), Felicia Magee(Ama Owusua),and Felicia Walker (Akosuaa Agyeiwaa).

The final batch are Kerla Kendrick (Adwoa Serwaa) Birdena Kendrick (Ama Bonsu), Brook Thomas (Abena Akyaa), Diondrea Ricks (Ama Serwaa) , Nykia Hamilton (Ama Gyamfua), Angelia Fairfax (Afia Owusuaa) , Vallery Magee(Akua Asare Kwatia) and Frederick Brown (Kwadwo Osei- Bonsu Sempeh ).

Paramount Chief of New Juaben traditional area Daasebre Kwaku Boateng III stated that the naming ceremony not only signifies cultural identity but holds inter-cultural significance, fostering a deeper connection between the diaspora and their roots.

He urged them to sustain ties with their families and periodically visit Ghana to help push the frontiers of development.

Courtney Brooks, the leader of the group told Starr FM in an interview that, “It’s been an honour. Everyone in Ghana has been absolutely phenomenal so embracing so welcoming. it just feels good to be part of of this experience and be able to share this with friends and family and of course I have new friends here so it is an honour. I will bring more people to Ghana so that they experience this because as Americans a lot of times we feel like we are not having identity but I think this shows that we do have so much identity and the people are ready to embrace us back here”.

The team visited the kids and maternity wards of the Eastern Regional Hospital to donate to the patients.

This marks the second batch of African Americans brought to New Juaben by Hausa Tours in 2023, aiming to reconnect with their roots.

According to Hausa Tours’ Chief Executive, Fuseini Nawaru, and Head of Finance and Administration, Regina Aku Dzamashie, the company is set to bring 5000 more diasporans to Ghana, promoting tourism and fostering inter-cultural identity.

“This December we have been able to bring about 71 African Americans to reconnect with the people.Today we came to Yiadom Hwedie palace for naming ceremony for a group call Adventure in Black, a travel group in US seeking to travel across the world. We are looking forward to bringing more next year. The dream of Hausa tour is to at least bring 5000 African Americans back home within the next five years to reconnect with the land and the people” Fuseini Nawaru said.

Hausa Tours is a reputable award winning tour operator based in Ghana highly rated by Ghana Tourism Authority.

Source: Ghana/ Ansah