Just in case you weren’t able to follow my posts on Facebook, here’s a quick run-down of my 10-day tour of Ghana with The Calabash Hub; it was action-packed, so I’m only able to share the highlights:
I missed the flight with the group because I booked my ticket in the name ‘Cezanne’ instead of ‘Carol Ann’ (which is the name on my passport, duh!) and BA refused to change the ticket, so I had to pay nearly £600 to catch another flight with Portugese Air; I travelled overnight and caught up with them in time to start the tour the following morning!
I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful resort we stayed at, owned by a Ghanaian brother by the name ‘Powerful’ (and his investors). I interviewed him towards the end of the tour; he told me that he started off making drums and teaching drumming workshops in America. He was able to get some African Americans to invest in land and they built this beautiful seaside resort! I thoroughly enjoyed being able to wake up to the sound of the waves, and to take a stroll on the beach first thing in the morning! This is me with Powerful and one of the drums he made; he carved my name ‘Cezanne Poetess’ on it, with ‘Scorpio Queen’ and a brilliant carving of a Scorpion!
I’m now learning how to play my drum, and also doing African dance classes! I’m aiming to be able to play it fluently by 20th December when I’m featuring at an event in Accra! (see my Events Page for details).
On the first day of the tour we visited the village chief Nii Kojo Ababio V and his elders who gave us a warm welcome; they poured libation to our ancestors and prayed a special blessing over us for our safe trip, then we all had to drink from the calabash!
We then visited his ‘palace’ where we received another warm welcome from African drummers. When I told the chief I was staying for a couple of months after the group return to the UK, his secretary gave me his number to call him so I can go and visit them again! There are a few questions I want to ask him regarding how he got his ‘chief’ status….
On the second day we visited the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park; because of the work he was doing in trying to establish an independent Ghana, he was overthrown and exiled by the Europeans.
We also visited Kakum National Park where we walked across seven (yes 7!) of those precarious-looking plank and rope bridges, watch the video to cross one of them with me!
I can now say “I SURVIVED THE WALKWAY!”
Sunday was our free day; I took a bunch of the tour group to meet Naomi who I’d met in Brixton a few months ago; she’s Jamaican but has been living in Ghana for 13 years and was on holiday in England when we met; it turned out that her Guest House ‘Taste of Africa’ was only 10 mins walk from where we were staying! We had a great time with her and husband Neville; and just by chance, I’ve ended up staying with them rather than travelling to Pokuase!
All things work together for the good…. 🙂
Spending Time with the Locals
As much as I enjoyed the luxury of the beach resorts we stayed at, I equally enjoyed mixing with the locals; we visited Okurase Village which is supported by Powerful’s business;
We didn’t just do the tourist thing; we learnt African dance, drumming and cooking!
We donated pencils, paper and arts materials for their school and arts centre, and learnt more about their simple yet hard-working way of life.
We also visited the Botanical Gardens in Aburi, stopping off at Rita Marley’s studio on the way; I saw a Moringa Tree for the first time! (I take Moringa leaf powder every day). I also saw a shea butter tree for the first time (didn’t know shea butter came from trees!) I was actually expecting to see lots of tropical flowers, but the trees were interesting too!
This tree had died and rather than just cut it down, they turned it into a work of art!
Dungeons NOT Castles!
Elmina and Cape Coast ‘Castles’ had to be the most profound for me; we performed a beautiful ceremony led by ‘Seestah’ IMAHKUS N. Okofu (owner of One Africa Health Resort), where we lit candles, prayed, gave thanks, spoke affirmations and ‘fed’ our ancestors.
The Door of No Return?
What bothered me the most was how the European enslavers built CHURCHES directly above the dungeons where our ancestors were held, and how they used RELIGION to justify their barbaric acts. It baffles me how they are still able to use the same religion to mentally enslave Africans and their descendants today! Everyhwere I go in Ghana I see images of the white Jesus, our ‘saviour’! The door has since been renamed ‘The Door of Return’, as we (the descendants of enslaved Africans) are returning to our Motherland!
I was honoured to be given the opportunity to perform my poem ‘Who Am I’? in the female dungeon, which was very apt!
We stayed in 3 beautiful resorts owned by people of colour; if you’re thinking of taking a holiday, you should seriously consider spending your holiday in beautiful Ghana at one of these lovely beach resorts:
The tour group have now returned to England, and Neville (Naomi’s husband) has set up my computer (the base was the first thing to go into my suitcase, that shows what a workaholic I am!) Over the next two weeks I’m going to be revising my books (haven’t read them since I wrote them!), and finishing my poem ‘Black Scorpio Woman’!
This is how I imagined my life; travelling the world, staying in beautiful Guest Houses and Hotels, making a living from my creations, and inspiring others to live their dream too!
My next wish is to be able to send for my 3 suns so they can join me wherever I am in the world and share in the adventures! I’m hoping to be able to send for them in January so they can spend a couple of weeks with me in Ghana before I leave for America (more about that in my next post!)
I feel like I’m finally starting to see the harvest of all the seeds I’ve been planting!
DREAMS DO COME TRUE – FOLLOW YOUR BLISS!
Cezanne Poetess (Visual & Spoken Word Artist, Author)
Visit my Facebook Page to see more photographs of the tour; I’ll be posting a new blog tomorrow with GREAT NEWS!
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