As Ghana celebrates 2019 as the “Year of Return” in commemoration of the 400th year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved African to set foot on American soil in 1619, I couldn’t help but think it should actually be tagged as the “Year of Returns.” Hey, I’m not trying to be a smarty-panty getting into semantics and stuff like that. I’m just an excited traveller who sort of likes Ghana – yeah, it’s a bit hard to admit that, but I do like Ghana – even if I vehemently maintain that Ghana Jollof is a myth lodged in the medulla of the Ghanaian people. You have to speak the truth in love, and I speak that in love.

Anyway, 2019 is the Year of Returns. There are enough reasons to make repeated trips to Ghana. The 5th Accra Weizo was the first for me and what that event has done is opened up a great yearning for Ghana returns. Indeed, Ghana has lined up a host of colourful activities throughout the entire year to mark the celebrations. As the year has gone past the halfway mark, many of the activities have taken place, but there’s still a whole lot more to come – and I honestly hope to participate in some of them. Let me say that again for emphasis: I honestly hope to participate in some of the remaining activities put together to celebrate the Year of Return. (Someone should tell the relevant authorities in Ghana.)

This exordium is already getting too long – all I want to talk about is my Accra Weizo 2019 Ghana experience, so let’s get right down to it.

I was excited going back – no, let’s use returning to Ghana instead – after all it’s the Year of Return. I had been to Ghana twice previously. The first time was okay, I was very much a wary traveller, so I couldn’t get much.

Cape Coast Castle: My first visit to Ghana in 2015

However, last year showed me a new side of the country formerly known as Gold Coast. It was all thanks to Accra Weizo 2018. We had a familiarisation tour of the Volta and Eastern Regions. The topography of the Volta Region in particularly struck a chord in me and I feel deep in my bones I should own a piece of property in Ho.

Accra Weizo 2018: At the Akosombo Dam, Lake Volta

Now, some of you can understand why I wanted to marry some Ghanaians. It’s pretty simple: I was told if you marry a Ghanaian, you’ll be given land. So I figured if married a couple of Ghanaian ladies, I’ll have enough land. Anyway, every lady I asked on this return trip to Ghana says it’s not true. Well, I forgive you all – and forgive myself. I still love Ghana though.

The Western and Central Regions of Ghana had been advertised by the organisers of Accra Weizo as the destination for this year’s familiarisation tour, and I looked forward to it with much excitement. My first visit to Ghana took me to Cape Coast and Elmina in the Central Region. I was supposed to get to the twin cities of Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region, but I never made it there. So I was really fired up for this trip. It was a chance to see Cape Coast again and then finally set my foot on the Western Region.

We set out from Lagos, Nigeria on Monday June 24. We – a couple of media persons selected by the organisers of Accra Weizo – arrived late at the Golden Tulip, Accra some minutes past 23:00 hours. (Yeah, some little hindrances happened along the way, but we don’t want to mess up a good narrative now, do we)?

…to be continued…

Author

‘Niyi David is a travel writer/photographer and Editor-in-Chief at More Cream Than Coffee. Previously, he worked at Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd as a travel writer, and was Head of Media and C.O.O. before leaving in May 2018. Prior to that he had worked as scriptwriter on some major media projects in Nigeria, such as 'Peak Talent Show' and the Ford Foundation sponsored 'Stop Impunity in Nigeria' campaign.