Since President Nana Akufo-Addo declared 2019 as the Year of Return, several people from the global African diaspora have heeded the call and made a trip to Ghana. Most have come to explore the history, heritage and culture and have life-changing experiences as they return back to their respective homes in the Americas, Europe and beyond.
I’m challenged to know whoever is behind this notion of the year of return. I mean who started it all? The concept has brought about a great positive impact and the person whosoever needs to be celebrated.
A lot of Ghanaians who for a very long time forgot to accept and come back to their motherland have been inspired by “the year of return” concept and have finally arrived in the country.
One recent impact is that of one couple who were inspired by the concept of “the year of return” and had to uproot their family and moved to Ghana.
“We were very inspired by the Year of Return and moved to Ghana just over 2 months ago,” said Anna Acheampong. She said they couldn’t wait when they saw the door was open. She and her husband are both of Dutch-Ghanaian heritage. Both have fathers who are Ghanaian and mothers who are Dutch. Growing up in Holland as mixed-race children came with its challenges, but it also had its benefits. The couple said they were able to have the best of both worlds.
Both in their early thirties, Anna, who worked as a Social Worker in Child Protective Services, and her husband Kevin, who is a Corporate Account Manager, recently moved to Ghana to not only experience life there, but to also expose their children to a different way of living. “I think we are settled now and we’re trying to relax,” she said. “When we told our friends and family that we wanted to move to Ghana, they would always ask us, ‘Why do you want to move to Ghana?’…and now that we’ve made the move, we get people asking questions like, ‘Do you have electricity?’” …she laughed.
Anna said she couldn’t believe that people still thought that a modern lifestyle can’t exist in an African country. She says it’s largely why they decided to start posting videos on YouTube. She and her husband wanted to show their friends back in Holland, what they were experiencing on a day-to-day basis to see what their new life was really like. “With our videos, we are trying to show that what people think, is not the way Africans live.” She says they were concerned about the stereotypes that exist about Ghana and that inspired her to create content that shows another perspective of the country.
A lot of positive impacts has been observed apart from the story of Anna. I personally think it has helped to identify some of the important cultural heritage of Africans. The person behind this concept must be recognized and celebrated.