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From meeting the Ashanti king to visiting a slave castle, here’s how Kofi Kingston marked his trip to Ghana

June 04, 2019 at 09:00 am | Diaspora Connect

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

June 04, 2019 at 09:00 am | Diaspora Connect

Kofi Kingston with the Ashanti King -- Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram

After leaving his home country Ghana in 1993 to the United States, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) performer Kofi Kingston returned to the West African country on a four-day visit.

Born Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, the current WWE Champion arrived in Ghana’s capital Accra on Thursday to a warm welcome from fans and members of the government’s 2019 Year of Return Steering Committee.

His stay in Ghana, which was captured by a WWE documentary film crew, was described as historic by the government affirming it would put a positive spotlight on the country as it celebrates the Year of Return of the Diaspora.

Kingston’s short but fully-packed trip included meetings with the President of Ghana and the Ashanti King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, visits to his father’s hometown as well as the Christiansborg Castle in Osu, just to mention a few.

Below is a timeline of his historic visit:

Kingston paid a courtesy call on the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on day one and presented him his belt.

Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram
Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram
Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram

He visited a community school and spent some time with the children and teachers on day 2.

In what he described as an emotional trip, Kingston visited his father’s hometown of Ejisu in the Ashanti Region on the third day. He also visited the historic town of Bonwire where he weaved some Kente and stamped Adinkra symbols in Ntonso.

Kingston also visited the Christiansborg Castle in Accra and shared his experience.

View this post on Instagram

On a bit of a more somber note, in Accra, we visited Osu Castle, also known as Fort Christiansborg. Over the course of history, this was a place where a lot was traded: gold, ivory, mirrors, alcohol, among other things. However, most significantly, was the trading of slaves. • We toured many of the castle‘s holding chambers. It was incredibly difficult to imagine one being forced to live in such dismal and dreary conditions with little to no light and very limited ventilation. It was even more trying to imagine the many unfortunate souls who died in transition during this inhumane process. • This picture is of an area of the castle known as “The Door of No Return”. This was the final door in which slaves would walk through, leading them to the slave ships that would carry them across the world, away from Ghana forever. • I felt it was very important the take a moment to stand there and take in the melancholic energy in a place where so many lives were cast into fearful uncertainty, having been ripped away from their husbands, wives, children and homeland. • As harsh, sorrowful, or angering as our history may be, it is our history nonetheless and it is essential that we familiarize ourselves with it’s details. • The encouraging piece is that in this present day and age, many have come to know this door as “The Door of Return” as the descendants and diaspora of the slaves have come back to visit and experience Osu Castle centuries later. • Also up until recently, Osu castle served as the location of the Ghanaian Presidency, essentially converting a location that was historically oppressive, instead to a location where laws were created and actions were taken to benefit the people Ghana. • Embracing our history is a very powerful way that we can connect with our roots. I’m grateful to have had this experience that I can now share with all of you. • • • #ghana #wwe24 #OsuCastle #christiansborg

A post shared by Kofi (@thetruekofi) on

Kingston attended Akwasidae Festival and had the pleasure of meeting the Ashanti King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on day 4.

Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram
Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram
Photo via @thetruekofi on Instagram

View this post on Instagram

Yesterday I attended the Akwasidae Festival which is held every 40 days to celebrate our ancestors and pay homage to the Asantehene, the King of Ashanti. • It was here that I had the great honor of meeting His Majesty, Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II, Ruler of the Kingdom of Ashanti, Leader, Peacekeeper, and one of, if not the most respected individual in all of Ghana. • I’ve often talked about achieving goals that seem so far out of the realm of possibility, that you don’t even begin to think about setting them. This was one of those moments. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would stand before the Ashanti King bearing gifts and conversing with him. I’m still trying to process it all, lol. • Life is crazy… • • • #Ghana #wwe24 #wwe

A post shared by Kofi (@thetruekofi) on

Originally characterized as Jamaican Wrester, the 37-year-old’s mother Dr Elizabeth Sarkodie-Mensah affirmed to local media ahead of her son’s visit in an interview that he is a true Ghanaian and not Jamaican as he earlier presented himself during his 2008 debut in the WWE.

He stopped being billed as a Jamaican wrestler in late 2009 and later started being billed as a wrestler from Ghana. This earned him the title of being the first African-born performer in WWE history.

Kofi Kingston made history at WWE’s biggest annual calendar event Wrestlemania 35 in April and defeated Daniel Bryan in a very feisty, entertaining and roller-coaster encounter with his signature Trouble in Paradise move to clinch the highly coveted WWE Championship.

His historic win was widely celebrated and hailed by Ghanaians on social media. The wrestler has tattoos of Ghanaian Adinkra symbols along his spine with a set of eagle wings around the spine of his scapula.

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