Ghana’s president throws party for Lupita Nyong’o, Davido, other ‘returnees’

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola Jan 2, 2020 at 08:00am

January 02, 2020 at 08:00 am | Entertainment

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola

Novieku-Babatunde Adeola | Staff Writer

January 02, 2020 at 08:00 am | Entertainment

Photo: Tina Knowles-Lawson/Instagram

The president of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, has hosted celebrities and other high profile personalities, who visited the country for the ‘Year of Return‘ festivities.

The party which took place before the turn of the New Year was held at his private residence in the capital, Accra.

Nigerian musician, Davido, who was in Ghana for the Afronation festival kept the party alive with his hit songs.

Known celebrities like Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong’o and Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson were captured in a cheerful mood at the reception.

Businesswoman, Bozoma Saint John wasn’t left out of the celebration as the chief marketing officer at William Morris Endeavor revealed in a captioned photo that this was her third trip to Ghana.

American rapper, Ludacris in Ghana_Photo: Ludacris/Facebook

Described as one of the most successful initiatives from the government, the “Year of Return” was launched in Washington, D.C., by President Akufo-Addo, for Africans in the diaspora to visit the West African country as part of the commemoration of 400th year since the first African slaves landed in Virginia.

The initiative has seen an array of celebrities across the globe make their way into Ghana to explore, learn and appreciate their roots, as well as, unite with Africans on the continent.

After singing his hit songs back-to-back, Davido shared some moments with the President and his wife who hosted the event.

It all started in December 2018 when actor Boris Kodjoe and some of his Hollywood friends and family including; Nicole Ari Parker, Diggy Simmons, Micheal Jai White, Anthony Anderson (of Blackish), Rosario Dawson, Jidenna, Cynthia Bailey, Bozoma Saint John spent a significant part of their month in Ghana.

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Steve Harvey, Samuel L. Jackson, Deborah Cox, Ernie Smith, Irvin Mayfield, reggae band Third World, Luda Cris, Cardi B, Rick Ross, Kofi Kingston, Danny Glover, T.I, Tiny, and Hisham Tawfiq also made separate trips to Ghana in 2019.

According to the Tourism Minister Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Ghana’s economy generated a total of $1.9 billion through activities related to the “Year of Return”. She said: “There has been tremendous community involvement which has stimulated the local economy including hoteliers, tour operating and other related businesses.”

Data from ‘The Year of Return’ Secretariat in the first nine months of 2019 also revealed that there have been 80,862 more arrivals from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and other key target nations than the figure recorded the previous year.

The figures showed that in-bound airport arrivals from the United States of America increased by 26 percent (17,455) and the United Kingdom by 24 percent (9,812). An official noted, “Total airport arrivals have increased by 45 percent (237,088), compared to last year.”

“The Year of Return,” said Oteng-Gyasi “…cemented Ghana’s pan-African legacy and had put a global spotlight on the country and helped to position it as a historic, cultural and vibrant hub and had as well changed the narrative of what was reported about Ghana and the rest of Africa in general.”

President Akufo-Addo recently granted citizenship to 126 diasporans who have been residing in the West African nation for several years as part of the yearlong celebrations.

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