It’s crunch time in Ghana regarding the Year of Return activities targeted at those of African heritage in the diaspora to make a return home to the ‘Gateway to Africa.’
Heeding the call by Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo for those making a return to explore Ghana’s tourism and heritage sites with a view of future investment is Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o famed for roles as Patsey in ‘12 Years a Slave‘ and as Nakia in ‘Black Panther.’
The international filmmaker and Academy Award winner reportedly embarked on a private tour of the slave holding Cape Coast Castle in the country’s central region. Unlike Steve Harvey, T.I. and others who were given rousing welcome at the Kotoka International Airport by the Year of Return secretariat executives; it does appear Nyong’o wanted her visit to be on the quiet.
She is said to have also avoided posting photos on her official social media sites. Meanwhile, Ghanaian blogger Zionflelix reports that the Hollywood actress and her crew will stay in the country for some time.
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I had an extremely rewarding adventure visiting Benin to find out the deeper story behind the prolific warrior women known as the Agoji, that inspired the Dora Milaje in our movie #BlackPanther. Join me on the journey tonight. #WarriorWomen with Lupita Nyong’o airs in the UK at 10pm on @Channel4.
Nyong’o Mexican connection stems from being born in Mexico City in 1983 when her parents were in political exile. Nyong’o has starred in various productions including the television series Shuga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Off-Broadway play Eclipsed. She holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama.
Aside Nyong’o, Hisham Tawfiq better known as Dembe in ‘The Blacklist’ TV series being the bodyguard of main character James Spader alias ‘Raymond Reddington’ is also in the country.
Unlike Nyong’o, Tawfiq on his Instagram platform has shared photos and videos of presence in the West African state including a tour he embarked on at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park with the “Day 1 #Ghana #kwamenkrumah #Africa #History #yearofreturn” caption.
Tawfiq also visited the Republic Bar at Osu, one of Accra’s busiest streets.
The ‘Year of Return’ initiative has attracted African-Americans in the diaspora to the country, reconnect with their African roots and to have a swell time.
The sector minister has disclosed that already Ghana’s economy has generated a total of $1.9 billion through activities related to the “Year of Return” with air travel, hotel accommodation, transport fares, as well as other key entertainment events accounting for the revenue.
The YoR Secretariat has projected the busiest envisaged month to be December this year, during which it is confident of reaching the targeted 1.1 million arrivals for the year.