A Tale of Two Castles with Different Visions
My journey took me to Benin and Ghana and much has changed since I was last in Ghana in 1987. It’s exciting and forward looking with some surprises! A very a modern city with a lot of new investment in some areas and also its fair share of poverty and hardship.
I stayed for a few days in Accra and went to Elmina Castle which I had visited in 1987 and Cape Coast Castle which was new to me. What a difference between the two ‘slave castles’ and maybe a testament to changing times as well. Elmina Castle looks very much like when I last visited it, whilst Cape Coast Castle looks very different, more ‘restored’ through the grants given to the Ghanian government by the Smithsonian Institute based in Washington America.
Both were moving to visit, how could they not be, but I felt that Cape Coast Castle was aimed more as a ‘tourist’ experience. There is much ongoing debate in Ghana and the US about the ‘make-over’ and restoration of the castle. I don’t have the time to get into the debate here but if you visit, you will have an opportunity to make your mind up for yourself.
As I didn’t have any particular expectations, I felt that both were worth the visit. But Elmina Castle is quieter and and gives more space for your own thoughts and reflections on ‘remembering’, for this I appreciated it more. Both visits reminded me that it is the ‘African Diasporan’ coming back to Mother Africa who are leading the way in Diaspora Heritage travel in Ghana and beyond in Africa.
African Diaspora Ancestral Journeys
Just last weekend at one of my Constellations Circles, I was talking about the importance of reconnecting to our Ancestral heritage. And I realised what an impact my own journey has had on my family constellations practice. For some time I have been thinking about offering an African Diaspora centred tour to Ghana and Benin and when i raised the idea at my workshop, I was surprised by how positive the response was from several group members.
I will be exploring different options and possibilities over the coming weeks and researching what interest there may be from past workshop participants, as well as friends and family. I have already decided to return to Ghana and Benin next year, so for me the question is not ‘wether it is possible to create this trip?’ but rather ‘who would like to join me on the journey?’
I will be sending out some more information on African Diaspora Ancestral Journeys in the near future, if you are interested in finding out more please visit my Ancestral Constellations contact page and let me know, I will add you to my News Circular.
Until next time, Ashe!