Sunday, March 7, 2010

Returnee African Americans

"The river that forgets its source will dry up."
Today, I watched a CNN programme -
African Voices (recorded) that stroke a chode and exposed me to the fact that more and more African Americans want to return to Africa to start a new chapter of their lives. Is this the beginning of a new era in African and African American relationships? Many have apparently realised that it's important to know where you come from. This is the story of Isaiah Washington (played Dr. Preston Burke in Grey's Anatomy) - how he discovered his roots in Sierra Leone, West Africa and is determined to rebuild the land of his ancestors. I found the story of this iconic returnee African American very inspiring and worth sharing On The Road To Success.

After taking the DNA test that traced his roots to Sierra Leone in 2005, Isaiah Washington embarked on an ambitious mission of rebuilding a nation ravaged by war. In 2006, he traveled to Sierra Leone - a journey that changed his role from the spotlight in Hollywood to the poverty-stricken streets of Sierra Leone. According to CNN's Isha Sesay, a child trying to collect clean water from a broken pipe in the streets, forced him to take positive action to help improve the lives of the people of one of Africa's poorest nations. While in Sierra Leone, a visit to an old slave castle inspired Washington to shift his focus to Africa and make a connection with his ancestors.

In a bid to honor their son, Isaiah Washington was inducted chief by the Mende people and given an African name - Gondobay Manga. In 2007, he founded the Gondobay Manga Foundation to help rebuild Sierra Leone - "one village at a time".

Isha Sesay points out that in 1987, Washington's 10 year plan was to become a major actor - he did. In the next 10, he wanted to make more money - he did. No doubt therefore, Washington told CNN that he has always done everything in 10 years and by 2016, he would've helped rebuild a nation.

I welcome Isaiah Washington's move to trace his roots and reconnect with his ancestors. Many others have found their roots, why not you? I encourage you to do the same because it would go a long way to break the curse of servitude and give you some peace of mind. Remember, "DNA has memory."

That said, time will tell whether or not Washington will accomplish his ambitious goal of rebuilding his motherland - Sierra Leone.

Are you in search of your roots? Would returnee African Americans be accepted in the continent because it's their heritage or would they be welcomed because of their potential to help rebuild the motherland?

As always, I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. Wow Abeng... I'm getting tested!!! Thanks for posting!

  2. Amazing article. Children of Africa will always be welcome back. U know mother Africa is like our natural mothers, she never forgets her children and will warmly embrace and welcome them whenever they come to her. Unfortunately, unlike our natural mothers, she can't go to them.

  3. Awesome articles. Well i hope they are welcome home for the next century will be AFRICAS after Asias. It all began with the Romans, and somewhere Great Britain or Western Europe and the North America. It is presently Asia as seen in China and India with 1.5billion and 1 billion respectively trying to steal the top spot from the USA. If we are to follow this trend then Africa is next. If you ask me when... well probably not in our life time but we shall be next.

  4. Tamiko, glad to hear you're getting tested. Keep me posted.

    You're right, Lema. Mother Africa is always ready to embrace her children. I bet she would've gone to them if she could. :-)

    Only time will tell what the future holds for Africa!


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