Musings – A Return To The Source

by | Jul 2, 2009 | Random | 2 comments

I have come to the conclusion that Ghanaians are nomadic creatures. Beings who thrive on motion.

Being of Ghanaian descent, I was born and raised outside of the true Black Star Nation. In 36 years, I spent a little time in Ghana as a baby (literally) until December of last year when I made the trip with my father and brother. In the two weeks I was in Ghana, we crammed in as much as we could, touring Accra, visiting Kumasi, Elmina, going to the Elmina Slave Fort, The Nkrumah Mausoleum, etc. It was during the Presidential Run-Off which allowed me some insights into the intricacies of politics in Ghana.

I hit the streets a couple of nights – it was Christmas season – and sampled the nightlife moderately, more an observer than a participant. I sat in restaurants watching people walk by eavesdropping on conversations in languages I did not understand but were strangely familiar all the same. I listened to radio, watched television and played hip life artists non-stop, acquiring a taste for Prayer, Tic Tac, Sakordie, etc and the godfather himself, Reggie Rockstone.

And I ate.

For some reason, my favourite foods are from the two nations that birthed the man and woman who were to end up creating me. Fufu and groundnut soup was consumed like the world was about to end. Jollof rice and kelewele were eaten with no regard for waist line (and it is still recovering). Having lived outside of Ghana did not change the appetite I have for Ghanaian food.

And then I went back to Johannesburg. Obviously, everyone around me wanted to know: how was it?

It is hard to explain. How does one explain how you feel at home in a place that you have never lived in. How do you explain that somehow, as cheesy as it sounds, you feel the spirit of your ancestors buried in this land? How do you explain the pride you have in your name, which is of this space, yet feel uncomfortable because you do not speak any language other than English? And coming in December, you hear a range of accents from British to American …. I am not the only wandering child. Many have visited regularly. Others only come over Christmas. Some have finally made the move home.

I have come to the conclusion that Ghanaians are nomadic creatures. Beings who thrive on motion.

Our parents and grandparents braved new worlds, spreading across the globe, carrying within them the pioneering spirit of what was once called the Gold Coast. They carved their place in these new worlds and birthed us. They weren’t always able to come home. Or they made homes for us in these new spaces. But home is not discarded or forgotten. It lingers in different ways; subtly weaved into the fabric of our souls.

At some stage, we journey back. Sooner. Later.

I came back in April and spent another two weeks trying to live like I belong.

I hung out. Made more friends. Found family. Ate.

I am back again now. Each trip, I find myself a bit more. I seek a space where I belong.

I want to feel at home without feeling foreign.

Without walking down the Oxford Street and having someone try and sell me something at an inflated price.

Everything takes time.

I’m enjoying the ride.

That’s my story. What’s yours.

2 Comments

  1. Lindiwe Zulu

    At some point in this cyclic endeavour we embark at first breath, each spirit, each soul, each being, must make it’s way back to it’s origins…
    To gauge the process of one’s progress.
    To re-trace the steps of one’s ancestors.
    To find a place where there are no justifications required for who and how you are!
    I commend you. I’m still trying to find out who my grandfather is.

  2. Mac-Jordan

    i’m touched by your post. hope i don’t get too emotional at the forts. nice piece, man. Kokro moti Up for you…!!!

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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