Jerry Johnson from California USA returned home to Ghana in 2003 and now resides in Prampram/New Ningo with his lovely wife and children Abagre and Mmalebna. They established the African Ancestral Wall, Restaurant and Guest Lodge as part of their home environment. On Sunday 30th August a group of us took a tour of the African Ancestral Wall and honoured our Ancestors with Prayers and Libation.
Jerry is a Garveyite and was inspired to establish the African Ancestral Wall to give local Ghanaian students access to African History that they were missing in school, as primarily European History was taught.
Heroes, Sheroes, Icons
The first paintings on The African Ancestral Wall commenced in 2017. At present there are 92 portraits representing Africa, USA and the Caribbean that had been painted by 8 African artists. These were chosen based on an attribute they exhibited that he wanted the students to see and value. Some are famous, but many are not.
On entrance at the front wall you are met with large portraits starting with Apoka Karenyane, Queen Tiye, Marcus Garvey, Kwame Nkrumah and 2 fathers of the village – Jonas Carboo, Teye Djangmah 1
Walk and Talk
Making our way into the garden we were guided by Jerry along a path where the remainder of the portraits were painted. I was captivated when he spoke, although only giving a brief history of each icon. I was glad I knew some info and recognised most icons and learnt about others. But with our history there is so much to learn.
It was such a joy to listen to the young children speak with confidence as they also gave us some history of an icon. The children choose who they wish to learn about and then learn scripts to present.
(Asore Awuni presenting Apoko Karenyane)
(Abargre Johnson presenting Na Gbewa)
Zabeth – Haiti. Ca 1700
Zabeth was a young enslaved African who during her captivation was very resistant she escaped the plantation several times. She had a child who died age 6. She lost 3 fingers from being caught in a mill. She died age 20 strapped to a mill. She is also known for singing a song which relates her to the Mandingo group.
(Mmalebna presenting Zabeth of Haiti)
Nzinga Mbande – Angola 1583 – 1663
Nzinga Mbande, Queen of the Ambundu Kindoms of Ndongo and Matambia, located in present day Angola. A militant leader who fought against the Portuguese invasion and enslavement trade for 30yrs. I watched the movie- Queen Nzinga 4yrs ago which gave me further insight of a courageous African woman.
You cannot visit the Ancestral Wall without giving an offering to the Ancestors. So, Nana Kofi Odzefo founder of Home of African Traditions, performed a libation with prayer and we gave food offerings to the Ancestors of fruit and Oto
We were graced with meeting some returnees from UK and USA who had been in Ghana for a long time. Enjoyed a lovely buffet lunch with so much choice that my belly was dancing for joy, especially how I had not eaten all day. The sorrel was very nice and refreshing.
The short history lesson made me think about the struggles we went through and the determination of our people on the fight for liberation. That we often take for granted. Also makes me proud to be an African for our resistance to injustice, truth, survival – to which I always give respect and honour every day in my daily prayers.
A taste of history in one day from 3000 years to present. It is a must visit on your journey whilst in Ghana – which I hope to include in the Ghana Cultural Experience Tour
bless Sister E (Naa Dzamah)
[…] has commenced a resource centre to help educate kids in the community. On a visit, Wode Maya saw the wonderful work Mr Jerry […]