There has never been a time in history, when the reconnection of the African Diaspora to the mother continent, has been so important as now. If there is one place the African-American and African diaspora would find acceptance and much-needed love, it is back home in Africa.
But what we have realized is that there is a huge distance between the Africans home and those who were born in faraway lands. This distance is both a physical, emotional, and spiritual one. Very few have been able to make that essential journey home.
It is important to note that there has been a huge reawaken of the African man all around the world. The spirits of our ancestors now draw us back to the mother land; for there is a great work to be done in restoring the glory we once had. And that work requires all the sons and daughters of Mama Africa.
We must also admit that some of our brethren want nothing to do with the mother land. This is partly because of the negative images they have been fed by the media. But the truth remains that Africa is beautiful. She has amazing cities, and still remains the richest continent in mineral and human resources. Those of us back home are facing the same devils as those of you in the diaspora are facing. And that devil is “white privileged and European greed.”
Though this hunger to reconnect spreads, its safe to say that there is no coordination about it. So, in this piece, we are making an attempt to outline the easiest ways for our brethren in the diaspora to trace their steps back home. These steps are to be followed in no particular order. As we believe that the spirit leads differently.
1: TESTING TO DETERMINE ANCESTRY DNA
In recent time, there has been an upsurge of DNA pools and testing labs all over America and Europe. Many have been able to trace their roots back home while others have been met with disappointments. Often times expectations are crushed as the tests reveal a different tribe than that which was desired. But that is not to dissuade anyone. These ancestry DNA tests have primary and secondary tests. And the more the parameters you want to check, the more expensive it becomes. Some of the testing services which have been verified to have high accuracy are Family Tree DNA, Smarter Hobby, Ancestry DNA, African Ancestry, National Geographic, and 23AndMe.
These tests cost not more than $400. Although this amount can be much for a large family to pay individually, we think that testing just the father and mother would be ideal. Forbes did an article on these DNA testing services and confirmed that they are very effective in determining family trees.
2: IDENTIFYING WITH SOCIAL MEDIA GROUPS AND SOCIETIES BACK IN AFRICA
Now after or before the DNA test, joining a Facebook group or forum of various tribes in Africa is important. This is because of the number of people on Facebook. According to Internet World Stats, as of 2017 there were over 177,000,000 Africans on Facebook. We believe that number has increased exponentially since then.
Africans back home are more than willing to teach and guide you on any questions. Asking questions about meaning of words, culture, tradition and language will be warmly attended to by members of such group. Be open. Connect to those whom your spirit directs you to. From their profiles, attires and posts, you will know those who are leaders of thought.
3: LEARNING ONE OR TWO INDIGENOUS AFRICAN LANGUAGES
There is a popular believe in Africa that anyone who speaks your language is automatically your brother. In many tribes in Africa, speaking a man’s language, as a stranded traveler, will lead him to offer you a room in his house to pass the night. And also share in his meal together with his family. That is the power of language.
Learning one or two African languages would go a long way in connecting you back to your roots. And there is certainly a pride that comes with that. Statistics show that the most common of the languages that African Diaspora have interests in learning include Swahili, Igbo, Zulu, Yoruba, Somali, Berber, Amharic, Oromo, Manding, Fulani, and Hausa. These languages are also the most spoken on the continent.
YouTube is one place to start. There are numerous videos on the basics of these language. You can also contact the owners of such videos for private and personal tutorials. Another way, is to reach out to those in the social media groups to point you to the right tutors. If at this point you have verified your ancestry you can start to learn the language of your people.
4: TRAVELING TO THAT TRIBE YOU LEARNT THEIR LANGUAGE OR YOUR ANCESTRAL VILLAGE
Traveling down to Africa is a key step in reconnection. It should come after completion of ancestry DNA tests. It would be more fulfilling if you traveled to your village and asked questions. Meet the king or traditional ruler and introduce yourself. It will amaze you the kind of reception you will receive.
It is important that we dispel any form of negativity that must have clouded your mind. Some will advise not to come because of one fear or the other. But they don’t know that every Christmas, many of our young men and women come back to Africa with their European spouses and friends. These white people enjoy our villages, festivals and hospitality. In January they leave and come back the next year with more friends and family.
So, if the European enjoys coming to Africa to experience our culture and ways, why then do you whose blood is pure African, fear your people? You have no reason. Coming back home, is a necessary physical and spiritual journey you must make. It might be tiring the first time, but subsequently it would be easy and fun.
5: INVESTING IN YOUR ANCESTRAL COUNTRY
The truth remains that there is no flexibility of investment in America or Europe for African diaspora, as there is in Africa. There is abundant land in Africa, that one could invest in real estate without hassles.
One of the voices and personalities we respect so much for his inroads in investments in Africa, is Akon. In one of his speeches he said “Africa is the only place in the world where black people can go and build several companies within 5 years.” He is currently investing in his country Senegal. The President of Senegal, gifted him 2,000 acres of land to build a city. Akon’s company has also structured $400million worth of solar, which powers 200,00 small solar projects in 14 African countries.
Now imagine if every African country had 10 Akons, and a 1000 more average African-Americans willing to return to the mother land. Imagine what Africa would become. Dubai would be a child’s play compare to what we can achieve together. And the sweet part is that you are free to move and invest in whatever part you wish. You don’t have to be working for a number of years before you can have clearance to buy a property. And what is lovelier than having viable investments in your ancestral home?
These five steps are only but the foundation to the exodus of our African Diaspora brothers and sisters, back home. We know some of you have been searching for ways to connect to your roots, and we hope we have been able to help. We will continuously expand this list with valuable links and recommendations as the days go by. We will also appreciate your contributions on strategies that have worked for you and those that seemed impossible.
From the mother land; we love you all.
Article Written By Chuka Nduneseokwu