The week long program, Essence Full Circle Festival, which is aimed at enabling an engagement between U.S.-based cultural influencers and business executives with Ghanaian and regional leaders and communities, including explorations of history, cuisine, music, fashion, beaches, nightlife, commerce and more today, 29th December shifted to the Cape Coast Castle, where scores of disaporians had the opportunity of re-linking with their ancestors as they toured the Cape Coast Castle today.
The activity which formed part of activities of the Year of Return 2019, saw hundreds of African Americans who were given a befitting tour at the Cape Coast Castle, by the Executive Director of the PANAFEST FOUNDATION, Rabbi Kohain Halevi.
The Essence Full Circle Festival commenced at the male dungeon where about one hundred and fifty African Americans were taken through the and reminded of the pains, trauma, physical torture and the struggle for survival that their ancestors had to go through before they were finally shipped to Europe and the Americas. One of the key things that was highlighted by Rabbi after a minute silence was observed for the ancestors was the function or the role that dungeon played both psychologically and physically.
” We are not up to 300, but look at the congestion we are experiencing. This is the same place you had to eat, urinate, spit, defecate, throw up and even sleep. There is a hole in the wall and it is in this hole that food and water was given to our ancestors to struggle over. It was in this hole that the struggle for survival was initiated and instituted. It was the beginning of inculcating the strongest shall survive as well. So the depseratism that make us think about self, I all began here” Rabbi said.
Moving from the male dungeon, the team went to another compartment of the castle, which is the last chamber in the entire male dungeon. It was believed that an attempt to dilute and kill the African religion began and has made African Americans shy of their religion hence adopting foreign religion.
This compartment of the dungeon was where the sacredness of the African religion laid, but had been taken away which fortunately has been restored today especially as they all borrowed from African Religion after which they took the names of the Africans and the ancestors in general hence, the big rock found in that particular compartment.
Through out the tour in that compartment, Rabbi asserted that even the Bible has been misinterpreted quoting from the Bible book of Genesis. The compartment previously had an outlet that led to an underground tunnel, where the ancestors were moved through to join their female counterparts, who were in a separate dungeon quite far from the male one and were thus taking to the “DOOR OF NO RETURN”, where none of the ancestors were able to come home 400 years on. However, today, that room has been designated to be used as one of the shrines of the 77 gods of Cape Coast. It is in this room that the priest, Nana Kwame Mmra served.
Over here, the priest, prayed, sanctified, and blessed the family wishing them good life, strength, knowledge and prosperity in all their endeavors especially as they have returned home from their various journeys, they would return and become very successful.
The emotional journey of re linking with their ancestors further advanced to the female journey, which of course, had not a good narrative, as the phenomenon of rape and sexual abuse was the order of the day since the ancestors were strong enough to stay and survive to enable this prophecy at Genesis chapter 13 come true.
Finally, the tour ended up with the African Americans moving to the “Door of Return” which was formerly “Door of No Return”. This side of the tour showed how the ancestors of the African Americans were transported out of Africa to Europe and the Americas. The final ceremony to cup the tour took place at the Centre square of the Castle, where they broke out and headed for lunch to enable continue their next activity.
BY: ONESIPHORUS OBUOBI