Ghana: Hundreds drawn to tears at PANAFEST emotional slave trade remembrance

Hundreds of Africans from the continent and the diaspora have converged on Ghana’s historic site, Elmina Castle, to celebrate history and ease the cultural traumas that led to the cross-Atlantic slave trade.

Called PANAFEST, the celebration was organized by the Upper East Regional Office of the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in conjunction with the PANAFEST Secretariat.

“Pan’s idea of Africanism is still an idea in the process of forming and maturing and this idea of ​​Pan-Africanism is to bring together African peoples into one for self-reliance . It deserves its own rites and ceremonies that symbolize the union of the African spirit” Rabbi Kohain Halevi, organizer of the Pan-African Arts and Culture Festival.

Events theme: “Reclaiming the African Family: Confronting the Past to Face the Challenges of the 21st Century,” is interspersed with cultural dance performances by Sandema War dancers and Sakoti War dancers.

“People keep asking me how the situation is in Ghana because it is at the center of all this African slave trade. Although it has been abolished, it is still in people’s memories, so they want to see where it happened and where this is, so it’s time for them to come” Nana Kojo Eduakwa, Protocol officer.

Organizers said next year’s celebrations will begin in Pikworo as the area has many historical sites including the regional museums. This is meant to remind everyone that everything about the slave trade started in Pikworo. Official delegations from countries in Africa, the Caribbean and South America participated in the event.

“It is not just about suffering though suffering remains. What connects us now is resistance, that’s the remains , because in Brazilian culture a lot of things come from Africa and we only realized it when we came here,” said Luiza Horta, a Brazilian diplomat said.

PANAFEST is held from July 23 to August 2 every year in Ghana.

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