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Global Black History: ESSENCE Reports Takes You Inside The ESSENCE Full Circle Festival In Ghana


The inaugural ESSENCE Full Circle Festival® ushered in a new decade in Accra, Ghana with a full week of experiences connecting U.S.-based cultural influencers and business executives with Ghanaian and regional community leaders from across the diaspora.

Photo by Joe Chea

Attendees participated in a plethora of culturally immersive activities that provided opportunities to re-connect with their roots and gain an elevated understanding of the history behind their African heritage.

Photo by Karl Ferguson Jr.

In celebration of the Year of Return, experiences included: a welcome event, breakfast with Accra Mayor Mohammed Adjei Sowah, a trip to Afrochella, a tour of the Cape Coast Castle Slave Dungeons, an Aqua Safari excursion, an evening of cocktails with Ghana First Lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the Essence Global Black Economic Forum and ESSENCE Marketplace, a New Year’s Eve celebration, a New Year’s Day sunrise breakfast and more.

Photo by Karl Ferguson Jr.

Full Circle Festival hosts in attendance included ESSENCE Ventures Founder & Chair Richelieu Dennis, WME Executive Bozoma Saint John, Actor & Philanthropist Boris Kodjoe, Actress and Philanthropist Nicole Ari Parker and Entrepreneur Patrick Kodjoe.

Photo by Karl Ferguson Jr.

Notable guests included Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Jidenna, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Richard Lawson, Ebro Darden, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, Chaka Zulu, Mona Scott-Young and Ludacris, among many others.

Photo by Sean Wellington

The week ended with a full Day of Service to the local Accra community, complete with interactive sessions that addressed several topics including youth empowerment, the Ghanaian creative industry, entrepreneurship, early childhood marriage, women’s health and education for young girls. ESSENCE Full Circle Festival partners included SheaMoisture, Microsoft, Conservation International and the Office of Diaspora Affairs.

Watch the video above for a full look inside the ESSENCE Full Circle Festival.


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