Diggy Simmons Says His Trip To Ghana Left Him ‘Feeling Free’
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Ghana was the place to be over the New Year’s holiday as some of Black Hollywood’s who’s who brought in 2019 on the continent in an eye-catching way.

With actors Boris Kodjo and Nicole Ari Parker, as well as marketing executive maven Bozoma St. John posting their escapades while in the West African Nation, their visit highlighted the fact that 2019 has been declared the “Year of Return” by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo. This year also marks the 400th Anniversary of the start of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Rapper Diggy Simmons, of Run’s House fame, was also one of the many who visited Ghana over the holidays and he says the experience opened his eyes to how little he knew about the continent.

“Many of my perceptions, or misperceptions rather, were overdue to be rightfully shattered,” he wrote in an Instagram post in which he is wearing traditional Ghananian kente cloth. “It’s a shame—as one with many friends from Cameroon, Nigeria, and other countries throughout the continent of Africa—that I have remained so unaware. These friends raved about their homelands, and somehow their praise fell upon deaf ears…”

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Perhaps I’m ignorant. Perhaps I have been for some time now. Many of my perceptions, or misperceptions rather, were overdue to be rightfully shattered. It’s a shame—as one with many friends from Cameroon, Nigeria, and other countries throughout the continent of Africa—that I have remained so unaware. These friends raved about their homelands, and somehow their praise fell upon deaf ears, in part due to that as a child, Africa, to me, seemed branded as less than alluring. The media and my societal narrative has often viewed Africa with a lens of violence, poverty, and underdevelopment. This portrayal has caused generations of Africans to abandon their own heritage and traditions. During my trip to Ghana, I can’t say I’ve ever felt more comfortable in a space. I don’t think I stopped my Shaku Shaku from the time I got off the plane. Every stereotype that’s been perpetuated never pointed to me feeling this free. I was also fortunate enough to visit the slave dungeons in Cape Coast—small quarters where over a hundred of my potential ancestors were held captive on any given day with no nourishment, suffering in their own feces and urine. As heartbreaking as it was to stand on those grounds, my takeaway—apart from feeling both inspired and devastated—was a galvanized sense of pride. I felt as if I gained a more authentic and emboldened sense of self, furthering my own understanding of endurance through my ancestors’ plight. Thank you to @boriskodjoe @nicoleariparker @badassboz @thedebonairdisciple @nathanyahhalevi for the introduction to my truth. My year couldn’t have began with more clarity. 📸@joshuakissi styling: @nana.kwasi.wiafe

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He blames his ignorance to how Africa is portrayed as “less than alluring” by the media, and as a place with “violence, poverty, and underdevelopment.”

But that all changed for him during this trip, he said.

“During my trip to Ghana, I can’t say I’ve ever felt more comfortable in a space. I don’t think I stopped my Shaku Shaku from the time I got off the plane. Every stereotype that’s been perpetuated never pointed to me feeling this free,” he added.

He also shared a glimpse of his trip to the slave dungeons in Cape Coast, the area where captured and sold Africans were imprisoned before being put on ships to the Americas.

“As heartbreaking as it was to stand on those grounds, my takeaway—apart from feeling both inspired and devastated—was a galvanized sense of pride. I felt as if I gained a more authentic and emboldened sense of self, furthering my own understanding of endurance through my ancestors’ plight.”

If you’re interested in experiencing a life changing trip to the Motherland for yourself this year, make sure you check out our five reasons to return “home” to Ghana.

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