Monday, July 23, 2012

Africa Bound

Today on the 120th Earthlight of His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I, I prepare for my journey to Africa tomorrow. My wife and I will be travelling to Ghana to spend time with her family and see her homeland again after three years of being away. For me, it has been a lifetime of being away. To claim Ghana or anywhere in Africa as a “home” would be something I could never have imagined before I was married, and although this is my first trod to the Motherland, knowing that my Empresses’ family is there to receive me gives me that joyous feeling of home already. Africa awaits with open arms.

Words escape me as I am writing this because I am overwhelmed with many thoughts and emotions. In fact, I’ve had a hard time articulating anything when people ask me about it. As a Rastaman, this is a dream come true... stepping on African soil, sacred land. I feel like an ancient soul finally finding peace in my roots. Many people in the West do not have the opportunity to travel to Africa, nor do they have the connections to do so with comfort and security. I am very blessed and very fortunate in that regard. More so, I am meeting the rest of my wife’s family, relations that I have only been able to speak with on the phone. To greet my mother-in-law and my siblings-in-law for the first time will be an honor and an experience that I have not yet fully conceived. To spend time learning more about them and growing as family will be the ultimate blessing. In a day I will be enjoying  their company, music, and food in Accra, Ghana... a world away from Connecticut.

A world away indeed... As much as I am familiar with Africa, it is another thing to be there and live it. Everything I understand about Ghana or Africa in general may or may not completely change or evolve. I don’t really know what to expect, but I have a positive mind and therefore I am confident in having good expectations for this voyage. As exciting and new as it will be, I feel that it will also provide the inspiration to reinvigorate my spirit. Going to Ghana will help me to reflect more on my livity and trod with Rastafari. I plan to keep a journal during my stay, and write often. Mental exhaustion has affected my ability to write as much as I once enjoyed, even during these summer months. There will be much to think about, and much to say, this is for certain. From my perspective as constant student of African History, I will see places that I have learned about only in books or documentaries such as the legacy of the Ashanti Empire, the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, and the resting places of Kwame Nkrumah and W. E. B. Du Bois... just to name a few. I will be completely absorbed in my “dreamland across the sea”, as many reggae songs have evoked.

I know that this will be the first of many trips to Ghana because of my family, but I hesitate to presume too much simply because I am in awe of the fact. It is my hope that I explore and grow close to Ghana more and more, this haven for African Liberation and progress. It is also my hope that I am able to experience other regions of Africa and ultimately Ethiopia. What better way to celebrate the birth of the great King Selassie I than with a trip to Mama Africa? It will be a time of cultural and educational exchange, an opportunity to become acquainted with my African brethren and for them to know me in turn.... something His Majesty always promoted. It is a blessing that I am extremely grateful for. I am so excited to meet new family, and I am so deeply moved to experience this ancient land. I am eager to soak it all in and share my travels with the massive when I return. Until that time, blessings! Mama Africa, we are coming home...

JAHsh, The Obroni Rastaman

“Hello, Mama Africa, how are you?
I'm feeling fine and I hope you're fine too 
Hello, Mama Africa, how are you ?
I hope when you hear these words 
Your greys turn blue, greys turn blue”

- Garnett Silk