Homecoming

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Let me start this article with one of the poems by a young budding writer Efo Courage:

HOME

Home is where the heart is, where my thirst is met with a cool glass of love to quench the flames engulfing my being.
A weary traveller in a foreign land, I find no solace any where,but where my treasure is and my soul longs for is home.
For me home is more than a place but a state of mind, home is more than geography but a choice to make, home is more than family, for there are friends who are closer to you than even your own blood and kin.
There is no place like home, for home can be a plush masion in the estates or that scanty little  hut in the backside of a tiny village. It doesn’t really matter where home is for home is where you choose it to be.
For Home is where the heart is.
Welcome Home.http:// poeticgrace360.wordpress.com

Several Ghanaians find themselves abroad and want to come back home. There are those who went to seek greener pastures and are tired of living in obimanso and just want to pack bag and baggage and be home but are waiting for the right conditions to happen before finally leaving. That final pin never falls on the record and most of them end up not coming back with several excuses every time they even manage a visit.

But the group I’m interested in is the group that were carried abroad by their parents when they were young and carved identities for themselves there whether as Ghanaian or as denizens of whatever country they found themselves in. They are often the identity crisis basis who most at times can’t make up their minds whether they want to be from their homeland, the roots, or from their new homelands of domicile.

Having lived abroad most of their lives, they maintain a connection to the home soil so their roots are not totally severed because to carve a new identity means to create one that is truly not a pure one but a hybrid of homelands. The difficulty usually is facing the consequences of choosing either one or both identities because the society doesn’t provide a chance for a middle way. Mostly if they had their way they’d choose both but oftentimes it is like eating you cake and having it. The systems of the west as against the simplicity of the African can never be put at par.

However when this group gets a chance to connect with their roots and come home that excitement is infectious and radiates off them. Being accepted as “one of us” is very important and there several factors that go into this which I will not delve into but I daresay that attitude and language is primary to their feeling at home.

The homecoming is a time to physically and literally get in touch with family and friends. I remember the government of Ghana one time had The Joseph Project that sought to unite people from the diaspora to their ancestral homes based on information provided. Thankfully in these days of social media and technology, the homecoming needs not be a formal process but a meeting directly with family online and when ready travel plans are shared and kaboom! One can actually sleep in the bed your grandma slept in before she journeyed to the west to seek greener pastures.

The homecoming is a time when most people in the diaspora use for soul searching and depending on their interests seek to experience first hand the stories they have been told about. Or it could even be culinary and learning the origins of foods that they have eaten since childhood because their parents introduced it to them but since parents passed have never found it necessary to continue the tradition id it is. Sometimes it is even a time to gather African print fabrics and African beads that identify them as to where they are from.

This is truly a time for reconnecting and rejuvenation.

Oh! And in my time I have seen some homecomings. Having been an assistant at the Historical Society, homecoming have always been touching moments and some have been capable of driving the whole team to tears.

I remember one in Cape Coast when the 60 something year old man gets down from the bus and walks up to another man in a reclining chair at the entrance of the family house and greets him by his name. The look on the older man’s face as he adjusts himself to see who greeted him since the person is silhouetted in the diminishing sunset overlooking the old castle in the background. He doesn’t recognize him so he responds politely and asks what he can do for him at this hour and who he is looking for. The visitor responds that he is looking for Eno Serwaa (their mother’s name) and this brings tears to the older man’s eyes since she had died a couple of years ago. They both burst into tears and its only through the teary eyes that the older man in the reclining chair mentions the visitor’s name. He jumps out of the chair to hug him amidst tears and laughter. His long lost brother who has left this same home 49 years ago has just appeared at the doorstep. They put their arms around each other and walk through the doorway into the house the older man shouting out names of other family members still around.

Imagine the amount of catching up to do.

Recently a couple of friends I met on social media came home to literally tie the knot of the umbilical cords so to speak. A vibrant Ghanaian doctor-writer  and a young Ghanaian mother and poet both found themselves at home to savor what it takes to be Ghanaian and to live in the Ghanaian society. Suffice it to say that one was just crazy about experiencing the local dishes and her favorite bofloat and the poet finally discovered herself in her ancestral krobo hometown when she ended up being overwhelmed in the bead market in Somanya. Their excitement just being on home soil is infectious.

There are Ghanaians who are right here and wont even visit their hometown. Home is the place where your roots lie therefore like a tree draws strength from its roots it is important that one visits home as often as possible. Oh yes! I know what they say about the supernatural forces etc but it is important that people connect to their homeland. Man was created from soil and I believe just as our forefathers built mud houses and used the same mud to renovate the houses once a while so also do we need to rejuvenate our heritage.

To reiterate Efo Courage, Home is where the heart lies. You’re lucky you even have a hometown to go to, what about those from some parts of Ghana who don’t because the their homelands lie under the sea.

Get up now and go reconnect with your hometown. The journey to rejuvenation starts with a single resolve.

Like I always say it begins with YOU!

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