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INTRODUCTION

John 8:32 KJV

For ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The stories told, stories half told, stories untold, stories that can't be told, stories yet to be told, if ever, which way ever it be told tell the TRUTH.

 

2 Gold Coast, Slave Coast and now Ghana, located where the Equator meets the GMT Ghana

Man’s Time, X marks the spot hence centre of the world. Blessed beyond measure with so many natural resources, hence the name Gold Coast but the tag Slave Coast cast a dark cloud that has turned our sunshine into night hence the many sleep with eyes wide shut so the children cry hunger and all they see is poverty in the modern day Ghana it makes one wonder why?

You just cannot play a role that has contributed to so much sufferings in structuring and

shaping the modern world and still expect to be blessed or even notice your blessings.

400 yrs. ago, there was a trade, and we all know that it takes more than one to trade and the

pointing of fingers needs to stop and the truth be told so we all can be free from our various

enslavements be it economic, political, physical, mental or spiritual.

 

There's a saying by the Asantes that goes, “ Nipa aa ɔtwa kwan no ɛnim sɛ nɛkyi akyea”

 

(The pacesetter doesn't know how crooked their path behind them is).

 

We gave away our best, thinking we were riding our burdens and troubles for alcohol, cloth,

gun, mirror, etc. and now they come back to bless our curses and we sell them yet for patens again.

 

Story

 

Most Africans know the story from the capturing and kidnapping of individuals who were held

captive and sent to slave markets and further down to the slave coast and transported overseas to unknown lands.

 

The Slaves have their stories to tell, from when they were captured, sold on, further and further away from home and to think this is just the beginning. The torture, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

 

On the other hand, the slave owner’s interest in huge profits in returns through forced labour

and sales by any means necessary.

 

The journey to the land beyond the seas and the quality of life that awaited the captured is

beyond one’s imagination unless it is told.

 

The documentary’s main subject is about the totality of the slave story.

 

 

 

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The stories of eleven illustrious slaves and direct descendants of slaves who excelled even in adversity will be told through three main sequences. Every sequence will reveal a lot of truths of the slave trade and the quality of lives the slaves endured.

 

Dramatization of the capturing of various individuals, the journey on foot through the slave

routes, their last baths, the waiting period in the dungeons/castles, the ordeals of the middle

passage on board the ships, sold on the blocks to the plantations to till soils, culture, lifestyle, food and treatments they knew nothing about.

 

MAIN CHARACTERS

 

These characters take us through the documentary from the point of capture through life as a slave through to its abolition and life after and as offspring of slave ancestors.

 

  1. John Casor [Kusunoni & Kutrawoni] 1654

 

We trace the life story of John Casor whose original name may have been Kusunoni from

Paga in the northern part of Ghana. In the film we catch a glimpse of his life as a skilled

hunter before he was captured on that same fateful day his lover [Kutrawoni] also was.

Through them we see how ordinary persons were captured and the ordeal they went

through as they journeyed to the land of the unknown to become slaves.

 

  1. Nanny

 

Who was kidnapped with her mother in Akyee Ase (Under the Achee Tree). Through her

story we see where she came from, the rape ordeals she went through. Her life in the

dungeon and her journey on the ship. We see her mother in pain as they both live as

captives though separated and unable to help each other. Through the progression of

her life we see her as Queen Nanny, a maroon leader and an obeah woman (ɔkɔmfu

baa/priestess) in Jamaica during the 17th century. Worth to also mention that she's

featured on the second highest denomination in Jamaica the 500-dollar bill.

 

  1. Sam Sharp

 

There are also stories of SAM SHARP, BREFFU/BRIFFU, BUSSA from the Igbo land,

AKUA A.K.A. (CUBAH CORNWALLIS 1750) THE QUEEN OF KINGSTON, TAKYI/TACKY

(1760) himself a slave trader in his Kingdom later conquered and taken as one, KOFI

BADU/CUFFY, JULIEN FEDON great grandson of [KUTRAWONI], HARRIET TUBMAN the

YAA ASANTEWAA of U.S. who quote “I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a

thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”. Last but not the least,

 

  1. Marcus Garvey.

 

MARCUS MOSIA GARVEY JR. was born in Jamaica in 18 hundred. During the 1920s, his

Universal Negro Improvement Association had 20 million members worldwide, making

it the biggest black mass movement in history.

 

Garvey's project was to bring the black peoples of Africa and the diaspora back in touch

with the modern world, after they had been cut off by slavery and colonialism. He felt

that black people historically were once masters of the universe, slavery was "a mere

interruption", and now it was time for black people to organise like other ethnic groups

and build a strong power base.

 

He led black Americans out of the wilderness of self-hatred and despair. In an age of

global independence, Garvey was ahead of his time. He saw the future world being

divided into racial and economic blocks. A world where there would never be a G8

without a black face. When Garvey shouted "Up you mighty race", he was never a black

version of the BNP. He was simply reminding his oppressed audience that their

ancestors (from Africa down the Nile) were the source energy for all mankind.

Garvey was adamant that black people should be at the forefront of everything,

particularly technology.

 

Black and white children would benefit from knowing the Garvey story. He was the first

to construct a new ideal for Africans in Europe and America: free from mental slavery,

anti-intellectualism, victim mentality and self-hate. It isn't surprising that fellow

Jamaican Bob Marley, who sang Garvey's words "emancipate yourself from mental

slavery, none but ourselves can free our own minds", would keep the Garvey legacy alive.

An edited article in the Guardian UK Tue 14th October 2008 by Tony Sewell title The

architect of a world of free minds.

 

AUDIENCE BIASES

 

This docudrama will not only use conflicting evidence to put forward the various arguments

about slave trade. But will also state clearly what has been stereotyped by Africans in the

diaspora about Africans on the continent and vice versa.

 

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The 400 years of slavery has now ended and the gates are wide opened, arms wide stretched and hearts like the door of return wide open, waiting for the stolen ones to come home.

 

Forgive us for not chasing after them hard enough, forgive us for not fighting them hard

enough, forgive us for trusting they had your best interests at heart.They took you across the pond, the waves drowned your cries, drowned your screams for help.The waters left no traces for your tears to aid in tracking you, forgive us wai? Sorry, Kafra, Due,

Due ne Amanehunu. Akwaaba… Atuuu..

 

Budget / Fundraising

 

This project is going to be very capital intensive and as part to raise funds apart from seeking sponsorships, funding’s and grants, we are looking to auction off some 50 pieces of art made with shells, stones and pebbles from the centre of the world. Each art piece is decorated with a very rare naturally red shell and they are exclusively one of a kind collector’s item called the RED SHELL COLLECTIONS.

 

Thank you all for your time and also the MMG Foundation for adopting us as one of their own and willing to work with us on this all the way.

 

Looking forward to the task ahead. Bless

The history of the Caribbean factor in Ghana is one that goes back to mid-19th century, over 160 years. It is rich, colourful and indeed it is even possible to argue that from the diaspora, the Caribbean provided the most influences and contributions to Ghana. The Caribbean factor is present to some extent in all spheres of Ghanaian life.

RELIGION

Caribbean involvement in Ghana began in 1843 with the arrival of black missionaries from Jamaica and Antigua under the auspices of the Basel missionary society.

As a consequence, Presbyterianism in Ghana incorporates many Moravian elements. At Aburi, the missionaries built the Jamaican well at the time the only source of pure water in the area. They also introduced stone into local architecture and new plants from the Caribbean like coffee, Coco, Tobacco, Coco-Yam. In fact, Tetteh Quashie, considered father of Ghana’s Coco industry, was trained as a blacksmith by the Basel missionaries, hence his familiarity with Coco. Later, when Tetteh Quashie encountered a better variety of Cocoa in Femando Po, he was able to recognise its potential.

The Royal palm (same that line the entrance of the botanical gardens) came from the West Indies (According to Branford Griffiths then Governor), Rastafarianism in is relatively new and finding adherents here in Ghana.

EDUCATION

As an off-shoot of missionary work. West Indians were involved in education from the early stage. A missionary named Mullings for example was responsible for the literacy program in Kychi, and actually taught JB Danquah’s father who later became a catechist. Lennox Ballah (Trinidad & Tobago) taught at Apam secondary school and one of its earliest teachers. Ian Hall (Guyana) who was one of the first black persons to graduate from oxford University, England music school taught music and French at Achimota school after independence. He later served as Nkrumah’s French Translator.

Neville Dawes (Jamaica) taught English at the college of commerce in Kumasi. This college was later moved to Achimota and became the foundation school for the school of business at the University of Ghana (from awoonor interview). Dawes made tremendous contributions to teaching, writing, theatre, and was also an active member of Nkrumah’s CPP Party.

Uriel Valentine Campbell (Jamaica) taught law at the University of Ghana. Edward Kamau Braithwaite (Barbados) poet, taught literature in Ghana.

GOVERNMENT/DEVELOPMENT

The earliest recorded presence of the Caribbean in government was of the West Indies soldiers, brought here by Britain to fight in the 1863 and 1874 campaigns against the Ashante (These troops were to have other far-reaching effects later)

Colonial records also show a West Indian DC for Akuse between 1882 and 1895.

Post-Independence, George Padmore (Jamaica), for more than a decade was Nkrumah’s advisor, and Marcus Garvey (Jamaica) had a profound ideological influence on Nkrumah who cites Garvey as his single greatest influence. The name of Ghana’s shipping line (now defunct) The Black Star Line, as well as the Black Star in Ghana’s flag are testament to their common vision for Africa.

Nkrumah’s pioneering role in promoting Pan –Africanism in Africa owes much to the influence and support of Garvey & Padmore.

Roy Watts (Trinidad & Tobago) helped to pioneer the television wing of the GBC.

T.RAS Makonnen (Guy) because the managing Director of Ghana’s state hotel.

The world-renowned economist Sir Arthur Lewis (St Lucia) economist. Advised Nkrumah on economic policy between 1957-1963. He subsequently returned to the Caribbean after Nkrumah’s overthrow and went on in 1970-1974 to set up the Caribbean Development Bank.

CULTURE

Stewart McNeil (T&T) published poems in Nkrumah’s Paper called the Evening News. Rex Nettleford (Jamaica) served as cultural advisor to the Ghanaian government in 1962.

Highlife owned much of its features to Caribbean factors: African-American and Caribbean soldiers and stevedores introduced genres like Calypso and Meringue to the Guinea Coast. This was amplified by the West Indian troops like the West Indian Rifles stationed at Cape Coast Castle in the mid-1800s that had a regimental band. Later these melodies found themselves incorporated or modified by emerging local bands resembling popular ensembles from America and the Caribbean. While these bands played western standards, they also played original compositions. The term “Highlife” was a sobriquet given to these indigenous songs played by such early dance bands like the Jazz Kings, Cape Coast Sugar Babies and the Accra Orchestra.

Collins in his book “Jazz feedback in Africa” point out the association with black Caribbean soldiers could possibly explain why Caribbean type masquerades (backed by local brass bands) became popular in the coastal Fante areas of Ghana and still perform there during Christmas and Easter seasons. This is similar to the John Canoe parades in the Caribbean.

Kofi Ghanaba (Our divine drummer) introduced the congas, a Cuban instrument, to highlife. Gombe, the square framed drum has been traced back to Maroon communities in Jamaica (Accompong). Apart from influencing highlife, Calypso plays a significant role as a form of expression in Ghana. Paraphs none more so than with Kitchener’s song about Ghanaian independence and the impending visit of the queen in 1957.

Reggae music is now an established medium of musical expression here as evidenced in its embrace by a lot of gospel artist.

MEDICINE

Dr Hoyte from the West Indies worked in Suhum (and use to be the doctor for the one of my professor’s father). Arguably, the most noteworthy contribution to Ghana by a single individual from the Caribbean was that made by Dr Cicely Williams, who discovered and named the disease Kwashiorkor, while working in Ga communities in Accra.

CONCLUSION

Those of us from with Caribbean roots or links can consider ourselves as custodians of a proud and meaningful heritage. A heritage, that was essential to the development of Ghana’s history and certainly, aspects of the county’s cultural character. Of much more importance though, is the reality that most of these factors have blended seamlessly into the Ghanaian landscape, indicating an acceptance and blending of our cultures and work of our people. This speaks to the important and obvious spirit of Pan-Africanism. I think Osagyefo would be quite pleased.