Image captured by @joshuakissi

The holiday season was riddled with a series of events and festivals, including the Full Circle festival, which held in Accra, Ghana.

The Full Circle festival was organized with the purpose of honoring ancestry by celebrating legacy and heritage.

2019 marks 400 years since the beginning of the slave trade in West Africa and this festival kicked off the “Year of Return”. So many sites in Ghana were visited, including the Cape Coast Castle.

The festival had a stream of celebrities, from Nigerian musician D’banj to American actor Anthony Anderson and American rapper Diggy Simmons. Over 100 people came from Diaspora to celebrate this event.

Asides from the festivities and partying, the visit to Ghana was monumental for Diggy Simmons and he shared this on his Instagram saying:

“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 for the introduction to my truth. My year couldn’t have began with more clarity.”

What a gift it is, to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn.

It appeared to be a fabulous time, as other celebrities including Austrian born Actor of German and Ghanaian descent Boris Kodjoe and his wife Nicole Ari Parker-Kodjoe also shared beautiful moments from their trip.

Take a look at some of our favourites below;

Images via Instagram/boriskodjoe and Instagram/nicoleariparker

Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker-Kodjoe

Images via Instagram/jidenna

Singer, Jidenna serenading the crowd at “Ghana Rocks”

Images via Instagram/michaeljaiwhite and Instagram/iamgillianwhite

Michael Jai White and his wife, Gillian Iliana White. Michael was crowned a King of Akwamu with the title – Nana Akoto III Odopon “The Tree with strong roots that does not fear the storm”

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