2019 — the 400th year since the first African slaves made it to America — is well underway, with some African-American celebrities having already visited to commemorate the ‘Year of Return’ declared by the Ghanaian government.
There could yet be more of such famous visitors coming to town as the year goes along, and Daily Mail GH draws up a list of some of the more high-profile figures whose presence would cause a stir.
1. OPRAH WINFREY
Everybody — Ghanaians included, of course — loves Oprah, arguably the most celebrated black woman in the world, and that’s why having the 65-year-old talk-show host and philanthropist in Ghana would make lots of headlines and make many a Ghanaian fan smile; enough said. Please, Oprah? 😞
If Ghanaians didn’t have enough reason to love the one-time ‘Destiny’s Child’ member already, ‘Already’, the song Beyoncé recently collaborated on with Ghanaian act Shatta Wale, has surely won her hearts in these parts. The aforementioned track is only one of 14 on The Lion King: The Gift, an album Beyoncé describes as “a love letter to Africa,” and there could be no better way to seal that ‘letter’ by visiting Ghana to mark the ‘Year of Return’. Oh, and if she could bring along a certain Mr. Carter, ha, even better!
3. TYLER PERRY
Now, if you don’t appreciate Perry for being, well, Perry, you surely will for ‘Madea’, the character he plays so humorously and so often in his hugely popular shows. Whichever version of Perry — as himself or as Madea — arrives on these shores, Ghanaians certainly wouldn’t mind.
4. FOREST WHITAKER
One of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces — thanks, even if only in part, to his left eye ptosis and his memorable role as former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in 2006’s Last King of Scotland — Whitaker traces part of his ancestry to Ghana’s Akan ethnic group. Thus, his would be a ‘homecoming’ in a sense truer than some of those who have already been here — like Steve Harvey and Danny Glover — could claim, wouldn’t it?
5. DENZEL WASHINGTON
Ah, good old Denzel — never watched a movie of his I’ve never liked. Same for you, right?
Washington, a winner of two Oscars and as many Golden Globes in a long and illustrious acting career, is one of Hollywood’s most hallowed personalities. So, really, why not have him over?
NY Frimpong — Daily Mail GH