United States President Barack Obama ended his visit to Ghana on Saturday after touring the Cape Coast Castle with his family amidst shedding of tears, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
The emotional tour of the Cape Coast Castle, which took the Obamas over two hours, was to enable his wife, Michelle, and children, Malia and Sasha, to reconnect with their roots.
The Obamas were assisted by ace comedian and MP for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour who acted as tour guide.
Obama absorbed the experience with his wife, Michelle, and their girls, Sasha and Malia.
Michelle Obama, a descendant of the obnoxious slave trade, is from South Carolina and believes that her ancestors might have come from West Africa, particularly Cape Coast.
President Obama described his Castle tour as a tragedy and triumph, saying that it is important for his two daughters, Malia and Sasha, who were learning about their history.
I'll never forget the image of my two young daughters, the descendants of Africans and African-Americans, walking through those doors of no return but then walking back (through) those doors, he said later at a grand departure ceremony. It was a remarkable reminder that while the future is unknowable, the winds always blow in the direction of human progress.
By afternoon, he was contemplating the human capacity for evil at the castle, which served as a headquarters for the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Obama walked with his arm around Malia, 11, while his wife held the hand of Sasha, 8.
Hopefully, one of the things that was imparted to them during this trip was their sense of obligation to fight oppression and cruelty wherever it appears, the US President said.
President Obama, son of a Kenyan immigrant, arrived in the country on Friday night to a tumultuous welcome, with National Democratic Congress (NDC) ministers falling on each other to take the American leaders picture with their mobile phones.
The night also witnessed the host President, John Evans Atta Mills, being virtually shoved aside by the ubiquitous US Secret Service agents.
The embarrassing spectacle at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) was to be repeated the following day; this time with NDC founder, Jerry John Rawlings, not left out, as he was seen taking shots with a professional camera just after Obama had delivered an address to MPs at the Accra International Conference Centre.
In his message to Parliament, he told Africans to shed the cloak of corruption and conflicts.
I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world, Obama told a riveted Ghanaian Parliament. I have the blood of Africa within me.
In the faces of those who lined the streets and in many of Obama's own words, this trip was personal.
Ghanaians lined up on the tarmac for a time even after Air Force One had disappeared into the nighttime sky.
The White House said Obama held no big public events in a city frenzied to see him because he wanted to put the light on Africa, not himself. But reality proved otherwise.
He was received like a king, as Obama billboards dotted the roads. Women wore dresses made of cloth bearing his image. Tribal chiefs, lawmakers, church leaders, street vendors to them, it felt like history.
But what the Obama White House did not want on this trip was the Bill Clinton moment. In 1998, on a blisteringly hot day, a crowd at a Clinton rally nearly caused a horrific trample.
That also affected why Obama did not hold an outdoor event of his own.
Obama will be back to Africa. But he suggested that he won't go for the traditional model of devoting a trip to Africa alone, as if it is separated from world affairs. Instead, African nations might be wrapped into his multinational travels more often.
What happens here, he said, has an impact everywhere.
The US president and his family left Accra on Saturday evening and were seen off at the airport by President John Evans Atta Mills.
Source: Daily Guide
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