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PAF’s trip to Ghana #5: Finishing up with time in Kumasi, the Cape Coast and some promotion in Accra

For three weeks, Pan-Africa Football is in Ghana to visit just about all corners of the country to experience its culture, and of course its football. We will be traveling back and forth from the capital Accra to other prominent locations across Ghana, including the Ashanti Region, Tamale, the Bono Region and the Cape Coast. Check out the fifth and final blog of our trip as we wrap up with a day each in Kumasi, the tourist destination of Cape Coast and some final promotion back in Accra.

The Wesley Methodist Church in Cape Coast

After a spell of promoting Pan-Africa Football and organizing a local friendly match in the Bono Region, it was time for the last stretch of the trip. There were still two destinations I had to check out to get the full experience of traveling through Ghana, and we boarded a sprinter van soon after the MSJ Rangers game to trek over to the country’s second largest city, Kumasi. The current capital of the Ashanti Region and historic center of the Ashanti Empire, there was plenty to see the following day after we got in that night.

In the morning, we went to a Zongo community (a predominantly Muslim area where Hausa features as a commonly spoken language) in Kumasi to meet up with Salah’s friend, Shahid, and we set off to tour the city in a day. First up was a trip to the Manhyia Palace, the home of the Asantehene, or the absolute monarch of the Asante (Ashanti) people. The Palace was being renovated, so we could not enter the building, but got a brief look at the grounds where I received a lecture about the history of the Ashanti Empire and their history from the empire’s roots through the period of colonialism.

A short distance from the palace was a couple more cultural landmarks including the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and the Komfo Anokye Sword Site, where the spot’s namesake placed a sword that remains unmovable despite the attempts of many. Because I was unable to see much wildlife earlier in the Savannah Region portion of the trip, we stopped by the Kumasi Zoo and I got the consolation of at least seeing some African wildlife even if it was not in a national park. We wrapped up our stay by venturing through the very busy market area of Kumasi before getting on a bus to travel back to Accra.

A mural in the Zongo community where we picked up our friend Shahid before checking out Kumasi

Sign outside the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi, which is the official residence of the absolute monarch of the Asante (Ashanti) Kingdom, known as the Asantehene. Akwaaba, which means “welcome”, is usually the first world visitors learn from the Akan language, also known as Twi.

A weekday in a city like Kumasi is a very busy time for its crowded markets

A portrait of Osei Tutu I at the Komfo Anokye Sword site, who was the first Asantehene of the Ashanti Kingdom

A portrait of Osei Tutu II, the current Asantehene

Following a brief respite in the Accra area, we got back on the road to make one more trip within the country and headed over to the popular tourist destination of Cape Coast a couple of hours away in the Central Region. We were joined by Cisse, who provided plenty of interesting information on the area and some excellent photography skills as he took us through some of the well-known historical spots. Our tour of Cape Coast Castle was very informative, and the tour guide took us through a spot that was known as one of the most significant castles involved in the slave trade. The Cape Coast Castle as well as our visit to another prominent slave trading spot, Elmina Castle, highlighted the stark difference between the dungeons that slaves were kept in and the spacious conditions enjoyed by European governors only a floor or two above.

Cannons facing out to the ocean at Cape Coast Castle, formerly a well known slave trading outpost

The “door of no return” at Cape Coast Castle. Named because slaves who went through this door realized that they would never be returning to their homeland.

A view from Elmina Castle

Returning to Accra after a day in Cape Coast, I started preparing for the trip back home to the United States but not before some more promotional activity for Pan-Africa Football. We scheduled a television appearance on KFM TV in the capital, and I got to discuss football topics including the Ghana national team, Accra Hearts of Oak’s CAF Champions League campaign and the form of Mohamed Salah with host Enoch Kofi Adadevor on his show “Sports Update”. It was a fun discussion and hopefully the first of many appearances in Ghanaian media.

Salah and I lounged at the airport and discussed the trip and many topics before I embarked on the long flight back to New York City. It was a very successful adventure for me with plenty of objectives accomplished including tourist stops as well as events and appearances that aided in promoting the website. I hope that it will be the first of many trips to Ghana and a model for future visits to countries across the continent.

Enoch and I appearing on his show, Sports Update, to chat about African and world football

One more view of Accra from the airport

Full thanks to Salahadeen Ibrahim, my guide for the entire trip!

1 COMMENT

  1. Andrew
    Wonderful, perceptive and lively descriptions of your productive and well-planned PAF trip. It is enjoyable to read your sensitive and compelling writing that brings all that you had promised to your readers.
    Great work—congratulations
    Dad

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