The Akran of Badagry, Aholu Menu-Toyi I, on Saturday advised African-Americans to continue to be worthy ambassadors of Africa in the Diaspora.
The Akran gave the advice when he received a delegation of African-Americans who were in Nigeria for the 2018 Badagry Diaspora Festival.
The Badagry Diaspora Festival was jointly organised by Door of Return Initiative Nigeria (DRIN) and office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Badagry Diaspora Festival celebrates the identity, culture, history, heritage and tradition of people of African descent.
The Akran said that he was highly impressed with the leader of the group, Dr David Anderson, who spoke on the group’s African roots.
“You are all worthy ambassadors of Africa in diaspora and I’m happy to know that you are already reconnecting to your roots.
“Some of you will be given new names and chieftaincy titles today this will always make you to remember Badagry,” the akran said.
Earlier, Anderson said that African-American saw Africa from a distance without true knowledge of the continent.
“We are stuck in a long time in America but we have finally made it to Nigeria.
“When we say African-American, the truth is that we don’t know our race, where we come from.
“You people here can say you are from Lagos, Benin-City, Abuja or Abeokuta but we African-Americans we do not know our race before.
“But we are grateful to Presidential aide, Abike Dabiri-Erewa because she has helped us to remove the hyphen to make us know we have a family.
“She has helped us to trace our origin back to Nigeria, for example I have just discovered that I am from Igbo land,” Anderson said.
DRIN Vice Chairperson, Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku, said that Badagry was founded in 1425 by a farmer known as Agbethe who had reputation for cassava and corn cultivation.
“At its cradle, fishing, boats making and subsistence farming in cassava and corn were prominent.
“By 1660s, the ancient city of Badagry had become a thriving community reputed for trade in salt and saltpeter by evaporation at Gberefu beach.
“Gberefu was later to become the ancient slave port which is now referred to as the Point of No Return.
“It became host to European Slave traders led by George Freemingo, a Portuguese slave merchant, who came to Badagry around 1600,” he said.
Mesewaku urged members of the delegation to take Badagry as home and invest there.
“Badagry is your home. Badagry needs you just as you need Badagry for both spiritual and physical investment in tourism and hospitality business,” he said.
NAN reports that Anderson was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Jogbeyan, meaning the journey is good.
NAN also reports that the American delegation visited heritage sights, including the first Christian cementary in Nigeria, Badagry Heritage Museum and First Storey Building in Nigeria.
Others were Mobee Family Slave Relics Museum, Seriki Abass Brazilian Baracoon, the Agia Tree Monument where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria and the tomb of Huntokonu, the first slave merchant.