Cape Coast Castle, Ghana

Becoming Eno

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Photo by Enoabasi Nta

West Africa is a beautiful place to visit every now and then. It is constantly developing even though it is not as fast as we her citizens would like; we are aware of the changes that have occurred over the years. It is a tourist dream from the people to the weather to the food. Oh, I can go on and on about the food, but I will not. At least, not today.

In my personal life, anyone who knows me well knows I love to see old architecture from the pre-colonial times, and I am also a lover of history, so it is only right that I visit the historical sites whenever I make a trip that has something fascinating to share. This time my destination was the Cape Coast Castle, Ghana. Cape Coast Castle is one of the slave points where slave trade was conducted and where slaves were taken from the african continent.

On the day I visited, my group and I awoke early, had our complimentary breakfast that came with the hotel accommodation and once the team was ready; we headed on our very merry way. I think we left Accra, the capital of Ghana, sometime around 8am and begun our journey to Cape Coast. On the road, we grabbed a second breakfast of ‘Brodo’ the Ghanaian version of Agege bread which is basically locally prepared bread that is hawked on the roads on a tray and typically come with butter and condensed milk , a drink and cranked up the volume listening to ‘Bronya’ by Wutah, shoutout to Kobena (a part of my team that I met during this trip) for introducing me to it. It is a major jam! (I even went on to download the video once I got back into my home country, Nigeria).

Still on the way, we stopped at a local gas station to purchase supplies (please read as food and drinks), because that is the poster page for road trips, and I had my introduction to a famous Ghanaian drink called Blue Skies which is like buying a coke and also had a refreshing coconut water drink from freshly harvested coconuts. It was a fun road trip/ ride as I was with great company, had food and water and no need to stop for a potty break, so yay us!! The trip took about 3 ½ hours with minimal traffic since it was a weekday.

The first time I went to Cape Coast Castle I think was about 10 years ago, on a trip hosted by my secondary school. Between the noisy traders, their tourist friendly wares and colourful beads, I barely paid attention to what was going on but fast forward to the present, I was very interested to hearing the history and how the trade went down.

On arrival, you have to pay an entrance fee and non-Ghanaian citizens pay more than the citizens. It has always been this way and will most likely stay this way.

My tour guide was a very educated young man who spared no detail when it came to sharing the stories from the time of the colonial era and kept us very interested as he captured us with imagery from the past and had an in-depth knowledge about everything as well as passion. So, you can imagine how the tour went. He also answered every single question we asked and left us totally satisfied.

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Photo by Enoabasi Nta

The place was well-managed and maintained and I even saw some new additions and upgrades from the last time I was there. We also visited the gallery/ museum that I do not remember existing when last I visited and that was also an interesting place to be.

From the cells that I could not stand in because of my claustrophobia to the dungeons that were poorly ventilated and had practically no source of light to the church that was just above the dungeons (shocker for me), It was an experience. We also got to see the defence wall and I touched the cannons used to defend the castle. Funny story, while on the wall, I spotted a man who was relieving himself (doing a number 2) on the rocks below the wall, he simply looked up and waved while going on with his business.

Something I noticed was that of all the various tours going on, about 80% of the attendees were tourists from outside the African continent and upon investigation, I got to learn that is how the turn up usually is. As much as I am all for exploring it made me sad to think that the people whose history it is, show very little interest in learning about their history and understanding how it went. Maybe, just maybe it would enable them think twice about certain things like pursuing collaboration and unity on the African continent.

At this day and age, especially on social media, I see Africans from different nationalities often taking jabs at one another and entertaining trivial conversations like 'which country is home to the most beautiful people?' or 'who has the best food?'. A couple of times, I have been sucked into that web but trips like this help realign my focus and reignite the passion to foster unity in and around the African continent. We share a history that should unify us for the greater good.

It reminded me of something I saw on the walls of Kalakuta Museum in Lagos, Nigeria sometime in September 2016.

If a man wants to enslave you forever, he will never tell you the truth about your forefathers.

And now that I have got all that off my chest, here is the chance to live voraciously through few of the pictures I took during my visit to Cape Coast Castle, Ghana.

Of course, no tour is complete without me getting lost because of my sometimes inattentiveness, and I lived up to expectation by getting lost in a colonial house and wandered off, but the bright side was that I was able to get a beautiful shot and it will most definitely be hanging on my wall some years from now to remind me that I am and will always be a wanderer who occasionally gets lost especially when there is a crowd.

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Photo by Enoabasi Nta

Just outside the doors of no return, the fishermen have taken over and run a very booming fish market (second photo in this post). The last time I was here, the doors were closed so I purposely took the picture of the other side of the door that says "door of return" as for me, it meant a whole lot.

The experience for me was both educational and overwhelming because it is sad to see to what extent the fear of the unknown (in my opinion) can do to humans. I think it is even more sad to know that things like this still exist in the generation of today, and we do not want to talk about it.

Being silent or ignoring something was an/or is does not make it go away, neither does it make it better -Enoabasi Nta

Until next time, Cheers!

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Hi there, I'm Enoabasi but almost everyone calls me Eno. I am a 24 year old Nigerian female living solo in Lagos, Nigeria who loves to write about my life and everything in-between. Expect posts highlighting West African lifestyle and travel! Follow to read my work and support this journey.

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