The diaspora is uniting in Ghana for Black Star Line Festival

By Jonas Nyabor

Posted on January 6, 2023 16:37

 © Vic Mensa holds tickets to Ghana’s Black Star Line festival (photo: @VicMensa)
Vic Mensa holds tickets to Ghana’s Black Star Line festival (photo: @VicMensa)

After the largely successful ‘Year of Return’ campaign in 2019 Ghana has become the favourite destination for black people in the diaspora and now through the arts. Chicago-based Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper are rallying the diaspora to permanently contribute their skills and capital to the cocoa-rich west African country.

When US-based rapper Vic Mensa visited Ghana in 2020 it didn’t take long for him to decide to cultivate meaningful relationships that will keep him deeply connected to his ancestry.

Leveraging his talent and influences, he birthed an idea to create a common platform that will bridge the gap between black people and artistes in the diaspora with Africa.

Starting the first week of January, Mensa and his old pal Chance the Rapper are hosting the inaugural Black Star Line Festival in Accra which features a weeklong series of events and panels across the capital and a climax  music concert.

Throughout the Christmas holidays Ghana hosted some of the continent’s largest music concerts and festivals themed on Africa’s diverse cultures and the vibrant creative sector.

‘Detached from the mother continent’

The Black Star Line Festival, drawing inspiration from civil rights leader Marcus Garvey’s iconic 1919 shipping line will differ slightly, offering avenues for education and cultural diffusion.

“Black Americans have become detached from the mother continent, not just physically but also mentally but it’s time to accept who we are as African people. The idea for the festival came after I sat back and looked at how we as Black American artists have performed ten-times over in places like Europe before we ever make it to do a show in Africa,” Mensa tells The Africa Report.

“I’m starting this festival so that we can not only perform for our African fans, but it is also my vision to immerse the artists in Ghanaian cultural experiences while they are here,” he adds.

The Roc Nation signee is bringing onboard US-based T-Pain, Erykah Badu, Tobe Nwigwe and Jeremih and Ghanaian afrofusion torchbearers Sarkodie, Asakaa Boys and M.anifest for the maiden project.