Essay topic: “Exploring the history of Ghana’s oldest Diasporan/ Retournee group, the Tabom people”
Thesis statement: Supporting of the Tabom people of Ghana will contribute immensely to the economy.
How well do you know Ghana’s oldest Diasporan, the Tabom people? Diaspora is the dispersion of a population or a community of individuals living outside their homeland who identify themselves with the state or people of that homeland. Research estimates that about ten thousand slaves returned to Africa around the 19th century (Schaumloeffel, Marco 226). The Tabom people are the Afro-Brazilian descendants in West Africa of which most of them have scattered through Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria. The Tabom people were deported after the Male Revolt in 1835 which many Muslim communities organised. It has not been established till date whether the Tabom people purchased their freedom and decided to return to Africa or they resided in Brazil as free workers. They had the name Tabom when they came to Ghana as a form of refuge to rejection. According to Akilt Galeta, “the returnees acquired the name Tabom from a local adaptation of the Portuguese greeting “es ta bom” which means it is well”(Galeta, Alkilt). The leader of the Tabom people at the time of their arrival was Nii Azumah Nelson. Today, the Taboms live in Jamestown where they built the first house they lived in upon arrival in Ghana. This house is known as the Brazil house. At present, the Tabom king is Nii Azumah V. Some of the prominent Taboms in Ghana include Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, world champion Prof. Azumah Nelson, Dan Morton and Ivonne Nelson. The Tabom people of Ghana speak Ewe, Ga, Dangme or Fante. Other names common to the Tabom people are de Souza, Wellington, Benson, Palmeres, Olympio and Kotey. The supporting of the Tabom people of Ghana will contribute immensely to the economy. In spite of the Tabom community receiving low support, they have used their agricultural skills, carpentry, blacksmithing, tailoring among others to increase productivity in Ghana. In the Tabom community, everyone participates in all occasions with much passion which is one of the oral history they transferred from Brazil. The Tabom people have acquired only two benefactors who support the community. They are Nii Tackie Kome I, the supreme chief of the Ga Kingdom and Nii Ankrah. In recent times however, the Tabom community receive support from people who identify themselves with the community. Notwithstanding their contributions to the economy of Ghana, the Tabom community of Ghana recently have not been effective due to lack of support. What hinders the effective performance of the Tabom people of Ghana? An interview with Mrs. Nina Chacu, Ashesi University head librarian, Nii Louis Nelson, an Ashesi College student with Tabom identity who hails from Jamestown and other people in the discourse community shared their opinions concerning the problems. Financial constraint is critical to the challenges of the Tabom people in Ghana. Tabom communities in Ghana are mainly funded by Nii Ankrah and Nii Tackie Kome. Tabom people are now seeking closer ties with Brazil to start business and periodic cultural get-together in both countries. The plan of getting connected to Brazil made Chief Azumah appeal for funds to enable them visit Brazil but to no avail. Tabom communities also lack finances in undertaking significant projects. According to Chief Azumah “the problem is we lack funds to visit Brazil to talk to our brethren to return and we have been agitating for the embassy to at least have a gathering with our brethren there”. The African Diaspora tend to extend beyond the New World. This is why there have been series of multiple reverse migration to and from the New World to Africa. Hence, the Tabom people’s plan to visit Brazil is important for the survival of their history in Ghana and the African...
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