The President has moved from Castle Osu to Jubilee House thus freeing-for lack of a better word-the former Danish slave castle for other purposes. His recommendation which I support wholeheartedly was to turn the Castle into a tourist attraction.
No sooner had the President suggested this than his idea was strongly condemned by a historian and former Ghanaian diplomat K.B. Asante.
UGH! How elitist and patronizing his comments!
It is generally agreed that Accra has little to offer the sightseeing tourist. That’s one reason Four Villages often recommends in conversation and on our web site that you leave Accra a.s.a.p. to explore fascinating Ghana.
Now with the prospect of the castle opening up to visitors, there is this experience. Hopefully other hotel owners will join this petition to open the fort to tourists. The more to do in Accra means lengthier stays and more revenues.
But why is Four Villages Inn championing the President’s suggestion. Seeking political favour…..hardly, actually absurd. No, at present I am reading Thorkild Hansen’s trilogy “Coast of Slaves”, “Ships of Slaves” and “Islands of Slaves” which details the Danish involvement in the infamous slave trade. Now, the circumstances demand the people of Ghana see the site of all this suffering. The national pledge has a line, “I promise to hold in high esteem our heritage won for us through the blood and toil of our fathers.” Visiting this castle is one way to keep this pledge.
“Coast of Slaves” describing the trade on the Coast of Guinea starts:
“We once had a fort in Africa. It is still there, erected on a low promontory of rock, where the coastline extends a foot into the ocean. The oft-whitewashed walls are visible among the palms. Over the portal, the emblem of Christian VII can still be seen. Every time a palm-branch nearby wafts in the wind, it sweeps its fleeting shadow back and forth over the initials as if in an attempt to wipe out the old inscription.”
All the castles and forts of Ghana represent one of Ghana’s two UNESCO Heritage sites. Why cheat the people of one of their most significant historical sites…why cheat the world…. so VIP’s to Ghana have a reception area…aren’t there other venues, Mr. Asante. And as for Mr Asante’s argument “maintaining its prim and proper character” and “the Castle would be kept properly”... Nonsense, present day Ghanaians can maintain that which has such great meaning.