Last year witnessed a lot of celebrities and business executives visiting Africa for various reasons.
While some came to trace their roots, others were just for the funfair.
Ghana, in particular, was the main center of attraction. After it declared 2019 the Year of Return, the West African country was host to several foreigners, especially U.S-based celebrities.
Big names like Black Panther star, Lupita Nyong’o and Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Bozoma Saint John, Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Diggy Simmons, Micheal Jai White, Anthony Anderson (of Blackish), Rosario Dawson, Jidenna, Cynthia Bailey and Steve Harvey were in Ghana. Others were Samuel L. Jackson, Deborah Cox, Ernie Smith, Irvin Mayfield, reggae band Third World, Luda Cris, Cardi B, Rick Ross, Kofi Kingston, Danny Glover, T.I, Tiny, and Hisham Tawfiq.
Others were also in other African countries and were lucky enough to be granted citizenship.
In this article, we focus on some famous black personalities who got citizenship from their hosts in Africa. Scroll through to check them out:
Rapper Ludacris like a number of his colleagues spent three weeks in Africa to mark the Year of Return festivities. He went to Gabon, the birth country of his wife before visiting Ghana.
The Fast and Furious star with his family were presented with Gabonese passports. And it was reported that his entire family were at the office of the Gabon Minister of Foreign Affairs D’Alain-Claude Bille.
The reports also stated that securing his citizenship and that of his family had been in the works for many years.
Samuel L. Jackson
Actor Samuel L. Jackson became a Gabonese citizen after tracing his ancestry to the Benga tribe. According to The Guardian, “Jackson traced his roots to the Bantu tribe in Gabon. The Bantu people are speakers of Bantu languages, comprising several hundred indigenous ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, spread over a vast area from Central Africa across the African Great Lakes to Southern Africa.”
After finding his roots, Jackson visited Gabon, where he met with the president, Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba. Jackson was given Gabonese citizenship and passport.
Actor Idris Elba was given citizenship of his father’s native country on his first visit to Sierra Leone. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “the biggest honour I could get from my country”.
“I’m no stranger to Africa: I’ve been in Africa, I’ve made films in Africa, I’ve championed Africa,” he said. “But Sierra Leone, it’s a very different feeling because it’s my parents’ home.”
Tifanny Haddish received citizenship from her father’s home country, Eritrea, earlier than the celebrities on this list.
The Girls Trip star’s application for an Eritrean ID got approved during her visit to the Horn of Africa nation to join in their independence day celebrations in May. This officially made her an Eritrean citizen.
A historic moment for our sister @TiffanyHaddish!!!! She applied for an #Eritrea/n ID card and granted citizenship at this very touching momemnt of our independence week. Congrats Tiff.#EritreaShinesAt28
ኤርትራ ወትሩ ብደቃ ትኹላዕ pic.twitter.com/Q8qCcCI6IL
— Hadnet Keleta (@hadnetkeleta) May 22, 2019