Cape Coast Castle to get major international boost from Obama visit
Cape Coast, GNA – The visit of US president Barack Obama to the Cape Coast Castle on Saturday would further cement Cape Coast’s pivotal status as a world cultural heritage and tourist metropolis.
In addition, the high profile visit would expose to the world the harsh realities of how branding irons, neck hold irons and shackles were used to immobilize the slaves before being shipped to Euramerican societies.
In effect, the visit by the US first family is expected to portray incidents of exploitation still disputed by some white supremacists, and in the process restore the dignity and self-respect that was robbed the slaves and the anguish suffered by Africans as a result.
President Obama would have a live interview with global media giant, CNN, within the precincts of the Cape Castle, an event that would further project the tourist site.
Mr Kojo Bonsu, Event Coordinator of the Cape Coast visit of the US President, told Vice President John Mahama on a tour of the Castle on Thursday that the interview would take place on the third floor of the former slave and colonial administration outpost.
President Obama is expected to tour the dungeons, the cells that were used to hold hundreds of African youth plucked from their prime and forcibly sent into slavery.
Through the inhumane exploitation, millions of black people, veteran Ghanaian Journalist Cameron Duodu observed, were deposited in the Americas and Caribbean and often subjected to horrific cruelties.
Slavery was critical for the industrial development of the Western industrialized nations, particularly the US when many toiled on their plantations.
The visit of the US couple would therefore be seen as part of a healing process and for President Obama specifically, the emotional outcome could help galvanize further his energies to promote policies that promote humanity than seeking to impose superiority over other nations.
Aside the dungeons, the US President and his wife, Michelle, are also expected to be at the “Point of No Return,” the exit outlet where the slaves who were able to withstand the rigidity of their confinement are eventually shipped to their intended destination.
President Obama’s visit to the Castle and the Oguaman (Cape Coast palace) would be hugely symbolical and he would serve to adjust Africa’s perception of America as a racialist society that forcibly enslaved others to a new society that has recognized the equality of races and therefore elected him a black as its president.
This process would allow for the adjustment of perceptions, and by so doing impose a new order which is more encompassing and also realistic as it takes cognizance of new global dictates.
This is exactly the point Vice President Mahama made after touring the Castle when he predicted the visit to the outpost will be an emotional moment for the Obama Family.
Hundreds of “Obama” chanting Cape Coasters came out in their numbers to assure the Vice President of their readiness to receive the US first couple on Saturday.
As soon as word got round that Vice President was at the Omanhene’s Palace to apprise himself of the readiness of the city for the visit, the whole place was besieged and hundreds more waited by the time he got to the Castle.
Mr Bonsu assured the Vice President that all was set for visit, which, he forecasts, would be fruitful and emotionally rendering for the august visitors and their hosts, the Cape Coasters who intend to make it an historic moment of their history.
When he arrives in the metropolis Saturday afternoon, President Obama will first visit the Omanhene’s Palace to have a taste of Ghanaian traditional governance, culture and ethos, before driving on the ceremonial street on the short route from the palace to the Castle.
And it promises to be a cultural cum political fest and as one journalist declared, “Cape Coast is ready for Obama”.