Dr Chukwudi Ihenetu, King of the Igbo Community in Ghana (Eze Ndigbo Ghana), has hosted Mrs Viola Ford Fletcher, one of the last known survivors of the 1921 Race Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and her brother Hughes (Redd) Van Ellis, at his palace, in Accra.
The palace of the Igbo King at East Legon went agog with a culturally rich traditional ceremony for the aged two to highlight the celebration of their lives and the reunion of the African-American community and their African family.
The two were there to pay a courtesy call on the King.
Ford Fletcher is 107 years this year while Van Ellis is 100. Born on May 10, 1914, she has outlasted one of the deadliest chapters in American history, where for which she has decided to celebrate her centenary by reconnecting with Africa, which she considers as her motherland.
The King and his royals said they were glad in playing host to the world’s oldest woman alive and being part of her first-ever historic trip to Africa.
“We want the other African-Americans to remember that where they are coming from – Africa is a land of milk and honey…We need people with experience from all sectors of life to come down here. Let us work together; let us unite together; and let us make Africa a great continent again,” the King said.
Viola and Hughes (Redd) Van Ellis were coronated, given chieftaincy titles and showered with assorted gift items from the King and the Igbo Community in Ghana.
Viola and Hughes were accompanied on the visit by Dr Erika Bennett, the Head of Missions of the Diaspora African Forum.
Eze Dr Ihenetu used the occasion to throw an open invitation to other African-Americans in the diaspora to return home to Africa where they belong.
Dr Bennett said the expectations of the delegation have been surpassed since Mama Fletcher had also requested to visit Nigeria to experience their culture.
“We have been overwhelmed by the rich traditional cultural display which has been exhibited here at this wonderful reception. Instead of us going to Nigeria, you brought Nigeria to us here in Ghana.”
Aside from the display of traditional Igbo culture, the guests were treated to Igbo delicacies, music and dance that reflect the history of the African people.
Also present at the event were some Chiefs from the Yoruba Community and some representatives of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra.