Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2018

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B M & T ••• March/April 2018 ••• 30 CALIFORNIA NATIVE WHO MOVED TO GHANA TELLS AFRICAN AMERICANS MOVING TO AFRICA "TO COME WITH A PLAN" F R O M M O T H E R L A N D F rom the age of 18, Dr. Sharita Yazid knew that she always wanted to move to Africa. Her father, Dr. Paul Goss, a nationally known natural healer, had always talked about her going to visit Africa. Yet, it was not until she turned 36 that the California native had an opportunity to go. Hosting the trip to Egypt and Ghana was the 20/20 investment group and well known historian Runoko Rashidi. From the time she set her foot on African soil, Dr. Sharita knew she was hooked on the country that would become her new home. "People always ask me why I chose Ghana out of all the African countries. I tell them Ghana chose me, then seduced me and 12 years later I'm still here," says the naturopathic doctor and holistic lifestyle consultant. But despite her love for her new home, Dr. Sharita is quick to point out that not all African-Americans adjust to Africa as easily as she did. "In the past two years, I have seen more and more African-Americans moving to Ghana," says Dr. Sharita. "But many people are leaving their homes with an idealistic view of Africa and coming without a plan. Yes, it's cheaper to live in Africa than in America, but people must have a cash flow." According to statistics, there are between 3,000-5,000 African- Americans living in Ghana. "These include teachers, nurses, farmers, entrepreneurs, NGO facilitators, and plenty of retired folk, whose money goes a long way," says Dr. Sharita." Many have come out of a desire to return to their roots, while oth- ers come to escape the increasing rampant racism in the West, fueled by tragic U.S events that have included Charlottesville, VA and numerous inci- dents of police brutality". While their desire for repatriation is noble, Dr. Sharita says she personally knows of a few families who have moved to Ghana after selling everything in America, "only to find that within a few months that they have had to return to America and start all over again." "I heard about a woman who came with $200,000 and kept get- ting ripped off as she was building her house. In less than 2 years, she was back in the U.S.," said Dr. Sharita. Dr. Sharita told of one incident where a Black British couple came and bought land and hired a Ghanaian man to build them a bed and breakfast business. The couple returned to the U.K. where fake pictures of a building under con- struction were sent to them on a regular basis. When the couple did move to Africa, they found that their building had never been built. "The man, instead, had used the money to build himself a nightclub in the same town," said Dr. Sharita. It didn't discour- age them. They just got smart and stayed in Ghana while they build this now beautiful 7 theme guest house. To that end, Dr. Sharita has started a repatriation effort to help people moving to Africa to get a more realistic view of what to expect in the Motherland. "People are saying they cannot be in America because of the present administration, or just can't take liv- ing in America anymore, and I am constantly get- ting Facebook messages with peo- ple asking me for advice. I did a video and posted it online in October about why I love living in Africa, and I am getting so many likes, com- ments, views and shares." Dr. Sharita says, "I want people to know that if they want an alternative to America, they don't have to feel stuck, scared and hopeless. However, they should listen to their intu- ition and to Spirit and deal with people that they know on the grounds. People come over here with rose colored glasses because they have romanticized about Africa. You're not walking into a his- tory book I tell them. This is Africa today, which is part of the global community." Dr. Sharita says for others who are interested in just wanting to learn more about Africa, "I want people to know that Africa is a place where they can vacation and have an experience that can range from backpacking (economy) to a five star (luxury) packages. I'm the event coordinator of the African Culture and Wellness Festival, which includes tours, healthy lifestyle workshops and a concert with Mutabaruka and other featured artists. Empowered by New Body Products, we give the per- fect introduction to Ghana and you will leave there healthier and happier then when you came. The next festival is January 30th to February 11th, 2019." Visit for details. She also wants people to look at Africa as a place for investing. "Many BYEDITHBILLUPS

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