50 African American tourists have arrived Benin City, the state capital of Edo, from California, United States of America, on a quest to trace their ancestral heritage.
The delegation being received in audience by the Oba.
To the fullest commitment of Jemi Alade Tours, they were welcomed and bathed in the wells of the blooming and ever flourishing cultural embodiments of the Benin Cultural Troupe, whilst being treated to delicious local African dishes, some of which are; palm oil fruits soup (banga), blended vegetable (black) soup, owo soup, pounded yam and agidi (corncake) among others.
Speaking to journalists on the reason for the visit, Mr. Andy Ehanire, a representative of Jemi Alade, organisers of the tour, said the Americans were on a rediscovery visit to trace their route.
In his words, “They are coming on a pilgrimage to rediscover the home of their ancestors from where they were taken away more than 400 years ago. It is an emotional visit.”
Ehanire further explained that the tour was organised in part, to showcase that these people share a common ancestral heritage with the Benins, so that more African-Americans will be encouraged to visit Benin City and have a feel of the African culture while simultaneously discovering where their ancestors had once lived and the values they held dear.
“Benin is safe. We are civilised and friendly. The tourists will be taken round the city. They will visit the Oba Palace and the Palace of the Enogie of Ugoneki, where they will be given Benin names so they can add to their existing names.”
In a group photo with the Oba and his chiefs.
He then concluded by saying that tourism has the potential to grow the economy of the state, noting that some countries have grown their economy with tourist receipts as they receive almost a million tourists on a monthly basis.
“For a place to attract tourist attention, its culture must be unadulterated, there must be security and knowledgeable tour guards,” Ehanire said.
Here are some pictures taken during the visit;
In a group photo with the Oba and his chiefs
The delegation being received in audience by the Oba
At a dinner reception at the Buka Queen restaurant, Benin
Members of delegation in a photo with Femi Kuti at the New Africa shrine.
Betty Arnold, group leader being presented with a Benin mask by the Hon. Commissioner for Culture, Tourism & Diaspora Affairs.
At a dinner reception hosted for the group by the Edo State government.
Femi Kuti performing for the delegation at the New Africa shrine.
The Oba addressing members of the delegation
If you are wondering about Jemi Alade Tours and what they can offer you, whether you’re an African or an American or even African American, here’s something you should know;
Jemi Alade Associates Limited is a reputable destination management company with over 25 years’ experience in ground handling of groups and individuals visiting Nigeria and West Africa – trade delegations, conference / convention delegates, tour groups, business travelers and FITs etc.
The company through Jemi-Alade Tours, the tour operating arm, has over the years conducted numerous in-bound tours and excursions in West Africa especially Nigeria, since incorporated since 1988 and thus, proud to put her considerable experience at your disposal.
One of their objectives is to make your visit to Nigeria memorable and problem free, whilst providing reliable and efficient services. Their repeat clients and recommendation of our services to others assures everyone of this achievement. You can be rest assured that they deal only with reputable suppliers – airlines, hotels, restaurants, transport companies equipped to meet the standards of their clientele in every aspect of their operations.
If you wish to arrange a special program, they will be more than pleased to tailor an itinerary to suite your requirements. Jemi-Alade Tours is committed to proffering the best solution to your travel needs. So please, do not hesitate to do them the honor of taking you on the one time journey of discovery and rediscovery of the most culturally diversified places in the world.
You can reach out to them @ +234-803-470-7553 | +MOBILE: +234-803-470-7553. You can also send a mail @ [email protected] (Tour) | [email protected](Others). Visit their website to learn more about them @www.jemialadetours.com