Campaign convenors Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Ron Kunene discuss the importance of African Americans connecting with their roots.
This year marks 400 years since the first slave ships arrived in America carrying African slaves.

There is now a movement helping connect Africans in the diaspora with the African continent in a new campaign called the Door of Our Return.

Bongani Bingwa chats to the American campaign convenors gospel artist Bishop Hezekiah Walker and Ron Kunene.

“We decided that it would be much better if we created a bridge between African Americans and Africa. We wanted to get them to come and connect with Africans and make Africa their home.”
Ron Kunene, Leader – Door of Our Return

Over the past 20 years, many African Americans are increasingly recognising that the African continent is home, says Walker.

“This bridge that we are now creating and this door we are opening makes us very happy. It means a lot to us to know our ancestry and know where we come from.”
Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Gospel artist

He says the initiative importantly teaches African Americans a more accurate history and narrative about Africa than that which they were taught in school.

“The things that they taught us about Africa were false, they taught us that Africa was just a jungle and there was a bunch of beasts and we were afraid of it, they taught us all the wrong things.”
Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Gospel artist

Walker says when he first came to Johannesburg he couldn’t believe that what he was taught was completely wrong.

“I saw that African people were prosperous, they were doing good things and that made me feel good about myself. I began to spread the message and as I did that, people wanted to come back and experience it for themselves.”
Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Gospel artist

by Matshepo Sehloho