If you all have been following my journey, you remember the surprise I got when I learned that I was not (just or predominantly) Ghanaian as I’d believed for many years.
It began over 10 years ago with me running into a woman who asked if I was “from home” (Ghana) and it continued as I met more people over the years who assumed the same. This included countless coworkers, all from the same country (what’s funnier is that no one from any other country said I looked like I was from anywhere else. Just Ghana). After I eventually met two of their citizens who strongly resembled both my mother and my oldest son, I was sold.
Last April, I finally submitted the DNA kit for analysis and learned that I was only 11% Ghanaian. 47% of my ethnic makeup originated in Cameroon (plus Congo and Southern Bantu Peoples).
Yes, I was shocked, but I was all in!!! I’m Cameroonian? Hey, let’s party!
I spent months researching Cameroon and its culture, grooving to Makoosa (one of their most popular genres of music) all the while purchasing and proudly wearing my new dashiki and Cameroon T-shirt.
…and you should have seen me when the “Indomitable Lionesses” women’s football (soccer) team competed in the recent FIFA tournament. Although I’m bound and loyal to my USA home team, I proudly rooted for the ladies of Cameroon as well.
Well, I recently received notification of an update to my DNA results. Ancestry DNA provides the best results based on all gathered DNA in conjunction with current advances in technology. So when you receive your results, they add that the results have a range of accuracy.
I learned that I am NOT primarily of Cameroonian descent…
That’s right. Turns out, I’m 44% Nigerian with a variance from 36-55% (which comes from their making multiple comparisons of my DNA to their reference panel. It also includes other possible, but less likely, changes).
I immediately notified my friend Siima in Uganda, who’s been my main source of support and guidance throughout this level of my journey, specifically my search for my African roots. She was just as surprised as I was, but excited to learn about the new developments. Thankfully, like before, her knowledge base is fortifying me with Nigeria’s rich history and culture, giving a starting point for my new research.
Together, we welcome the new news with gratitude and a yearning to learn more.
So from this point on, I wave a new flag proudly and high…
So let my African tour begin: Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria, here I come, my people. Here I come…