African-Americans on trip in Tanzania to discover their ancestor’s roots have wept after having witnessed the horrific photographic images of enslaved Africans at a Zanzibar’s Slave Prison.
A group of 36 African Americans visited the slave market and dungeon in Zanzibar where they encountered an ugly face of slavery in Africa, prompting them to become tearful.
In historical Prison Island popularly known as the Changuu Island that lies 30-minute boat ride from Unguja, there are preserved a stunningly horrific record of slavery in the Arab world and within Africa.
The Island was once used by an Arab trader to contain the more troublesome slaves he had bought from the African mainland to prevent their escape before shipping them to the Arabian purchasers or for auctioning in Zanzibar slave trade market.
“Today we visited the Slave Market and Dungeon in Zanzibar. There they have very rare photographic images of enslaved Africans, slave traders, and markets. They have preserved a stunningly horrific record of slavery within Africa. We prayed and wept on the place where our ancestors suffered and pledged to do more” says Dominique DiPrima.
Parks Adventure, the travel company behind the journey says that the trip, the first of its kind in Tanzania, will enable the African-Americans to explore their ancestors’ history through places, objects, and tastes.
The African-Americans say that they are passionate in bridging cultural gaps by ‘coming back home’ to explore their heritage and fill a personal void.
“Much as America was founded by immigrants, we hold our ancestral heritage near and dear that’s why we seek to learn more about the lands of our ancestors,” the leader of the Afro-Americans tourists, Ms Betty Arnold told e-Turbonews in Tanzania’s northern safari Capital of Arusha.
Ms Arnold says their maiden seven-day trip from Arusha to Zanzibar is not a real leisure tour; rather it was the community engagement where they would learn, share dollars and other fortunes with a destitute community.
“Apart from our key mission of discovering our ancestors’ roots, we came to spend money to contribute to the welfare of our relatives,” Ms Arnold says.
The group spent almost three hours, chanting as well as ululating with an old man Polygamist, ole Mapi where they have not only enjoyed interacting with him and his enormous family but also donated solar lamps and scholastic materials to 244 pupils schooling in his own primary school.
A 108-year old, Laibon Ole Mapi, probably the most revered Maasai Polygamist, is happily running his own ‘multi-monogamous’ household in modern days, near Manyara National park within the country’s northern tourism circuit.
A giant, black, but humble indigenous gentleman is proudly a husband to 44 wives and a father to nearly 80 children and a grandpa to hundreds of grandchildren.
Managing Director for Parks Adventure, the man behind the journey, Mr Don Ndibalema says; “Tanzania has a myriad tourist attraction. Slave trade history is one of them. The market for the product is very huge, given the number of African-Americans who seek to discover their roots”.