My first trip to Ghana unfortunately was for my father-in-law’s funeral. My husband and I flew domestically to Chicago then took an overnight flight to Amsterdam, followed by another plane ride that landed in Accra, Ghana. I had been to the Caribbean, Canada and Europe in the past, but none of my previous international travels prepared me for the awe of Ghana. Though most of our time in Accra was devoted to honoring the life of a great man, my husband made sure that I had the opportunity to see Ghana, explore the country’s culture, and experience my African-American pilgrimage.
Sankofa! She’s a Sankofa!
I heard that in reference to myself several times during our trip. I had no clue what it meant or why I was being referred to as a Sankofa. I felt as if it was not a bad word; it may have even been a compliment, but I was clueless as to the meaning. I wanted to ask my husband about it, but he had funeral arrangements and his own grief to handle. I decided to tuck it away and ask him about it when we returned home.
I didn’t have to wait until coming home to learn what Sankofa meant. One afternoon, we visited W.E.B DuBois’ home. I love going to museums and historic sites, but I never had such an intimate view into the life of a historic figure before. I had the opportunity to visit areas where Mr. DuBois received other dignitaries, as well as personal spaces such as his library and office. It felt as if he could have walked around the corner at any moment.
At the conclusion of the tour, our guide took us to an outside gazebo where we sat on black stools. He told me that he chose my stool because as an African- American I was like the Sankofa bird who returned home. The Sankofa was taken away to far off lands. His mother mourned for him and prayed for his return. Sankofa longed to come back home but didn’t know the way. It took years, flying over oceans and through mountains but eventually he did return and his mother rejoiced. After the tour guide told the tale, he turned to me and said “Akwaaba Sankofa. Welcome home.”
When Angie and I were deciding on the Cocoa Like Me logo, I was very passionate about incorporating Adinkra symbols into our design. Sankofa instilled in me such a sense of belonging and I knew the other Adinkra symbols would be a constant reminder of our customer commitment and service. The Cocoa Like Me logo includes the following symbols:
Which represents our mission to protect and nurture textured hair
Which represents our passion to honor our African heritage
Which represents our loyalty to our customers
Which represents our compassion towards our community
Which represents our commitment to quality and excellence