On Tuesday, renowned comedian Dave Chappelle arrived in Ghana ahead of the much-anticipated Black Star Line Festival. Chappelle, 49, joins the ranks of other Black A-List celebrities who have visited the West African country over the holidays.
Ghana’s government launched the “Year of Return” initiative in 2019 in an effort to encourage Africans in the diaspora to return “home,” commune, and reactivate their love for their roots and people. That year also marked the 400th anniversary of the first African ship to arrive on the shores of the Americas, specifically Virginia.
Chappelle’s visit also comes after he expressed his desire to relocate to West Africa. In an earlier interview with supermodel Naomi Campbell on her No Filter podcast, the comedian revealed that Stevie Wonder inspired him to move to Ghana.
“Now those in the room that know Stevie personally [have heard him] say this thing many times through the years that we’ve known him,” Chappelle said at the time. “But this last time he said it, what he said was, ‘I am moving to Ghana so that I can be valued and respected more,’ that’s almost exactly the phrase he used.”
Founded by rappers Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper, the Black Star Line Festival of Pan-African Art is a “week-long series of events including panel discussions, fine art exhibitions and nightlife events culminating in a large scale concert at Black Star Square in Accra.”
According to the festival’s organizers, the event will bring together “artists, intellectuals, and influential individuals from around the world for an international celebration of global Blackness.”
Chappelle and Chance the Rapper will speak at the University of Ghana on Thursday, ahead of their January 6 concert. The free concert will also feature performances by Erykah Badu, T-Pain, Jeremih, Sarkodie, Tobe Nwigwe, Asakaa Boys, and M.anifest.