It was another historic occasion when a large number of visitors from around the globe arrived in Badagry and were greeted by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, who was represented by Abimbola Salu-Hundeyin, the secretary to the state government, and Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman and CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).
The ongoing Diaspora Festival Badagry, themed 4th Door of Return, is a celebration of the cultural and historical ties between Africa and its diaspora. The festival is held annually in Badagry, Lagos State, Nigeria, a major slave port during the transatlantic slave trade. It is a celebration of the freedom of blacks in the diaspora.
The festival’s theme, “Door of Return,” symbolises the journey of Africans who were taken away from their homeland and the return of their descendants.
The festival features a variety of events, including the symbolic opening of the Door of Return, which is a reenactment of the arrival of enslaved Africans in Badagry; visits to historical sites, such as the Point of No Return, where enslaved Africans were last seen before being shipped across the Atlantic Ocean; and cultural performances, such as traditional dances and music, among others.
This festival is an important event that helps to promote understanding and reconciliation between Africa and its diaspora. It also helps to highlight the contributions of Africans and their descendants to world history and culture.
This year’s festival is expected to be particularly significant, as it marks the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans arriving in the United States.
Photos by: Damilola Babatola