Tue | Oct 22, 2019

‘Jamaica is my love, Ghana is my sweetheart’ - With similar culture, climate, Sinclair urges countrymen to turn eyes to West Africa

Published:Wednesday | June 19, 2019 | 12:16 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Delona Flemming, director of public relations and media affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, speaks with Audley Sinclair Morris, a Jamaican residing in Ghana, at the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.
Delona Flemming, director of public relations and media affairs at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, speaks with Audley Sinclair Morris, a Jamaican residing in Ghana, at the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre yesterday.

Before there ever was an official invite to Ghana for the Year of Return, Audley Sinclair Morris, a Jamaican from Mona in St Andrew, fell head over heels for the West African country.

“I am now on the brink of getting my Ghanaian citizenship. I have been living there for a number of years, and before that, I had been visiting friends until I realised, ‘This is exactly like Jamaica,’ and decided to stay,” said Morris, whose name takes a literal twist in Ghana, where he is known as Morris Sinclair.

Having lived in the United States for several years, Morris said he went to Ghana to visit a friend in 2011 and liked it so much, he wanted to go again.

“Jamaica is my love, Ghana is my sweetheart,” he told The Gleaner.

Morris said he began exploring business opportunities in the capital, Accra, as with the African country having a similar climate and culture to Jamaica, he felt that he could make it home.

It’s a decision he has not regretted and he is on a mission to woo more Jamaicans to visit the African country, touting immense opportunities there.

After two days in Kingston, Morris said he has convinced nearly two dozen persons at the 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference under way at the Jamaica Conference Centre to book trips to Ghana.

“Agricultural opportunities abound there, [as well as] infrastructure, information technology, basically everything you require in a developing nation that is so similar to home (Jamaica). I am telling Jamaicans to come. It’s lovely there, and almost like Jamaica,” Morris said.

Based in Accra, Morris said he went into tourism and travel management, a decision which has been bearing fruits.

There are approximately 4,000 Jamaicans living in Ghana, and that number could increase on account of the new visa waiver agreed to last week by Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Akufo-Addo’s visit was part of a Caribbean tour for the ‘The Year of Return, Ghana 2019’, a major landmark marketing campaign targeting the African-American diaspora market to mark 400 years of the first enslaved Africans arriving in Jamestown, Virginia.

Morris said that while in Accra, he feels at ease with access to the Jamaica Caribbean Association, and, of course, the routine dose of reggae and dancehall music.

“One would have to be forgiven if they believed that they are in Kingston and not Accra with the number of Jamaican flags seen all over. They are attached to minibuses, taxis, bikes and, of course, the big sound of dancehall music. They just love the dancehall culture there,” he said.

“Reggae music is as much part of their culture as is ours here in Jamaica. It has been a thrilling experience living there,” Morris said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com