Whether it is in the entertainment industry, sports, politics or education many famous people who were born in the united states of America and other European countries are finding their roots embedded in the large and diverse African continent.
These Celebrities and influential personalities have leveraged on the power of DNA test to trace their African ancestry.
Let’s take a look at these successful personalities who were born in Africa or descend from African parents.
Caryn Elaine Johnson, known professionally as Whoopi Goldberg, is an American actor, author, comedian, and tv personality. As a recipient of numerous accolades, she is one of sixteen entertainers to win an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Tony Award. She announced on TV that her DNA test revealed that her ancestors are from the Papel and Bayote people of Guinea-Bissau. She, however, could not go home because of her fear of flying.
Born Idrissa Akuna Elba, the celebrated actor that we all know today was born and raised in London, England. The 46-year-old British actor booked his first acting role on the soap opera ‘Family Affairs’ in 1997. He revealed that he was born to a Sierra Leonean father and a Ghanaian mother.
Newton is the daughter of a British father and a Zimbabwean mother from the Shona tribe. Her full name is Melanie Thandiwe “Thandie” Newton. She has starred in many movies, including ‘Mission: Impossible 2’ (2000) and ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (2006).
Anthony is a top American comedian who discovered his root is from the Bubu people of Bioko island and Tikar and the Hausa and Fulani people of Cameroon.
Oprah Winfrey is a world-renowned tv host, interviewer and media mogul. The famous on-air personality’s DNA test showed that her ancestors originated in different African countries. The popular TV show host is connected to the Kpelle people of Liberia, Bantu people in Zambia, and Bamileke people of Cameroon.
Bishop TD Jakes:
The popular clergyman, orator and author was another person who traced his root to Nigeria. The bishop of The Potter’s House church is a descendent of the Igbo people.
Samuel L Jackson:
Like many other African-Americans, the famous no-nonsense actor wanted to discover his ancestry and he found them deeply rooted in Gabon. After finding his roots, Jackson visited Gabon, where he met with the president, Ali Bongo Ondimba and his wife, Sylvia Bongo Ondimba. Jackson was given Gabonese citizenship and passport.
This American born and bred comedian and actress became a full citizen of Eritrea, the birthplace of her father, who moved to the United States as a refugee before she was born. Brought up in the United States, she always identified herself as American with Eritrean parentage. She first visited Eritrea in 2018 to bury her father, Tsihaye Reda Haddish.
Erica Abi Wright, known professionally as Erykah Badu, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer and actress who Influenced by R&B, 1970s soul, and 1980s hip hop. When the singer and songwriter found out in 2015 that her heritage traces back to Cameroon, she decided to make a trip there. Badu, who is from the Bamileke tribe, met with chiefs and locals during her stay.
The Academy Award-nominated actor hails from Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Nebraska and Colorado, but his DNA traces back to Cameroon. The Hotel Rwanda star shares paternal ancestry with the Ewondo ethnic group of the Central African country. On his maternal side, he shares ancestry with the Bamileke, Masa and Tikar people.
Africa boasts of extra-ordinary people around the world. Do you know anyone who is yet to find his or her roots? Please share this piece with them. Who knows? They might be encouraged to take that bold step.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.