Thursday, 30 May

Stevie Wonder visits Ghana, receives citizenship on 74th birthday

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder has visited Ghana.

The American music icon was received with music and dancing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Terminal 3, by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) led by CEO Akwasi Agyeman.

In a heartwarming move, Wonder found his way to what looked like the kidi drum and beat it in step with the other drummers' rhythms. After that, he felt for the hands of the drummers and shook all of them, smiling heartily. 

Stevie Wonder's arrival to Ghana via the capital, Accra, is recorded under the Beyond the Return programme by government. He was dressed in a black long-sleeve shirt over black trousers, wearing his dark glasses and a black hat. Around his neck, like his entourage, was a kente sash.

Stevie Wonder plays a drum at Kotoka International Airport, Ghana | Credit: @ByeondtheReturn/Instagram

In a 2021 interview with Oprah, the multiple award-winning singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer revealed he would be permanently relocating to Ghana. The reason he provided for his decision was the political unrest in America. In 1994, Wonder also mentioned moving to Ghana, stating Ghana had a sense of community America lacked.

In a landmark move, he has taken the Oath of Allegiance and received the Certificate of Citizenship to become a Ghanaian. The ceremony took place on Monday, May 13, 2024 – incidentally his 74th birthday – at the Golden Jubilee House, Ghana's seat of governance. The ceremony was presided over by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The legal counsel to President Akufo-Addo, Kow Essuman wrote on social media: "Stevie Wonder, the latest Ghanaian. Welcome to #Ghana [Ghana flag] and happy birthday. Ghanaian citizenship on your birthday. When Heaven smiles on a legend."

| Stevie Wonder receiving Ghanaian citizenship from President Akufo-Addo 

"Stevie Wonder is officially Ghanaian. He has just taken the Oath of Allegiance and received the Certificate of Citizenship by Registration at Jubilee House," he explained, adding: "Congratulations, Sir, and welcome to Ghana."

Stevie Wonder learned to play the piano, drums and harmonica at 9. He has 25 Grammy Awards, and has hits such as Isn't She Lovely, Do I Do, As, My Cherie Amour, Superstition, Happy Birthday, Overjoyed, and many others.

Source: Benjamin