Described as one of the most peaceful countries on the continent, Ghana gained its independence from Britain on this day in 1957.
Like many great nations on the continent of Africa, the Republic of Ghana was marred by the influx of European colonization but on March 6, 1957, led by its independence leader Kwame Nkrumah, it became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence.
Named after the medieval West African Ghana Empire, Ghana and its first president Nkrumah gained the attention of the world after its successful colonial resistance, which was linked to the struggle against racism in the diaspora.
Sixty-three years on, the country remains one of the few politically stable countries on the continent and it’s also a model of development for other African countries.
The country made headlines last year when it launched its “Year of Return” program that encouraged African Americans and the black diaspora to return to the country where their ancestors were once kidnapped for enslavement.
Scores of African Americans who visited the country also experienced its history, culture and tradition upfront.
Known also for its exploits in the world of sports, business, technology, academia, and entertainment, here are some famous people of Ghanaian descent you should know:
Famous for his role in the television series, Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, and Spartacus: Vengeance, actor Peter Mensah is a Ghanaian-British actor who was born in Ghana.
He identified his love for the silver screen at a young age and this drove him into practicing martial arts at the age of six. His film credits include Avatar, 300, Hidalgo, Tears of the Sun, Jason X, Harvard Man, Bless the Child and The Incredible Hulk.
Freema Agyeman is an English actress who was born in London to a Ghanaian father and an Iranian mother.
She is known for playing roles such as Martha Jones in the BBC science fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-off series Torchwood, and Amanita Caplan in the Netflix science fiction drama Sense8.
She has also starred in Law & Order, The Carrie Diaries, Old Jack’s Boat, Silent Witness, and Survivors.
Kofi Kingston is the first African-born world champion in WWE history. Real name Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah, Kingston was born in Kumasi in 1981.
He moved with his family to the U.S., settling in Massachusetts where he went to school.
After graduating, Kingston decided to venture into professional wrestling and began performing on the New England independent circuit as a Jamaican wrestler by the name of Kofi Nahaje Kingston.
He signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2006 and shortened his ring name to Kofi Kingston.
Born in London of mixed ethnicity, Joey Ansah is the son of a celebrated fashion designer, Kofi Ansah.
He is currently an actor who is best known for his roles in The Bourne Ultimatum and Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist.