Antigua and Barbuda lures Nigerian monarch with rich tourism offerings

Prime Minister Brown (left) with Alara of Epe, during the visit to Antigua and Barbuda.

Business Day – It was a season of the first of some sort recently, when Olufolarin Kayode Ogunsanwo, the Alara of Epeland, accompanied by his retinue of palace officials and dignitaries, made a historic visit to Antigua and Barbuda, in the Caribbean Island.

Interestingly, the visit is happening at a time when Africa is trying to make another inroads into the island, which is noted as one of the most blessed Caribbean islands. This time, not on slave ships but cruise ships and luxurious airliners to the island, which is one of the islands in the Caribbean built by the sweat, brawn and brains of slaves from Africa.

What is playing out now is what may be described as โ€˜Return to Motherlandโ€™, a new move initiated by Wanle Akinboboye, renowned Nigerian and African leading tourism developer and founder/president of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort and Motherland Beckons, among other entities.

Through Motherland Beckons, Akinboboye is presently making historic efforts at creating the first ever Africa Tourism Free Trade Zone on the island.

The project is meant to make the island the sixth region of Africa, as it will be a playground for Africans and the world to interact and savour once again the best of Africaโ€™s art, culture, heritage, music, dance, fashion and lifestyle among others.

The first phase of the project began with the construction of the first in the series of resorts that would dot the tourism-free trade zone.

However, it was an auspicious moment for the traditional ruler and his team, who were received by Gaston Browne, the prime minister of the island.

The visit afforded Alara the opportunity to explore the richness of the island and how his kingdom can use the new vista now on the horizon, to export its art, culture, heritage and gastronomic offerings among others for the mutual benefit of his kingdom and the island.


What makes the visit most significant is the fact that it is the beginning of a long envisaged partnership as the Alara, will in the coming days, pay regular visits to the island in furtherance of the dream of establishing cultural and economic link between his kingdom and the island.

For many, it is the dawn of a new cultural alliance between Africa and the Caribbean. Made possible by the new activation of Motherland Beckons, Antigua and Barbuda is expected as part of the new vision, to play host to African monarchs.

The vision of Akinboboye for the African Tourism Free Trade Zone is among others geared at creating a return for people of African descent. โ€˜โ€˜We believe that the movement should begin from where it started.

โ€˜โ€˜It is in this regard that African royalties will form a major part of this Return to Motherland movement on cruise ships and luxury airliners. This is because the monarchsโ€™ visits will be weaved around cultural, economic and educational prospects to help with the growth of the continent of Africa,โ€™โ€™ Akinboboye said.

Antigua and Barbuda, will according to Akinboboye, serve as the neck in the new nexus, noting that, โ€˜โ€˜Africa is a body without a neck. The heads (Africans) on the continent and the Diaspora do not have a neck to connect them to the body.

But now, Antigua and Barbuda, which was the middle passage, will be the neck and connecting link to connect Africans from within the continent and those in the Diaspora to the Motherland (Caribbean), where a new marriage is proclaimed.

โ€˜โ€˜The monarchs will be part of the centrifugal element that would make this happen and when it does happen there will be business opportunities in all spheres to explore because what has been missing before now is that connection, which Antigua and Barbuda now offers.โ€™โ€™

One of the signature activities that would herald the new move is Ipada Carnival (The Return), an annual โ€œpilgrimageโ€ of people of African descent to the motherland.

It will feature among others; live music from 54 African countries, cuisine and fashion from the six regions of Africa and six Caribbean countries, Nefratiti โ€“ the Queen of Africa beauty pageant, and the Ose Award, to appreciate one Africa that has made an impact in the world and Africa.

In the coming days, you will be spoilt for choice when you visit Antigua and Barbuda, as you would have the opportunity of exploring endless options in tourism and business. It is this yearning gap that the Alara of Epe is hoping to latch on to promote his kingdom and fuse with the Caribbean.

Ogunsanwo is the 55th Alara of Ilara, Epe Division and the vice chairman of the Lagos State Council of Obas.

With a three years stint now on the throne of his ancestors, Ogunsanwo is committed to improving the lot of his people and kingdom hence his fascination with the beautiful and alluring island.







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  1. This is disgusting on so many levels,
    and in every way itโ€™s offensive beginning with statement.
    โ€œ This time, not on slave ships but cruise ships and luxurious airliners to the island, which is one of the islands in the Caribbean built by the sweat, brawn and brains of slaves from Africaโ€.
    My God! these people have never apologized for handing over to the Europeans as slaves.
    We rightfully asked the Europeans for reparations and apologies; while we give the Africans a free pass. Many times it was tribal wars.
    Now they are literally gloating.
    This is akin to an illiterate woman whose husband is murdered by neighbors and she hands over her daughters to be raped by the murderers.

    • Read the history of Benin and be in no doubt about who was profiting from the slave trade.
      So many dead at the hands of Africans and Europeans

      It’s a despicable part of human history

  2. Mr. P.M, you look haggard haggard. What is weighing on your mind sir? Enquiring minds would like to know.

    • I guess you like my nom de plume, that’s ok,.

      What I want to know is if this guy hanging with the PM is the same guy wanting to send me, the USD $10,000,000
      He found for me?

    • The Prime Minister is not a positive advert for Antigua and Barbuda in the photograph. Can someone explain why ‘Marvelous’ Gaston did not have basic good manners to pose with the Alara in formal dress? All that was needed is a tie, either bow or long, and a well fitting jacket. It’s one thing playing the cool dude as he likes to do and another thing when meeting with a royal dignitary. Our ‘Marvelous’ Leader looks most uncomfortable in this photo, perhaps he was squeezing his buttocks, or maybe his jacket is too tight with one button done up. Surely he was not bursting? Either way, how do you account for shaking the hand of royalty from Africa, ahem, looking like a stuffed turkey? Could it be the’Marvelous’ One doesn’t rate the Alara very highly, who knows? Our ‘Marvelous’ Leader is displaying the signs of a country in a downward spiral in many ways. Antigua and Barbuda is on its way to the dogs and going to hell in a hand cart if we do not change course and leader in good time.

  3. Gaston Clown should pack his bundle and moved to Africa with Olufolarin Kayode Ogunsanwo. Stop using Antigua as just a playground.

  4. How many more times this foolishness is going to happen? Up to this point neither YIDA, the one down by Jennings etc have borne any fruit in the interest of the nation. Change course no man!!!

  5. Gaston has been charmed by Nigerian juju. They have charmed with the failed Antigua Airways, they duped him again with 17 Africans who arrived in Antigua for Carnival and refused to leave because they paid bribed money to stay in Antigua!
    Where in the world apart from Antigua could such occurances occurred? Gaston is a real ass to sense.

    If it was the US, Canada, France or the UK they would have been handcuffed and if needs be dragged on to the flight destigned to Mutualah Muhammad Airport Lagos, but Browne allowed them to remain. Clearly, the Nigerians have charmed him very well.

    Incidentally, what happened to them are they in hiding in Antigua like the other Gastonโ€™s migrants?

    As mentioned already, how does Gaston et al others justify rubbing shoulders with West Africans who took part with enslaving us? Nigeria along with other West African countries have not apologised to the Caribbean for their contributions for the grotesque trading of our slave ancestor.

    Will the Browne administration call upon West African governments to apologise for their part in the Middle Passage slave Trade? Does he and his broken administration not think that it’s imperative for a heartfelt apology should be forthcoming from West Africa?

    Gaston for reasons only known to him and his broken cabinet ministers are prepared to open our doors to those unscrupulous murderous fraudsters.

    Antiguans we should come together and signalled a clear message to Gaston that we are no longer prepared to tolerate his advancement of destroying our homeland, Antigua. Antiguans let us stopped being passive and strive by putting an end to Gaston’s madness before he sink us totally in mud up to our necks. Let’s rekindle the fire in our souls and fight for our homeland.

    I have great admiration for the Ukrainians, because of their love for their homeland they have given their all and have stood up to Putin. Antiguans , let’s for the love our homeland and unite as Antiguans and do the right thing and put a stop to Gaston. Nigerians, will cripple Antigua if we don’t stop Gaston!

  6. Great to see people who share the color of the castle of my skin, but must it be fool the people all the time into minimal jobs instead a ownership just like how white people are empowered with large tracts of white sand beach front lands, if you give a piece of the resources to every born Antiguan of 4 generation parentage , we would not have employment issues, it’s just a black skin Nigerian playing the white savior complex narrative. Elections after elections politicians tell the same story of a investor as savior, and in the end only the politicians and the white investor get rich since these schemes are wealth extraction base.

  7. Why oh why is Gaston making himself a bumbling fool? This is a joke!!! A non entity, so-called king from a village called EPE THE MAN is the equivalent of a village chief! Wanle Akinboboye is being brought to fool the unsuspecting Antiguan public once again!!! Here comes another scam!!! This is totally scandalous!!!

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