One of the aspirations of Africans in the diaspora is to eventually return to Africa and among other things, contribute to the socio-economic development of the continent. Although a number of factors turn to hinder their return, a considerable number of them have returned home.
One of the things many of them do upon return is to establish a business venture to serve as a source of livelihood and a job creation avenue. Face2Face Africa has documented the entrepreneurial journey of some of them and their success stories.
Today, we highlight the success story of Nana Ama Serwaa. Born in Ghana, Serwaa has lived in Atlanta, United States, for over 35 years. She returned home to establish Ike’s Cafe and Grill, the biggest traditional restaurant in Ghana located in the nation’s Ashanti Region.
The restaurant is built with a touch of Ashanti culture and other side attractions such as a live band, Karaoke, a continental bar and a local bar (that serves local Ghanaian wines and gins), a VIP section and a range of delicious local and continental dishes.
Serwaa tells vlogger Wode Maya she was inspired to open her restaurant so that other Ghanaians living abroad who have been away for long can come and experience Ashanti and Ghanaian culture and how beautiful it is to live in an African environment.
She projects Africa as the next big investment destination, adding that the continent has virtually everything to make one’s investment worthwhile. “I want my brothers and sisters to know that the way Africa use to be is not so anymore. Right now, the way things are going, Africa is a place to be,” Serwaa tells Ghanaians in the diaspora. “And that is where our roots are. We have to come and build our motherland.”
Serwaa’s project had a sad beginning. Stories of entrepreneurs who turned their tragedies into success abound. Serwaa is one of such people. The initial project got burnt and she had to rebuild. Although she was distressed, she did not allow the unfortunate incident to discourage her but it rather propelled her to start again.
She also recounts how her Spa company, located in Ghana’s capital, Accra, collapsed due to the poor work ethics of her employees. She revealed that she pumped $150,000 into the business. “So that was my first time I tried in Ghana and I failed,” she said.
She is now transforming her restaurant into a “village” where tourists and other visitors can come and stay and enjoy the wide range of services she is providing. As part of the village, she is building a hotel and other tourist attraction sites. The whole idea behind the village is to bring back the “community feel” Africans had in the past.
She reiterated her call for Ghanaians in the diaspora to return home and contribute to the economy of Ghana. While acknowledging structural challenges in establishing a business in Ghana, Serwaa underscores the fact that they are surmountable and should not discourage anyone from returning home to establish a business.