Design Your Life
Traveler Used ‘African Ancestry’ To Trace Her Lineage Back To The Bamileke Tribe
By Rachel George
Black people in America have always held a passion for trying to discover our history and where we come from. Traveler Dominique Price wanted to find out where she came from not only for herself but also for her daughter. Sites such as 23andme and African Ancestry are used to help people find out where they are from, by tracing their ancestral roots through DNA testing.
“I want to be able to tell my daughter where I’m from,” she said. “I think it’s important to know, not because it defines you but it allows you to know more about yourself. You’re African American, yes, but it all ties back to Africa and I wanted to know about those ties.”
After listening to Charlamagne tha God receive his African Ancestry results on the Breakfast Club through Dr. Gina Paige and learning about the process, Dominique knew she needed to learn about her ties to Africa. She submitted her DNA to African Ancestry and six weeks later, she found that her mother’s maternal line traced back to the Bamileke tribe, the neighboring tribe to Cameroon.
She said she took the maternal DNA test, rather than the paternal DNA test because it is able to traced back at least 2,000 years.
Earlier this month, Price and her husband traveled through Africa to and through Tanzania, Zanzibar, Johannesburg and Kigali, the capital and largest city of Rwanda, celebrating their one year anniversary. While there, they met a local man from Cameroon named Hassan. He introduced them to two men, who she later found out were also from the Bamileke tribe.
Some Africans often say you can look at a person and tell where they are from based on their facial features, height, body type, etc. Dominque couldn’t contain her emotions after one of the men showed her a picture of his late aunt that she resembled. “At this point, I’m balling. Tears down my face, snot down my nose,” she said. “She has my face, my nose, and my gap.”
The men took Price and her husband to a local restaurant to enjoy some of their traditional dishes and talk about the history of the Bamileke tribe. She learned people from the Bamileke tribe are musically inclined and business-savvy, similar to herself working in corporate America for years.
Erykah Badu also traced her roots to the Bamileke tribe and Dominque likes to think their secretly related, “She’s like my auntie now.”
Dominique and her husband still keep in contact with Hassan and the other men. “It was a good connection that was made leading to a trip to visit them in Cameroon soon,” she said.
She feels as though she finally filled a void that was related to not knowing about her true lineage, thanks to African Ancestry. “Only people who want to know more about themselves should do it,” she said.