Stevie Wonder is officially making good on a promise to make the West African country his permanent home.

“I Steveland Morris swear solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Ghana,” the music icon stated during his swearing ceremony.

He was wearing what appeared to be traditional Ghanaian garb and his signature leather hat. President H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo conferred Wonder’s citizenship during a ceremony at the Jubilee House in Accra.

As we previously reported, Ghana has been on Wonder’s mind over the last few decades. During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the songwriter said he desires to live in a place where he is valued. Wonder has been vocal about growing weary of “America’s unwillingness” to accept all its citizens equally.

“I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh, please like me. Please respect me, please know that I’m important, please value me,'” he replied to Winfrey when asked why he planned to relocate to Ghana. 

Wonder’s citizenship marks a significant achievement for Ghana, where country leaders have worked to attract diasporan Africans to invest, live and work there. 

More Black Americans relocating to Africa

Ghanaian leaders invited African diasporans to “come home” during what is now known as the country’s iconic “Year of Return” campaign. In 2019, Country leaders invited those of African descent on a “major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey.” 2019 marked 400 years since enslaved Africans first arrived in the United States.

“‘The Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ celebrated the cumulative resilience of all the victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade who were scattered and displaced through the world in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia,” leaders said in a news release about the campaign.

Over 1 million people visited Ghana during the campaign, including Cardi B., Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, Steve Harvey and more.  Visitors invested more than $3.3 billion in Ghana’s local economy. Following that successful campaign, country leaders set their sights on getting diasporans to invest and live in Ghana, prompting them to launch the “Beyond the Return” campaign.

As more Black American families consider relocating amid racial tensions, many people are considering Ghana. In 2019, country leaders granted 126 African diasporans citizenship. Ghana is one of a handful of African countries that have stepped forward in offering citizenship based on ancestry. Under its “Right of Abode” section, Ghana grants people of African descent to stay indefinitely with a path to apply for citizenship. In Sierra Leone, those who can prove lineage through ancestry can also obtain full citizenship. Idris Elba notably obtained citizenship in Sierra Leone, his father’s native country. Nigeria has the same policy for diasporans, while South Africa offers free citizenship to African Americans without proof of lineage.

Now that Wonder has fulfilled his dream, we’re watching to see if Dave Chappelle will be next.  The comedian stated he was inspired by Wonder’s interview.