Politics and Society
Melania Trump emotional at House of Slaves on solo tour
Visiting selected African countries for the first time, Melania Trump’s solo tour started in Ghana, where the ’emotional’ American First Lady lay a wreath for lost souls at the country’s House of Slaves. She referred to the location’s past happenings as “a tragedy”.
Melania Trump has embarked on her first major solo international trip during which she is to visit Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt. On the tour the US First Lady will endorse her child-focused “Be Best” campaign, a public awareness campaign that focuses on well-being for the youth and advocates against cyberbullying and drug (particularly opioid) use.
The campaign she aims to advocate for has largely not been received well in the US for its broad, unquantifiable and ambiguous goals – and its terrible grammatical faux pas. The New Yorker’s analysis was: “It is unclear how “well-being” will be defined in this context… The exact connection between social media and opioid abuse is also hazy… In a yet more bewildering juxtaposition, we are asked to regard Melania Trump, the wife of @realDonaldTrump, as an enemy of cyberbullying.”
Melania: I want to say "Be Better."
Donald: Better? No, better doesn't mean "best." Be best!
Melania: That is not gramm–
Donald: Yeah, be best! Put it on a hat. Done. https://t.co/T3LMq0nHux
— The Rude Pundit (@rudepundit) May 7, 2018
Nevertheless, Mrs Trump started the first leg of her journey in Ghana. Before visiting the country’s 17th century Cape Coast castle ‘slave fortress’, she obtained royal permission from the area’s head chief, to whom she presented drinks.
Mrs Trump was then taken to the monument that held Africans as they awaited the ships that took them to a life of servitude. She walked slowly through various wings, the dungeon where male slaves were held in chains and the dreaded Door of No Return that led to the ocean where the ships came in.
This is known as “the door of no return” — where European traders at Cape Coast Castle loaded African slaves onto ships, the museum educator explains to Melania Trump. pic.twitter.com/isgfJlZ2qx
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) October 3, 2018
The First Lady paid her respects by laying a wreath at the Male Dungeon and the Female Insurgents’ Cell, saying, “It’s very emotional… I will never forget (the) incredible experience and the stories that I heard…The dungeon is really something that people should see and experience. And what happened so many years ago is really a tragedy.”
Read: Trump’s comment about South Africa is a reminder that race still matters
Ghana’s First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Add, then took her on a tour of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
Speaking about the visit, Mrs Trump said, “My time in your country was filled with so many meaningful stops. It was encouraging to see the commitment and compassion of hospital staff… I also enjoyed visiting with the Omahen of the Oguaa Traditional Area Cape Coast, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, queen mothers, and other traditional leaders at Emintsimadze Palace, and it was an incredibly moving honour to have the opportunity to pay my respects at Cape Coast Castle,” she said.
She’s since visited Malawi and is now in Kenya.