Destinations Western Africa

Stevie Wonder Ghanaian Citizenship Now a Reality

stevie wonder ghanaian citizenship
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Stevie Wonder Ghanaian citizenship is no longer a dream but a reality. It was presented as a gift during his 74th birthday by President Nana Akufo Addo. The celebrated American singer and songwriter flew to Ghana to celebrate his birthday and the gift by the Ghanaian president was a total surprise.

He holds Africa to his heart and he has on numerous occasions spoken about his deep connection with the continent. Just like many other African Americans whose heritage traces back to Africa. West Africa in particular has a lot of Black history as most slaves were shipped to the US from here.

Is Stevie Wonder Ghanaian Citizenship Real?

It is easy to cast doubt on the new developments but Stevie Wonder Ghanaian Citizenship is real. The Ghanaian premier gifted him in Accra where he was together with his family. Accra is Ghana’s capital and it has a special appeal to Americans.

President Akufo Addo in his speech said that Wonder’s musical work and his selflessness in protecting his heritage earned him a second citizenship. He added that such sustained selflessness deserves a life-changing prize and what he had was welcoming him as another son of the soil.

stevie wonder ghanaian citizenship

Stevie Wonder. Photo/CNN

The Ghanaian premier underscored that the citizenship honours him as an artist with a soft spot for Africa.

“By conferring Ghanaian citizenship to him, we not only recognise his immense talent and achievements but also acknowledge his deep connection to the African continent,” BBC Africa reports.

Going back to the American singer, he says that he always talked and thought about Ghana.

“For years, I’ve talked about being in Ghana, I started talking about it in 1973,” he once confessed.

He disclosed in 2021 that his visits to Ghana in the past made him realize that there are great countries outside the US without racism. His moving to Ghana was never a secret and it was occasioned by what he explained as racial injustice in America. Such didn’t exist in Ghana and he fell in love with the West African country.

What Country is Stevie Wonder From?

stevie wonder ghanaian citizenship

Stevie Wonder. Photo/KUVO

The 25-time Grammy Award winner is American born and bred but he has an unexplained relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa. He was born on May 13, 1950 in Michigan. However, his birth was premature – six weeks – before. Doctors put him in the incubator but there was too much oxygen in it which caused a lifelong condition called retinopathy that got him blind.

Retinopathy stops the growth of the eyes and retinas detach. Growing up as a differently abled Black child came with its challenges but it did not stop him from doing the things he loved. Music was one of them. He joined a local choir at a Baptist church in Detroit where his family relocated to after leaving Saginaw in Michigan.

The ‘Part-Time Lover’ singer became a soloist in church at eight years old and later learned how to play musical instruments. He perfectly played the harmonica, piano and drums which inspired him to join hands with a like-minded, friend for a duo group. They performed periodically at dances and gatherings and on street corners.

According to a biography by his father Lula Mae Hardaway, Wonder signed with the legendary Motown in 1961 when he was only 11. He dropped his first classic album ‘The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie’ in 1962 when he enrolled at Michigan School for The Blind. Having spent time with Motown’s resident producer, Wonder released another album ‘Tribute to Uncle Ray’ mainly cover songs by Ray Charles.

Musical Success

Stevie was more than just a singer by the 1970s.  He honed his singing and songwriting skills and zealously learnt how to produce music. His discography such as “Talking Book” (1972) and “Innervisions” (1973) ventured into genres outside of soul music. His songs such as “Superstition” and “Higher Ground” became timeless masterpieces.

stevie wonder ghanaian citizenship

Stevie Wonder. Photo/BBC

Wonder’s songs addressed societal themes in addition to being catchy. He addressed urban difficulties in “Living for the City” (1973). Further, he embraced the concept of a good life in “Isn’t She Lovely” (1976). Love songs like “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (1984) radiated warmth and affection.

His music portfolio earned him 25 Grammy Awards besides inspiring and influencing a dozen artists with his songs and determination and outlook in life.

Am I a Ghanaian Citizen?

You are a Ghanaian citizen by birth, naturalization and if your parents are Ghanaian. Stevie Wonder Ghanaian citizenship is more of a naturalization process. It refers to the legal procedure or process through which a non-citizen obtains citizenship in a certain country.

Essentially, it is a means of granting legal citizenship, along with all the rights and obligations that go along with it, to someone born in a different country.

Conclusion

Stevie Wonder joins a growing list of Americans relocating to this West African country to escape racism and injustices subjected to people of colour. A journey he started in the 1970s has finally come to fruition.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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