Peace fam. To say that I am overwhelmingly excited would be an understatement this morning. A few months ago, I submitted my DNA to be tested for my ancestral lineage. I have always wanted to know what countries my bloodlines led to but had never taken the time or resources to do so. As you may or may not know, I am legally changing my name from my birth name. I love my family, no doubt, but my attachment to a name that is not reflective of my lineage, heritage, or lifestyle (among other things) led me to want to choose a name more in line with the life I am building and the legacy I am leaving behind. Thus, you have Ashaki, a West Afrikan name that means beautiful.
Well, let me get to it. Drumroll please lol! I received my results last night. My DNA is a combination of Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria, Benin/Toga, and Senegal. I only have 8% European (and a message from Ancestry saying that it is a “low confidence region). Anyway, I am highly honored to be one of the few Afrikans living in Amerikka that actually knows their origins. I am also very happy to have found some family that share DNA with me. I also reviewed the birth records of my paternal grandfather online which showed where he was born in Jamaica, as well as the birth date of my maternal great-great grandfather, who was born in 1886. How amazing this journey of self discovery is!! I was moved to tears looking at the military records of my great grandfather, the census of my maternal great grandfather, as well as other documents.
I am piecing together history for my descendants. They will know where they come from. We are resilient, we are strong, we are Afrikan!! I have been under reconstruction now for months, learning who I am as a woman, finding my weaknesses, my strengths, my shortcomings, my quirks. I have been taking care of self. Now, I am finding out parts of myself that I did not know existed. Thousands of years ago, my ancestors in Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Senegal were living, loving, working, and dreaming. I am my ancestors wildest dreams. I am my ancestors. I am back.
Ashaki Ma’at Mirembe Ali