2019 marked the Year of the Return in Ghana. The tourism campaign called for descendants of the African diaspora to return to the continent and partake in the rich history that Ghana has to offer. As a result, over one million visitors traveled to the country last year, including famous celebrities, to encourage African Americans and others within the African diaspora to return to their roots.
For 28-year-old Deijha Gordon, the opportunity was more than just a vacation, but a chance to start a new life with a newfound business venture.
Between tourism campaigns from countries like South Africa and Ghana catering to African American travelers, some have taken that initiative a bit further. But relocating to the continent? This was the case for Gordon, who, like many African Americans, grew up with a negative perception of African countries from the media. Because of social media and the changing narrative around African tourism, many people like Gordon are opening their minds to opportunities on the continent. This meant giving up her job at the United States Postal Service to move to Ghana to open a food truck.
Gordon is now the owner of Deijha Vu’s Jerk Hut in Accra, where she sells a variety of tasty items ranging from rasta pasta, rice & peas, and her specialty–spicy chicken paired with a doughnut. Her decision to open the truck stemmed from the longtime dream of owning her own restaurant.
“So Deijah Vu’s, apart from my name being Deijha, the meaning of “déjà vu” is a sense of feeling like I am already here. That is the feeling I got when I first set foot on this continent, so when I got off the plane,” she told ABC News Ghana. “I was kind of nervous simply because of what they show us in the states. There were so many things running through my mind, but as I got off the plane and stepped out into the atmosphere, I felt OK and I was happy that I made the decision.”
The food truck is currently stationed at Base Camp Initiatives located in East Legon, one of Accra’s residential areas. The venue is a co-working space for start-ups on a budget. While there has been a fair of challenges relocating to a new country, Gordon has no regrets.
“I feel like it’s the best decision I’ve made so far,” she said. “I’ve met so many great people; I have had so many great opportunities, coming here allowed me to go to South Africa and I made a lot of friends and I have no doubt that Deijha Vu’s will be very successful. So many people have been hitting me up about it and they are anticipating the grand opening and I’m just excited about it.”