Monday, February 16, 2009

Marlon Jackson slave resort

Michael Jackson's brother Marlon plans to build a multi-billion dollar resort to attract African-Americans in search of their roots, west of Lagos in Badagry, here. There will be a replica slave-ship for tourists to inspect, as well as holographic displays of The Jacksons. Could it get more bizarre than this? Why not go the whole way and have a Disneyworld/Never Ever land next door?


nneoma 5:37 pm  

yeah, saw this last is quite disturbing.

Oladapo Ogundipe 7:15 pm  

the whole way ke?

Anonymous,  12:00 am  

another bbc article, with its anti-africa bias.

Controversial Anon 10:33 am  

This hotel will never be built, we've heard it all before, it's the latest scam in Nigeria now, or should I say the latest 'format'. Conceive a grandiose project, get a few foreigners involved, make a lot of noise about it in the press, get the govt interested and involved, and then finally - achieve your goal. The goal: A BANK LOAN or PRIVATE PLACEMENT, financing for the project, they'll get some world bank or ADB money, and some govt money too, then all of a sudden the project will be split in to 'Phases', Phase I will gulp a large sum with nothing to show but lots of fancy cars, big salaries, posh offices, and plenty of subcontracts to phony companies controlled by those who conceived the 'idea'. We know all these thing, we are Nigerians after all. And no way does Badagary get 4.4m visitors in the 5th year, no way. This project is Bullshit and it's going nowhere.

But that's besides the point.

@ Nneoma

and all those feeling 'disturbed'.

Seriously, WTF? Badagary is a town too, with people too, going about their daily lives too. Should the town be frozen in time because there is a slave port down the road?

The town, like most in Nigeria, is in desperate need of investment, I suppose we must never build a factory there in order not to grind away the memory of the slaves, or heaven forbid anyone have sex on the sacred slave beaches. Shall we revoke the licenses of all the hotels currently operating there, and all the beer parlours, and the pool gambling shacks? Or are those just 'ricketily' appropriate for the rickety people of that backwater town?

There is a slave port in a town called Badagary, does that disqualify that town from having anything close to an investment to take advantage of what it has to offer? I wonder why we must endure the horrendous site of a Holiday Inn in Bristol, or tolerate the desecration with the Millennium Stadium of such important a city as Cardiff, after all we should never adulterate the environs where slavery was facilitated.

I'm quite certain that all these 'disturbed' people have never been to Badagary. Try to form your own opinion about things, and stop taking it in mouth from Jeremy and the BBC.

Ok take it in the mouth if you wish, but please don't swallow.


Anonymous,  10:41 am  

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o4sho/wisdom 10:46 am  

check out this new track Omoge shakara

Controversial Anon 10:49 am  

You know, quite soon you'll be reading BBC articles reading:


Aid and Charity organisations are concerned that African Businessmen want to buy UK businesses rather than using their money to do charity work in Africa the way we want them to.

Alot Ofvagina, Oxfam spokesperson said, 'we are quite concerned that these Africans are trying to invest their money to make returns, it goes against everything we expect of them, they should not be allowed to invest in the UK when millions of people in Africa are starving'.

Dick Hed, BBC Africa correspondent says 'Everybody lives on less than £100 pounds a day, the kids have no playstations and half the population cannot afford flavoured water, and critics are wondering why these businessmen should be seeking a return on their investment'.

Professor Ewu, Nigerian commentator says - 'I agree'.

And if you think I'm joking, go read the BBC reports of when China did their first Manned space flight. Or when Indian businesses wanted to buy Jaguar or Corus.

Anonymous,  1:14 pm  

The resort could work if marketed properly. It's time Nigeria developed its tourist industry. If this includes marketing Badagry from the historical perspective with an educational element of course, what's wrong with that?

Other countries - Germany, Austria, US, UK, Gambia, Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone(?) have benefited from their history, what is wrong with Nigeria doing the same?

Anonymous,  1:20 pm  

That was quick!
I'm laughing but it's really not funny!

CodLiverOil 3:10 pm  

Controversial Anon, your second post at 10.49AM, is too funny as well as delivering some valid points, thank you.

Most African-Americans can trace their origins to the Western part of the Gulf of Guinea, ie Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone etc. Not Nigeria, it is the black people of Brazil principally the North East and parts of the Caribbean and South America that can trace their origins to what is today Nigeria. They (African-Americans) aren't desperate to grab onto any piece of Africa in an "anything will do approach".

Shouldn't there be some acknowledgment of remorse for such a dastardly act to inflict on your fellow human beings? Africans can't be excused from their hand in this trade of suffering. Rather than treating the thing as some sort of money making bonanza, a solemn epitaph to what occurred would be more appropriate (that is if the thing should see the light of day).

Anonymous,  4:18 pm  

I'm trying to imagine 4.4million Americans negotiating their way from Ikeja through Orile, Mile 2 and Ajambgabi. :)

Anonymous,  4:58 pm  

codliver, you need to take another history course. a great deal of african americans came from nigeria, mainly the south east. they have found nsibidi writings in many parts of the US. you should read " From Calabar to Carter's Grove" and the two princes of calabar

Olu,  8:52 pm  

Forest Whitaker and Blair Underwood have traced their genealogy back to Igbo pplpe


How exactly are Ghana & co. "monetizing" this aspect of their history ? Any data ? ( found nothing yet on the net via a quick google search of the well known sites )

CodLiverOil 10:09 pm  

Anonymous @ 4.58 pm (and Olu), thank you for your correction, what you have said has been taken on board. Although there are still many African-Americans whose origins don't lie in Nigeria.

Ms. Catwalq 10:12 pm  

I am a bad person for laughing?

Anonymous,  11:06 pm  

quite a freudian slip there bro,,,or was it an intended pun...Broda Michaels home is called NEVER NEVER LAND (as in Peter Pan) and not NEVER EVER Land ( as in wishful thinking). lol

nneoma 5:32 am  

@controversial anon - i have nothing against the development of badagry - in fact I am very keen on the idea of increasing the number of African American tourists to Nigeria - which our neighbors have been able to do successfully. in fact a few years ago i did indeed escort some african americans to the East in order to work and become more aware of their possible Igbo ancestry (contrary to what CodLiverOil believes).

however, i am DISTURBED by the interesting combination memoralising the memory of slavery through a theme-park like resort funded by none other than a member of the Michael Jackson's family. I am just not a big fan of cheapening the memory of the ancestors of our trans-atlantic brethren with Jackson 5 memorabilia, golf courses and the like. I would have much rather preferred that common decency reign. There is nothing wrong with the resort whether in Badagry or not....but I think the memory of the horrors of slavery are better commemorated in a museum and not beside wax figures of the Jackson 5....that's just my personal opinion though....

Controversial Anon 9:10 am  

Well like I said earlier, this thing is never going to happen, it's a huge joke, you have to analyse the situation before you jump. $3.4Bln? Where are they going to get the money? Michael Jackson doesn't have $50m to boast of let alone build a resort, his brothers are even more skint than he is. $3.4Bln can build you an LNG plant, an oil refinery, can buy you one of the current GSM companies, can buy you a very nice productive gold/diamond/platinum mine somewhere in Africa, hell it can even buy you a bank in Europe or the US, $3.4Bln can build you 3 of those resorts in better countries where you will get a return on your investment. There is no business case for it, no sane person will spend that money building a resort in Badagry 'cos there aint nothing there to see worth spending that much, there is a small one storey building housing a few slave hooks and chains, big deal. So my point is that to believe this nonsense is the first joke, most certainly, Marlon Jackson has been lured in by some Nigerian who wants to use the Jackson name to raise some money and that's that.

But let's assume for a minute that it is true and that it will happen.

Well, if people are used to living in luxury - clean hotels, Electricity, functional golf course etc then surely in a town as big as Badagry, after enduring the horror of seeing the small slave house, they are entitled to return to some sort of civilisation? They are not saying that they want to pull down the slave port to make way for a 5 star hotel, they are saying that they want to build a resort (mind you a resort exists already, only it's a shit one) in Badagry town, to cater to those who may want to visit the slave port. So look at it this way, Scenario 1 - Tourist A wants to learn about the slave trade, he gets his wish and then retires to civilisation. Scenario 2 - Tourist B wants a sunny resort with functional amenities where he spend his vacation, well he gets his wish, and as a bonus he gets to learn about the slave trade.

Nobody is saying - oh lets dance on the grave of slaves. Besides, Marlon Jackson IS the SLAVE DESCENDANT, not you, not Jeremy, not the silly Nigerian Professor, and certainly not the BBC correspondent. It is he and his kind whose ancestors where taken in chains, the memory honours them and not you. It's a bit rich for him to be scolded by a gang of the descendants of those who bought and sold this forefathers. Think about that.

The greatest thing we can actually do in honour of the victims of slavery and their descendants is to fix that bloody town, fix this bloody country, and fix this bloody continent.


Anonymous,  2:49 pm  

am i the only one who can see the irony of african americans sitting around sipping cocktails and playing golf, while being waited on by Nigerians..

After all it was the nigerians who sold their ancestors off off in the first place... now they're back and you have to pour them drinks, clean their hotel rooms, spread your legs for them....

having said that C. anon is right there is probably zero percent chance it will actually happen.

Anonymous,  2:56 pm  

@controversial anon

and yet you are the one who scolds him for being the naive victim of a 419.

if he were white, you'd say he was greedy and deserved it I'm sure.

controversial? no.. confused

Anonymous,  3:12 pm  

whats "anti african" about that story?

aren't the people who are saynig "it'll never happen because its a fraud, being more anti african?"

Anonymous,  6:50 pm  

Let the Hotel be built. It will give African Americans a sense of closure as they stay in a safe and luxurious environment. It will promote Black business and put money into the Nigerian economy and give many people well-paying jobs.

I think MArlon made a mistake of stating the sentimental nature of this investment. If it was another investor, they would know the target market, the potential but wouldnot state this sentimental argument, which to me, is very valid and should be encouraged. All African Americans should be encouraged to set up such hotels in the motherland, and for those who wish to go and live in Africa should be encouraged. These days too many many hotels are owned by Europeans and European American investors; recently, too many Chinese and other Asians are moving into Africa. We need more people of African descent in Africa and more so if they come in as investors to help us rebuild Africa.

So my Nigerian brothers and sisters, (I am a proud Kenya), let the hotel be build......the AAs will cry but at the same time they will have a sense of closure and have a satisfaction that they managed to walk in the Motherland, a dream of their ancestors. Many of them will wish that they can tell their ancestors: "We did it! We returned to the Motherland and walked on your footsteps!!" If Marlon does not build it, a shrewd European will build it. Will they be more acceptable to you Nigerians? Promote Black business and AA investment in Africa.

Anonymous,  6:54 pm  

Many African Americans trace their roots to Nigeria, including Pastor TD Jakes.....he has IBO origins.

Many Afro Brazilians also came from East Africa, sold through the ports of Shimoni in Kenya and upto Zanzibar. If anyone has funds to invest there, it will be fantastic. It will promote mutual understanding, create wealth and help AAs experience Africa in the full sense.

Kwabena Lumumba 5:15 am  

As an African in America so-called African-American, I really appreciate this discussion. It is not too often that we hear our brethren have a discussion that we are included in; for that I thank Marlon Jackson. I also accept whatever the Nigerian citizens decide for the fate of this proposed project. Nonetheless, someone please add to the discussion, what qualifies us to live and do business in Africa, particularly in Nigeria? What qualifies us to repatriate to Africa, particularly to Nigeria? What must we do to reclaim the hopes and dreams of our ancestors, that before they closed their eyes for the last time they looked to the east - homeward to Mother Africa? What course do you suggest for us to rest their wandering spirits?

Kwabena Lumumba-

icklepickle,  12:21 pm  

This just in from the LA Times.


Anengiyefa 9:14 pm  

"Many Afro Brazilians also came from East Africa, sold through the ports of Shimoni in Kenya and upto Zanzibar."

@ Anonymous 6.54PM, I'm afraid your contention is not historicaly accurate. It is not supported by the evidence.

The slave trade on the East African coast reached its peak in the late 18th and early 19th century, just when the abolitionist movement in Europe and America was gaining steam. During this time, Arab slave traders along the Kenyan coast, established a holding port in the town of Shimoni where slaves were held before being shipped to the slave market on the island of Zanzibar.

One of the major East African slave trade centres was Bagamoyo along the coast of the Indian Ocean. Thousands of slaves from the Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and interior Tanganyika were gathered here before being shipped first to Zanzibar then to India, the Middle East, the Arab world and some to Europe via Mauritius.

The Arabs were engaged in the slave trade along Africa's east coast for a long time before the Europeans and Americans started their African slave trade. But the markets to which the Arabs shippeed the slaves were largely in Asia and the Middle East, although small numbers of the slaves made it to Europe even as far back as the time of the Roman Empire.

And of course, the scale on which the Arabs traded in slaves was nothing compared to the vast numbers that the Europeans and Americans shipped out of the continent from the west coast, although the Arabs had also been taking slaves accross the Sahara from West Africa well before the Europeans.

In short, the vast majority of the African peoples in the Americas, (including Brazil) are descendants of slaves shipped from the west coast of Africa.

indiana jane,  7:41 pm  

If what it takes to conserve and display the history of Nigeria is a man named Jackson, so be it!

To cut the chase, I am not absolutely thriled by the full intentions behind the proposal (I have to read up the whole idea)but one thing for sure is that Nigeria is a BIG embarrasment when it comes to showcasing its history. For chrissakes, European countries, countries in the Americas thrive on their history...People travel for thousands of miles to see the stonehenge in England, the ruins of the incas in Peru, the great Pyramids in the valley of kings (Egypt),the ruins of Pompeii in Campania (Italy), etcetera. Why dont we get any of these tourists who are suckers for history? Are we that lacking in display items? I do not even want to start to count all the ancient monuments that have been left to rot under the elements here in Nigeria and believe me, they are many!!...the thought alone is sickening. This country is teeming with potential museums and display points but what has the governemnt done about realizing these potentials? Zilch! So if some foreign investor has some money to throw around and that money is actually going to help keep our history intact, and also attract some good dough, I say amen!!

$3bn is quite a lot, but if these guys are serious, it can be raised. If they intend to build some wacko freakshow on the side, allez! I dont mind. Ill go for whatever helps preserve the history...Besides, if its true, I think it is an honour to have the Jacksons build a spot that'll house the Jackson memorabilia here in Nigeria....c'mon folks, scary or not, Michael jackson is one of the best singer/songwriter of all time. If THE Jackson history is placed right there in Badagary, then for sure it is going to help some in terms of attracting tourists to the region....but I digress.

I visited the lagos museum the other day and I almost puked my guts out. Imagine how artefacts are being mistreated, pple have left signatures on Murtala's limo...And the dust? I dont even want to go there. Plus, most of the display boxes instead of artefatcs, have a small note saying "out on display"....hogwash!!! Out on display indeed!! These missing artefacts as far as I am concerned have been stolen and sold to some foreigner... Truth is, the system doesnt work when it comes to maintenance and preservation of culture so if what it takes to conserve and maintain Nigeria's culture/history is an American named Jackson, so be it!!!!

Might I add, this whole talk of desecration ehn, is almost annoying because as it is right now, the ancestors are restless in their graves given the shameful amount of respect and recognition that is accorded them now....So people, as annoying as it may sound to some of you, I am actually hoping they get to build this fact, I would like to volunteer my services so if anyone knows someone who knows someone who is connected to this project holler at me!!

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