Fifty African-American tourists have arrived at Benin City, Edo State, to trace their origin.

The tourists, who from California, United States of America (USA), were entertained by the Benin Cultural Troupe and treated to delicious local African dishes, including palm oil soup (banga), blended vegetable (black) soup, owo soup, pounded yam and agidi (corncake) among others.

Andy Ehanire, a representative of Jemi Alade, organisers of the tour, said the Americans were on a rediscovery visit to trace their route.

“They are coming on a pilgrimage to rediscover the home of their ancestors from where they were taken away more than 400 years ago. It is an emotional visit.

“The tour was organised in part to show that these people share a common ancestral heritage with the Benin so that more African-Americans will be encouraged to visit Benin City and have a feel of the African culture and discover where their ancestors lived.

“Benin is safe. We are civilised and friendly. The tourists will be taken round the city. They will visit the Oba Palace and the Palace of the Enogie of Ugoneki, where they will be given Benin names so they can add to their existing names.”

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