In our hearts, we all have a strong desire to connect with our roots and uncover the mysteries of our ancestors. Recently, I had the chance to fulfill this longing by going on a meaningful trip with my father to visit my late Grandmother’s village—a vision we both first shared over 15 years ago. My father lost his Mother when he was a young child, and it was the first time either of us had set foot on the exact land of our ancestors.
Driven by a desire for healing across generations and a thirst for ancestral knowledge, the experience unfolded into an unforgettable adventure, leaving an indelible impact on our souls and offering valuable insights that reshaped our outlook on life.
First Steps: Tracing Our Legacy
With limited information passed down through family members, we were given the name of a village nestled just beyond Quibocolo, a quaint town in the Uige province of Northern Angola. Relying on the wisdom of the village elders, my father sought out their counsel upon our arrival.
To verify our identities, my father recited the full names of his Mother and her parents, along with our ‘Luvila,’ a sacred name embodying the essence of our familial roots and the values passed down through generations. It was an authentic experience, one that I savored without the distraction of technology, preserving the memory in my heart.
In the village, we encountered the oldest elder, a venerable woman that was 115 years old. With a slight look of despair, the devastating impact of Angola’s Civil War was recounted to us, which had uprooted countless families and decimated entire villages.
Although they did not personally know my Grandmother, their invaluable guidance led us to the understand that there were two villages in the region that shared the same name. Our ancestor’s village was not close to where we were and was accessible only by foot or a 2.5-hour motorbike ride, which the young men of the village gladly arranged for us.
Reaching the Village: A Journey Unfolds
As we ventured off the beaten path, the 2.5 hour motorbike ride provided a nice introduction into the land that nurtured our ancestors for generations. Upon reaching the village, we were greeted by the the chief, and introduced ourselves, our linage and Luvila. The echoes of our ancestors’ names gave me chills, as I thought about the connection that was being made to their legacy.
With heavy hearts, we learned that time and war had transformed our ancestor’s village, leaving it a mere memory. The chief revealed that the people from my Grandmother’s village had resettled to his village, which is where we were standing.
Eager to pay homage to our forebears, we were led to the remnants of our ancestor’s village, just a short walk from where we were. There, in the village’s cemetery, we conducted a ceremony, honoring their spirit and asking for clear messages to be communicated to us.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing more about this journey, so for now – to be continued.