Naturopathic doctor and “wholistic” (mind, body, spirit) health consultant Dr. Sharita Yazid first set foot on African soil in 2006 during her 20/20 investment group trip to Egypt and Ghana with historian Runoko Rashidi. Now, for over 12 years, the Compton native has had the pleasure of calling Ghana her new home. Yazid’s choice to move from the U.S. to Ghana with her six children as a single parent was one that came with little hesitation and a lot of prayer.
“I said you know what, I can do this, I can do Africa, and I can be in a space like this that is peaceful. The rent is cheap, the food is cheap, and my money can go a long way and the crime is much lower coming from most parts of the states that I have lived in,” she said.
Since moving to Ghana, Yazid has been able to establish herself and her family by continuing her practice of being a naturopath doctor and “wholistic” health consultant. Overtime, she began making media appearances to discuss the healing benefits of a vegan diet.
“People everywhere are sick and tired of being sick and tired. What I did was come with the approach that I’m just showing you what you already know but you are ignoring it. It’s right there in your face. Your mother told you, your grandmother told you and it’s been tradition for thousands of years. All I am doing is reminding you [the benefits of being a vegan],” she said.
Pros and Cons of moving to Ghana
Although Yazid’s adjustment to the Ghanaian lifestyle was easy, she still faced a few challenges. The first was not being accepted as an African.
“I am a White woman over there, they call me White woman. You can be Black as tar but as soon as you start speaking, it’s like ‘oh you are a White person because if you were in that White person’s country then you think like a White person, you speak like a White person, you act like a White person.’ They can see that you are actually different,” she said.
The language barrier was also an issue for Yazid. Although the official language for Ghana is English, some of the locals speak in another languages intermittently and speak in English when they need to.
Aside from a few hiccups, Yazid has been able to settle into a life that she feels better suits her. However, she understands that not all African Americans are able to easily adjust as she did. While in Ghana, she noticed an increase in the number of African Americans moving to Ghana during the last presidential election. She believes the current political climate in the U.S. has played a major role in African Americans deciding to uproot their lives and families elsewhere.
“I was constantly getting messages on Facebook asking, ‘how long have you been living in Ghana. I am ready to get out, what do I need to do to get out of here. If Trump wins, I am out of here.’ There were a lot of single Black women with young children who were coming to live in Ghana,” she said.
Unfortunately, many Americans are moving to Ghana unaware of the culture and without what Yazid calls a “cash flow” plan, which is why she decided to step in. Today, Yazid is drawing from her personal experiences to help those who are interested in creating a life for themselves and their families in Ghana.
Yazid advises African Americans who are considering moving to Ghana to come with a plan and learn the language when speaking to locals to help ease any tension that may come between you and another person. She also encourages people who are thinking about moving to Ghana to continue visiting so that they can understand how to do trades in the market, learn where to pay bills, find a place to live, find schools for their children, and learn how to handle and start a business amongst many other things. Most importantly, Yazid highly suggests that those interested in moving to Ghana get advice from other Ghanaians, people on the ground, and people from the U.S. who are currently living there.
However, Yazid understands that this is a lot of information to take on alone, which is why she founded the African Culture and Wellness Festival (ACAWF) to help “ignite the journey back to our roots.” This year, she is inviting all those who are interested to sign-up for the 5th annual ACAWF. The festival, which is set to take place in February of 2019, takes African Americans on a journey to Accra, Ghana for tours, music expos, fitness workshops, vegan food, and family fun! For tour package information visit www.acawf.com or call +233-544-750-597.
Yazid specializes in Iridology, Reiki, Detoxification, Nutritional Programs, Weight Loss, Herbal Solutions, African Dance Instructor, and Vegan All Star Chef. CEO of New Body Products of Ghana, originally established 1976 in Compton, California US. Yazid has been helping people heal themselves through natural foods, herbal medicine, exercise and meditation for over 30 years. For more information on Yazid, New Body Products, or ACAWF call 0241 453 871 in Ghana or 770 316 4217 in the U.S. or email mail [email protected]