The untold story of the
“People of African Descent”

The Gold Coast – a land named after one of its most abundant natural resources – gold; is equally a land of rich material and immaterial culture. Drawn to the land by its gold, the Europeans sought for its most priced possession – the people. Though not the first form of slavery known in Africa, the devastating effects of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade have lived on after five centuries. 

The implications of this challenging and defining historical epoch can still be witnessed by closely observing the plethora of historic castles and forts along Ghana’s coast. From the importation of the first 20 slaves to the New World in 1619, these European fortresses represented the rape of the entire land of Africa, past, present, and future. With every treacherous trip, Africa’s destiny was pillaged. From their native country, men, women, and children were dehumanized and transformed into chattels – mere possessions that could easily be discarded. 

Many did not survive the gruesome journey. From those who were thrown into the Rafi Angulu River to be feasted upon by vultures, to those who were starved to death or killed for their rebellion. The journey to the castles – from Salaga to Techiman to Kumasi to Assin Kushea to Assin Manso where they bathed for the last time in the Donkonsuo – every day spent in captivity in the castle would see the last vestiges of hope forcefully slashed away. From the damp, and poorly ventilated dungeons of the castle, to the shackling and jamming of these individuals, many died and were simply thrown into the sea. 

The situation was dire! And this is why the story is significant.

Door of “No Return”

 The “door of no return,” a doorway through which slaves lost touch with the land of their birth. Slaves were lowered into boats and then loaded like cargo onto large slave ships farther out at sea, never to set foot in their homeland again! 


Since the 1980s, there has been a growing interest in the history of the Atlantic slave trade in countries all over the Americas, Europe, and Africa. What was once underrepresented and frequently relegated to a footnote in popular public history narratives across the Atlantic world, has now become an essential part of the story. A major factor that allowed for emergence of a strong public history regarding the slave trade is the development of heritage tourism. Emerging in the United States and Europe, the “heritage boom” led to interest in origins of all sorts, but also provided a framework within which slavery tourism could emerge.

Africa, especially Ghana has had a subservient relationship with Europe from the middle of the 15th century to the middle of the 20th century, which resulted in Africa’s devastation and depopulation while adding to Europe’s affluence and expansion. However, there are several historic monuments and untold stories that had been overlooked for years, hence, the urgent need to throw more light on these colonial relics particularly in the Assin area for better national recognition to enhance tourism, growth and development. 

Way Forward:

CLEAN-AFRICA together with KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of science and Technology is working together with the Peoples, Chieftaincy and Stool of Assin-Kushea to create this one single place in the whole world as a remembrance for the fallen men and women of Africa who were never given a burial place or ceremony: “Tomb of Unknown Slaves”

The heritage of the ancestors is a heritage that should be honored and remembered! By creating an experience where interested persons can physically, mentally, and emotionally connect to that time in history, Assin Kushea has taken up this challenge. To share the stories of many who no longer can, through the development of the “Tomb of Unknown Slaves”. 


Catharsis, which is the theme for the design, will honor the lives of those who had to experience this vile act. This simply means that the design evokes emotion in visitors who experience the facility. The vivid portrayal of the predicament of the slaves will help visitors to empathize and understand the plights of these slaves from centuries ago. The design seeks to provide tourists with an opportunity to learn about, and experience one of humanity’s most heinous and despicable acts while acting as a link between their ancestral origins and their final destination.

The major theme of the design has been achieved by providing routes with varying experiences. Visitors approach the escapade through the Akwaaba park where seating areas, food venders, large play areas for kids as well as beautiful landscaping are at their disposal. The journey then begins through the Door of Return which has been designed to evoke and symbolize the hope that the Door of No Return deprived Africans. Here visitors are briefed and given a detailed history of the occurrences during the slave trade. This is to mentally equip them for what is onward. The journey through the Tomb of Unknown Slaves has been told in a similar order to what the slaves experienced but it ends with the hope that humanity has today despite the challenging beginnings.

The Journey


  • Akwantu Kese3 is the first point of contact and imitates the journey of the slaves through varying landscapes and pathways as they were captured from the Northern parts of the country. 
  • After this experience, visitors are greeted by the Amena Mu which signifies the hardships and low times encountered by the slaves. 
  • The pit is fitted with many visual pieces and artefacts with inscriptions of some of the heinous things done to the slaves during the slave trade. 
  • The memorial water park follows and represents the adverse weather conditions the slaves had to travel through during their journey. 
  • Visitors will step on concrete and stone pavers to move through this maze giving them an authentic experience of the undulating terrain of some of the trails trekked by the slaves, for instance the rock experience of the Pikworo slave camp in Northern Ghana. 
  • The Tunnel which is the next point of contact is fitted with Tombs, virtual reality and augmented Reality Rooms. This specific depiction demonstrates the darkness during that period for many of these individuals. The unwinding nature of it portrays the unending nature of the plight of the slaves, giving visitors a similar feeling of hopelessness, the slaves encountered in the dark, poorly ventilated rooms. 
  • The Last Bath (Ndonkosuo) is the penultimate experience for the visitors. 


This not only gives information about the slave river in Assin Manso but also signifies that the slaves are no longer bound. They have been cleaned and freed from all the challenges that the slave trade brought upon them. The journey is crowned by the revelation of the memorial ground where a monument of a man without shackles is present signifying the freedom that we have today. Many are the unsung heroes of Africa’s heritage but we choose to honour them. We dedicate this to the fallen heroes.

Never again should humanity experience such a heinous and evil endeavor! Never again!!!

The project core is supported by CLEAN-AFRICA and expanded in the different entities according to their capacities, provisions and prevailing environment.

The Africa we want

The “Tomb of the Unknown Slaves” project has the potential to bring about a multi-faceted transformation, touching on cultural, economic, educational, and spiritual aspects. By connecting the past to the present and fostering a sense of identity, this initiative could positively impact Assin Kushea, the local community, and the “Peoples of African Descent“as a whole. This is in form of fostering cultural identities as ambassadors sharing the heritage and history, educating generations about the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The project would provide a physical and emotional connection for peoples of diaspora reconnecting to the roots contributing to a sense of unity especially among “Peoples of African Descent”

It will host annual ancestorial commemoration events reflecting the struggles they endured, a spiritual reconnection, meditation and reflection Spaces fostering a sense of introspection and creating healing circles.

The development and building of the “Tomb of unknown Slave” will need your and our Support and Contributions in all formats. 

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Team has contributed in form of research, collaboration and implementation.

Preliminary meetings were held with the Owirenkyi Kingdom to discuss the implementation of this project after which a visit to KNUST proceeded by a signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between KNUST and the Owirenkyi Kingdom took place in 2021.

Faculties of the Architecture and Planning took a group of students to study, map and plan the Owirenkyi Kingdom. The results of the field work were followed by an intensive workshop of experts to expand, compound and break down the project into realizable goals and milestones – it is possible!

The “Tomb of the Unknown Slaves” Project is possible with your support. Together we can create this space for us and our future generations, for this is Sustainability! 


Get in Touch


Get to know us

Erntedankweg 26
D-70619 Stuttgart

Phone: + 49-711-6333294