The current and the first African-born WWE Champion, Kofi Nahaje Sarkodie-Mensah, under the ring name Kofi Kingston on Thursday paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House in Accra.
The Ghanaian born WWE champion, who is visiting Ghana after 26 years (1993), is in the country for a 4-day visit at the invitation of President Akufo-Addo. Born on August 14, 1981, Kofi Kingston performs on the SmackDown brand and is a member of the New Day along with Big E and Xavier Woods.
Interacting with President Akufo-Addo, Kofi Kingston said he was grateful to the President for inviting him to the Jubilee House.
Led by his mother, Dr. Elizabeth Sarkodie-Mensah, Deputy to Ghana's Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Kofi Kingston said: "I feel like a child in a dream right now. My mum has spoken highly of you for a very long time and she's done a lot of campaign on your behalf in the United States.
"Thank you again for bringing her on board. She's doing a great job of living up her dream and that's through you and your inspiration. Thank you for the work you're doing," the professional wrestler said.
He said his childhood dream of becoming a WWE champion, pursued for the past 11 years, was stemmed out of the motivation of making his country of birth (Ghana) proud.
He said though most of his followers in the United States of America knew little about Ghana, his visit certainly would help spread across the globe about the greatness of Ghana. Kofi Kingston said a lot of African-American wish to come back home and that the president's invitation to them to come back is commendable. "The invitation makes them feel more welcome and can't stress that enough."
Kofi Kingston's visit to Ghana is in response to the proclamation of this year, 2019, as the "Year of Return", as Ghana seeks to solidify her relations with her kith and kin, descendants of Africa in the Americas and the Caribbean.
On his part, President Akufo-Addo said his achievements for the past 11 years showed how persistent, dedicated and disciplined he had been. He was optimistic that Kofi Kingston's visit to Ghana would touch the hearts of young people in Ghana who wish to become champions in their chosen fields.
President Akufo-Addo said one thing that Kofi's encourages him of is that "you don't have to be a bodybuilder, a weight lifter with huge muscles to succeed in wrestling, you can be as slim as you to be able to do it and that's encouraging for other people too."
The pursuit and determination of Kofi Kingston, the President indicated, "Is a good model for us and for our young people to have."
President Akufo-Addo assured him of the support of the 30 million Ghanaians who were solidly behind him. "Twenty-six years is a long time and I'm assuming it will not be another 26 years before you come back."
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)