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#AccraToLondon: How Amadu Baba travelled from Accra to London by Road in 1996

There are instances in the history of human achievement that stand out as testaments to the tenacious spirit of exploration and adventure. Among such instances was in 1996, when Amadu Baba, then a 43-year-old resident of Bawku, made history as perhaps the first Ghanaian to successfully drive from London to Accra, traveling a whopping 14,000 kilometers in just 35 days.

Baba set off on this incredible voyage with his willing friend, Mr. Tony Flavell, a 71-year-old Briton, across undiscovered territory, across countries, and into the heart of innumerable problems. Their remarkable journey began on April 5th, when they departed Accra, Ghana’s colorful metropolis, aboard a sturdy Luzu Trooper. A month later, on May 5th, they triumphantly arrived in the rich history of London, capping off a voyage that would become legendary.

Theirs was a journey that spanned countries and cultures, traversing the diverse landscapes of West Africa and Europe. Leaving Accra behind, they ventured through Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia, each step taking them deeper into the heart of Africa’s soul. Their path continued to wind through Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and France, finally culminating in the United Kingdom, where they joined the shuttle that carried them across the English Channel.

Baba and his steadfast companion shared tales of their incredible odyssey with officials from the Ghana High Commission in London. Their narratives revealed both the triumphs and trials that marked their journey. In a display of incredible resilience, the duo navigated through the vast and unforgiving expanse of the Sahara Desert, at times finding themselves lost for four agonizing days. The desert’s harshness did not relent, as they encountered further challenges—running out of fuel at one point and losing two tires along the way. Yet, despite these setbacks, they described their adventure as a resounding success, a testament to their unyielding determination.

Their remarkable journey was not without its somber moments. As they journeyed through the lands that connected the continents of Africa and Europe, Baba and Mr. Flavell were confronted by the plight of their fellow Ghanaians. They encountered numerous compatriots stranded along the way, facing hardships due to a lack of proper documentation and residency papers. This poignant encounter served as a stark reminder of the challenges many individuals face when seeking a better life far from home.

Undeterred by the trials they faced and motivated by their unwavering spirit of exploration, Baba and his companion laid out ambitious plans for the future. In 1984, they aspired to undertake a similar journey, this time from Morocco to South Africa. Their audacious vision captured the imagination of many, inspiring countless others to dream beyond the boundaries of convention.

Baba’s journey from London to Accra was a testament to the power of human determination and the boundless potential of human achievement. It reminded the world that, no matter the challenges or obstacles, the spirit of adventure and the quest for new horizons can propel individuals to accomplish feats that defy imagination. Amadu Baba’s legacy continues to inspire, a symbol of courage and resilience that will forever be etched into the history of Ghana and the world.

Amadu Baba is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the construction industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Budgeting, Sales Management, Team Building, and Contract Negotiation. Strong business development professional graduated from Accra polytechnic.

Amadu Baba is one of Africa’s most prominent collectors of African Art, with a collection comprising thousands of unique pieces. He is widely consulted by galleries, universities and museums looking to build African Art collection. Selections from Baba’s artwork have been exhibited both in Ghana and internationally. Most recently, some of these were showcased at the celebrations of Ghana’s 60th independence anniversary.

Baba is a strong believer in the heritage embedded in West African Art forms and the importance of preserving and safeguarding these unique ethnic expressions of culture and heritage. He sees art as the ultimate expression of his society’s “soft power” both as a repository of culture and as potentially, a key cornerstone of heritage-driven economy. It is his hope that his collection will form the nucleus of a museum that he hopes to establish as his legacy for the preservation and promotion of these important Ghanaian and West African out forms.

He owns Amba Gallery in Ghana, that houses a fraction of his collection that is available for sale. Amba Gallery leads in the Tribal Art market for high quality original pieces in Ghana. The gallery substantial stock of statuary, furniture and textiles is probably unmatched in West Africa.

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