As a child, I took lessons about the Cape Coast castle and I had to memorize every information given me by my social studies teacher to be able to pass my examination. Am quite sure every anyone who had their primary education in Ghana can testify to this. Over a decade after I heard of the Castle, I finally came face to face with the historic castle a day ago.
The Cape Coast castle is one of the many castles built by the Europeans on the coast of West Africa and was originally built for trade in timber and Gold but later used to hold slaves before they were loaded on ships and taken to the Americas. Kobby, our tour guide at the castle, first took us through the male dungeons and ended up at the “door of no return” where slaves were finally shipped out of the country and would never return to Africa.
In the dungeons, slaves were kept for two to three weeks awaiting their ship – while there they were fed twice a day in their palms. There was nothing like taking a bath and if anyone wanted to “make themselves comfortable“, it was done in the same place, in the midst of other slaves. There is a cell in the castle with no ventilation where slaves who attempted to run or objected to the masters order were taken and locked up without food nor water to die.We were taken to the cell and locked up for a minute just to experience what some of the slaves went through. The stench and heat in that dark room is unbearable, we barely spent 2minutes in there. The stories behind the castle will definitely leave you heart wrenched.
The castle has a museum that displays items used in butter trading, such as plates, mugs, spoons etc, the museum also displays art works of slaves and also neck, wrist and leg chains that were used to imprison slaves. Some of the rooms in the castle now serves as offices. If you plan on going to the Cape Coast castle, good because it gets you a step closer to learning great Ghanaian history.