Bishop T.D Jakes, Popular American preacher of the Potter’s House, has revealed how he discovered that his ancestors are from the Igbo tribe of Nigeria.
Jakes, who is a renowned author, in an interview with BBC Igbo said his Igbo ancestry was discovered after DNA test.
“It all started when Henry Lewis Gates, who was at Harvard, decided to this DNA testing to see where my ancestry came from. It was me, it was Oprah Winfrey. It was Quincy Jones and others,” he said.
The clergyman further stated that the test revealed his ancestors were from Nigeria.
“Mine was traced back to West Africa, to Nigeria and particularly Igbo. My ancestors were Igbos. It’s indescribable. It gives something that we the African-Americans don’t have, which is roots.
“It gave me an understanding of my roots. It was interesting to see how similar my personality is to how Igbo people are described. They’re described as hardworking, industrious and innovative.
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“They have strong business acumen. I deeply relate to that. It explained to me; it’s odd that I was never born there, yet, see so many traces. I’ve always had strong business acumen.
“I’ve been aggressive in business. Although I’ve been known for the faith aspect, I have several companies and I’ve owned my own resources. My children all started studying ancestry about Igbos, and even more about Africa. I’ll like to reconnect with our brothers and sisters over there,” he said.
Jakes who has often visited Lagos said that he enjoys eating fufu and the jollof rice.
“When I’m in Nigeria, I eat fufu and jollof rice. I have those kinds of experience. I’ve had more than I can name. I go to Accra in Ghana and Lagos quite often.
“What I know about the food is that it’s almost always hot and spicy. I ate it before but the food over there is so hot it makes your head sweat. And I like it,” he said.
The preacher continued, “One of the tragedies of the slave trade is not just that we were taken from our home, culture, people, and food. We lost our history. African-American history is taught over here from boat landings.
“And we assumed a name that does not define us. Jakes is a German name that only signified who owned my ancestors. To reach beyond the boats in chains to touch a soil where I’m from.
“To understand that my ancestors were something before they were a slave is extremely gratifying. It really confirms why I have such fascination about the continent of Africa.”
About TD Jakes
Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of the world’s most revered masterminds, leverages his pioneering vision and instinct to serve others in areas extending beyond the church. In order to help lead people to their destiny, you have to meet people where they are in life. It is with this earnest approach that Bishop Jakes has been able to reach millions of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, nationalities, and creeds. Digital media, film, and television, among others, have been instrumental in helping Bishop Jakes meet the disparate needs of countless individuals.
In September 2016, T.D. Jakes launched the TD Jakes Show, an intellectually invigorating, yet practical daytime talk show, where Bishop helps his guests lead empowering lives through candid conversation. As a visionary leader, T.D. Jakes encourages you to think differently – and progressively – so that you can create a more meaningful life experience that is truly your own. The adage, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is the bedrock of Bishop’s visionary leadership.