The American superstar says his decision to move to Ghana comes at a moment when many other African Americans have expressed interest in relocating in response to the “Year of Return”
He told the talk show host Oprah Winfrey on Apple TV+ that he made the decision because he doesn’t want a situation where his grandchildren will crave his indulgence to be valued and respected.
The multiple platinum-selling musician also stressed his desire to “see America smile again”.
“I promise you if you do the right thing, I will give this song, I will give it to you, you can have it, because I want [to] see this nation smile again and I want to see it before I leave to … move to Ghana, because I am going to do that,” he told Americans, speaking from his home by video link.
“You’re going to move permanently to Ghana?” asked Oprah.
Wonder replied: “Yes, I am, because I don’t want to see my children’s children’s children have to say, ‘Oh, please like me, please, please respect me, please know that I’m important, please value me.’ What kind of **** is that?”
His move is coming at a time when thousands of African-Americans have expressed their interest to relocate to Ghana after the “Year of Return”.
About Stevie Wonder
The superstar singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder lost his sight as a newborn when he came into the world six weeks early with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), an eye disorder caused by abnormal blood vessels throughout the retina.
Receiving too much oxygen in the incubator probably worsened the condition for the tiny baby, leaving him blind.
Even though he has not been able to see for most of this life, Wonder (born as Stevland Hardaway Judkins on 13 May 1950) has long had vision.
From his breakthrough as a Motown child prodigy to becoming a 2019 inductee in the R’n’B Hall of Fame, the Michigan-born performer has been one of the best-loved American musicians throughout his decades-long career.
Even as a child, Wonder never let his vision disorder hold him back. Aged five, he reportedly told his mother, “Don’t worry about me being blind, because I’m happy.”
Asked by Oprah about this remark, he acknowledged it, saying: “It bothered me that my mother was crying all the time. She thought God might be punishing her for something. She lived during a time when things were particularly difficult for a woman in her circumstances.”
His eyesight wasn’t the family’s only challenge. Living in poverty, they often faced hunger and, as Wonder’s mother said in a 2002 biography, Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder’s Mother, his father drank, abused his mother and forced her into prostitution.
Eventually, Wonder’s mother moved the family to Detroit, where he taught himself how to play instruments, including the piano, harmonica and drums, by the age of ten. His talents caught the attention of Ronnie White of the band The Miracle, which led to an audition with the founder of Motown Records, Berry Gordy Jr.
That set him on course to becoming a household name, famous for a string of much-loved hit songs, including “Superstition”, “Higher Ground”, “I Just Called to Say I Love You” and “My Cherie Amour”.