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DNA test surprise for Lisa

DISCOVERY: Lisa Mayers’s DNA was only two per cent British

IT’S NOT everyday individuals learn what part of the world their DNA originates from, but this was recently the case for Lisa Mayers who decided to discover the composition of her genetic make- up by sending off a DNA sample to ancestry.co.uk.

When she got the result, she shared a video on social media. In fact, after reading the results email, Christian wife and mother-of-seven Lisa was inspired to change her name on social media to Adaolisa Ama Eshe Kenyetta to reflect her predominantly African genetic roots.

According to her DNA test results; Lisa is 44 per cent Nigerian, 32 per cent Ghanaian/Ivory Coast, 13 per cent Benin/Togo and only two per cent British – all of which took her a
little by surprise.

She said: “I didn’t expect to be as African as 98 per cent!” “In most of the videos I had watched of black people, the African DNA was typically only up in the 70-80s. But I forgot that the Caribbean experience of slavery was different than the US.

“We are not as far removed from Africa because Caribbean plantation owners brutalised their workforce so badly that the slaves would generally die quite young, creating a more constant need for Africans.”

Through private study Lisa learnt that St Kitts, and St Lucia, the birthplace of her parents, was where Africans from Nigeria and Ghana were taken to be enslaved Lisa was excited that she had a genetic composition that was predominantly African.

She said: “I felt greatly privileged. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life inspired by Nigerians and Ghanaians, mostly in church, because of their excellence, intelligence and warmth. I’ve never met a Ghanaian who isn’t sweet and warm. And some of the most ambitious, resourceful, entrepreneurial and ingenious people on the continent come from Nigeria.

“I feel I have a great legacy. Excellence is literally in my DNA so I have a lot to live up to.”

The driving force for Lisa to get her DNA tested was curiosity. “I’ve always had an interest in origins, history and geneal- ogy etc,” she said. “Coupled with the awareness that there’s more to my history than ‘My parents came off the boat from the Caribbean’ or, ‘My fore-parents were slaves’.

“I had heard about the various DNA registry services, watched tons of people who had done theirs on YouTube and wondered about what it would be like for me. “Some who opened their results had a very emotional and profound experience. So, when the price was right I jumped at the chance.”

While the results have not changed Lisa spiritually, it has impacted her relationship with God in a positive way. “It’s a part of a process of discovery; becoming more honest and authentic with God and man,” she said. “This is how I can honour God best. I’m learning not to be so afraid to explore my heritage, particularly with regards to faith and the African cultural context Israel was birthed in.”

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