Whoopi Goldberg, Guinea-Bissau, Dna and Nationality.. its happening people !

Whoopie with Life size Oscar
Whoopie B&W autograph

Guinea-Bissau lays claim to Whoopi Goldberg’s Dna results..

02/08/2007 | 07:16 AM

BISSAU, Guinea-Bissau – When the government of one of the world’s poorest nations learned that Whoopi Goldberg had taken a DNA test showing her ancestors hail from here, the news reverberated through the halls of parliament.

It was, the country’s leaders decided, a chance to change the image of this West African nation plagued by coups since wresting independence from Portugal in 1973. If the world could only grasp that a Hollywood celebrity traced her roots to this forsaken corner of the globe, it could bring goodwill from afar — even fame for Guinea-Bissau, they reasoned.

So they decided to write a letter on official stationery embossed with the country’s star-shaped seal. It was hand-delivered to the U.S. Embassy, which passed it on to the State Department in Washington with instructions for delivery to the Oscar-winning actress.

It begins, with some uncertainty on the Star’s name:

“Your Excellency” Hoppy Goldberg”

It is with great euphoria that the “Government of Guinea-Bissau”Learned of your ancestral origins.. …

The news has awoken in each and every one of us a deep sense of fraternity. … We simply cannot remain indifferent to the news of your Guinean heritage.”

The two pages peppered with elaborate expressions of praise and respect end with a simple request: Please come visit our country.

For a special for the Public Broadcasting Service that aired last year, prominent black Americans agreed to take a DNA test.

Oprah Winfrey discovered her roots in the rainforests of Liberia with the Kpelle tribe and Bishop T.D. Jakes, the Dallas megachurch pastor, found his in Nigeria’s Ebo people.

Goldberg learned that her genetic makeup is overwhelmingly Papel and Bayote, tribes indigenous to this country on Africa’s western seaboard.

“She will come. She’s Guinean. She’s our daughter. She’s ours,” said Minister of Tourism Francisco Conduto de Pina.

There are few nations that are poorer than Guinea-Bissau, a country of 1.3 million people roughly the size of Maryland.

In the capital, there are so few hospital beds that women in labor share mattresses in cramped maternity wards. Water is in chronically short supply, so much so that the fire department does not have enough pressure in its hoses to fight blazes.

Restaurants routinely run out of food. Civil servants go months without a paycheck. Entire neighborhoods in the capital have not had electricity for six months.

It’s not hard to see how Goldberg’s fame and her unexpected blood ties to Guinea-Bissau could seem like an unparalleled opportunity.

But in an e-mail to The Associated Press, the actress’ publicist, Brad Cafarelli, wrote that Goldberg never received the letter. In what might come as a surprise to fans who know her from the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Cafarelli also said a trip overseas is out of the question because Goldberg does not fly.

“Regardless,” he wrote, “due to the fact that she hosts a live daily radio show from New York and does not fly,

it would not be possible for her to travel to West Africa in the foreseeable future.”

In Guinea-Bissau,

however, the politicians who conceived the letter think the 51-year-old Goldberg is simply taking her time to reply.

“We’re waiting for her with much anticipation,” said Prime Minister Aristides Gomes, sitting in his leather-clad office, an oasis of comfort in the crumbling capital.

Gomes said he’s a fan of “The Color Purple,” the critically acclaimed film that secured Goldberg’s spot in Hollywood. But he admits few of his countrymen have seen the movie — or any others featuring the actress.

There are only two television channels in Guinea-Bissau and both broadcast in Portuguese.

After the Government learned of Goldberg’s ancestry, national TV began showing her movies with Portuguese subtitles. “Sister Act” and “Sister Act II” were instant hits in the capital, but in much of the country’s brush-covered interior, access to TV is rare.

Her movies never reached the grass-covered huts of Ome,

A village 30 miles from Bissau in the country’s Papel region, whose people share her “DNA.

“I have No idea who that is,” said Tiro Ca, 50, carrying a baby on her back as she studied a headshot of the actress.

But as villagers gathered to look at the photograph, a “consensus emerged.”

“This woman must be Papel ! ,” said Iye Faustino, 28, pointing to the actress’ distinctive cheekbones,

Not unlike that of the women crowding around the grainy image.

The “shape of her mouth” and “her nose,” he added, is similar to”theirs.”(Papel of Guinea)

In the PBS special, the actress said upon learning of her exact “ethnic” origins:

“Who would I see when I went back, if I was able to go back to the village?”

“Would I recognize anybody?     Would they look like my mom? “

Likely she would find people who look “not” unlike her.      ex.. (she would find striking similarities..)

“She’s pretty,” said Faustino, before handing the picture back. “If she comes here, we will be very happy to see her.” – AP

ቢልልይ ጋምበላ


4 Responses to “Whoopi Goldberg, Guinea-Bissau, Dna and Nationality.. its happening people !”

  1. I also have Roots in Guinea Bissau according to DNA results on my maternal ancestry and through my father’s paternal ancestry.

    • Billy Gambela Says:

      This is true as well, however Haplogroup M2/E3a is also a super clade, meaning that it is almost ubiquitous in its migration.

      Haplogroup M2 it said to have left out of Africa 20k-30k B.P. and set in Southwest-Asia, only to return back to Africa.

      This haplogroup migrates back in from West-Asia’s Middle-East,

      Finally Settling in North Africa and further migrated down Southwest and Southeast from
      the Bantu-Expansion around 2500-3000 BCE. or more likely from

      the Early to Mid-Holocene era approximately 7,00011,000 B.P.

      Haplogroup M2/E3a is approximately 20,000-30,000 years old.

      It also coincides with the time frame of the Egyptian-Halfan Culture 24,000 B.C.

      This is not to say that E3a does not have notable frequencies in

      Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Cameroon and other parts of the Congo..

      I am simply stating that we have to look at all proximities of these indigenous

      haplogroups for they are the oldest in culture and genetics on the


      All Migrations , Expansions, Slavery, Climatic Changes and other forms of Diaspora has to be considered as well..

      ( The public record study is a pdf. file “The Levant versus the Horn of Africa: Evidence for bidirectional Corridors of Human Migrations”.) Am.J.Human.Genet.Year 2004

      I would also like to ask what service to you use and what was the final anylasis of your haplogroup Y-Chromosome or mtDNA ?

      I have plenty of Genetic Studies and i more than willing to assist.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment..

      Billy Gambela
      ቢልልይ ጋምብለ

      • bring the pain Says:

        Can you help me?

        My dna came from there as well though the balante people but I’m also mende and kru mix as well on mother’s side.

        what does it mean for since its more than one. One friend of mine was kikuyu from nirobi, Kenya he said I look Egyptian or Ethiopian but there are plenty of ethnic groups there.

      • Biléh* Gambéla በላይ ። ጋምበላ Says:

        Welcome and thanks for stopping by..

        To answer your question about your DNA relation to Balanta or any other Ethnic groups, I would need to know what was your designated Haplogroup.

        I also would need to know which test did you partake in, such as mtDna (HVR1/HVR2) or Y-chromosome (67 markers etc..) ?

        The Balanta can be divided into four subgroups, (three of which are Balanta Kentohe, Balanta Ganja, and Balanta Brassa) the largest of which are the Balanta Brassa.

        Oral tradition amongst the Balanta has it that they migrated westward from the Eastern area that is now Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia to escape Drought and Wars.

        Today, the Balanta are mostly found in the south and central regions of Guinea-Bissau.

        I would also like to ask which company did you test with?



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