WORKING ON BEING AFRIKAN
1-We must identify with Afrika.
"The recovery of that historical consciousness among Afrikans must be given the highest priority. That recovery, however, is more than the simple acquisition of a knowledge of historical facts…. The essence of that historical conscious for Afrikans is the will and the ability to personalize that history, the process of identifying oneself and one's family in that history, seeing oneself in that history and growing out of that history. The consequence of that intimate identification is the development of ways of thinking that are consistent with that history, and patterns of behavior that answer the imperatives and dynamics of that history..." (pg. 25 in Nationbuilding: Theory & Practice in Afrikan Centered Education by Kwame Akoto)
This should go without saying but because we have been decultured and most don't consciously attempt to rectify this, this point is of utmost importance. By "identifying with", I mean we become apart of the information we read, see, hear and deal with. This creates a difference with how we approach Afrika. Not identifying with the info leads one to say, "That was nice information about those people…" and the like. With identification, one places themselves inside of what they are intaking; they can say, "This is information about me, about us and within this, I may be able to find answers to present-day questions." Also without this step sincerely in the inner workings of ones life, the power of Afrika cannot nor will not fully open up to those to seek her.
2-With the top fully entrenched within the seeker, now we can start creating Afrikan space within ones household.
We must set up a Jingili (Gulimancema term from West Afrika meaning 'altar'). It should be placed by a doorway because this is the crossing area of energies, coming into and going out of ones house. In my opinion, any Afrikan fabric can be used for the foundation of the Jingili. (As one may get more specific in the creation of an Ancestral jingili or a Family jingili, there may be "better" colors to use to attain a "better" connection with the spirit realm, but for the purposes of this piece, we shall remain "simple"). This Jingili should have water with 2 cups or glasses that are solely for your Jingili. Water is for purity, cleansing & rebirth. Pictures of familial ancestors and/or spiritual ancestors, male and female must also have a place. (I personally have Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah and Marcus Garvey on mine, for now.)
Plant life is a must, not only for your personal tambiko (Swahili term for libation), but to show a connection to different forms of life. Powerful books that have moved and transformed you into the Afrikan that you are should be placed on or around your Jingili to keep the power of that text alive and so you can read passages of it/them daily during your tambiko. (For me, I have 2000 seasons, The Healing Wisdom of Africa, Of Water and the Spirit and Egyptian Yoga around it.) Cultural artifacts are also a must. Since we do not create art for arts sake, they should be artifacts that have power in them; things that you may wear or actually use… like cowry shell necklaces, bracelets, etc. They should have a place to constantly "recharge" them. Also sculptures and carvings should manifest our inherent respect for male & female duality meaning if we visit Sierra Leone and are given a Sowo mask, we should also try to find a mask from the Poro society and place both on our Jingili to represent female and male energy. Of course, incense must have a place to clean the air of negative/bad spiritual energy. Once again, any incense will do but for other more specific instances, certain scents may be better equipped for different times. A candle (or several) is needed for focus and directedness of energies. Colors will vary. Lastly, any other items that serve to give one energy to deal with the day and/or items that are important to you can also be used. (A friend of mine went to the continent and retrieved sand and a rock from the Motherland. Therefore I created a spot on my jingili for it.)
3-After the creation of this "portal for Afrikan sacredness", one must have daily interaction with it. This has been labeled Tambiko or libation. Most of us are familiar with libations, but for those who are just reconnecting with their TRUE selves…
"The Libation [Tambiko] signifies our being in rhythm/harmony with the Creator, the Universe, our environment, all of Nature, and our past and our future intersecting at the present… In the [Tambiko], we ask the Creator and the Ancestors to be with us, to reaffirm our oneness, to bless us, strengthen us and renew us for struggles ahead…." (pg. 188 from The Afrikan Personality in america by Kobi Kambon). It is here during our Tambiko, whether in a group or personal, that language plays a key role for energy transference. We will receive more power from our Tambikos if we use some vestiges of our own language forms in them. We will receive more power from our Tambikos if we only use Afrikan terms for the Creator in them. Afrikan people, the first people of the planet, created names for the Creator based on our long and intimate connection with that Creative Force. We are consciously slapping all of their faces and disrespecting their legacies if we invoke foreign/alien and even hostile gods within our lives and within our Tambikos. I have witnessed us doing this out of our "wanting to include everyone within the process." I would argue that this is not acceptable. No one else does this except us!! If you go to a muslim procession, they do not make extra allowances to accommodate people of different faiths-you will witness a muslim procession. The same for Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. But only us decultured folks, who may actually be afraid of naked, raw, pure Afrikan energy want to soften up Afrikan ceremonies by invoking foreign and alien energies into the process. The spirit of Isanusi will not be fulfilled until her children can accept being Afrikan on Afrikan terms alone and not be ashamed of her or her power. Therefore, the names of Afrikan Deities MUST be used to invoke proper energy and attain the desired results. Again coming from Kobi Kambon, "One of the most unsacred and pathological acts that…Afrikans engage in is our ignoring and rejecting the cumulative-collective wisdom of our Ancestors by calling the Creator by "foreign/alien" names; names from the cultures of Afrika's staunchest enemies (in effect, by calling the Creator "out of his/her name"). We must return to and reaffirm our own Afrikan centered spiritual traditions." (pg. 187-88)
A general Tambiko is provided. It can be modified based on the purpose of the group meeting or of specific things asked for during personal times, but here's a rough idea of how a general one can go. This general one, by using Yoruba, does not overemphasize or de-emphasize any other Afrikan process, it just reflects the type that I mainly use. I have seen libations from Akan and Dagara backgrounds and they can be incorporated as well. I am an Afrikan centered Pan Afrikanist who loves ancient/traditional Afrikan cultures period.
Pages 142-157 in The Healing Wisdom of Afrika by Malidoma Some gives a more detailed explanation of rituals in general. Preparing Ritual Space, The Invocation, Healing and The Closing are some subject areas dealt with.
This information should help to get one started in the process of ReAfrikanization. This should help to inject Afrikaness within one's personal life and can even act as a buffer from the foreign/alien concepts that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. Once we have our cultural armor on and intact, no other culture can harm or change us… but first we must put on that armor and wear it like an Afrikan patriot, unashamedly, unapologetically and then the power of our Mother will open up to us.
PAMOJA TUTASHINDA: TOGETHER, WE WILL WIN!!!!!!