Dear (wa)kukhu na abakuka,

asante for your continued guidance and protection;

haki iwe ngao na mlinzi, natukae kwa undugu, amani na uhuru,

raha tupate na ustawi, not only sisi, lakini wengine.

nawashukuru wahenga najua kama Masinde wa Nameme okhwa Mwasame,

asante for your sacred leadership in the quest for peace, truth, justice,

and reclaiming the wealth of our people.

Visima vya kale havifunikwi,

Nashukuru the magic of your legacy  &  anniversary

inayoendelea ku-spread upendo, hope na positivity in abundance

ese

Barua ya upendo [in sheng]: from the great gran pikin of Haki na Amani

If my brother or sista from Ghana dey suffer or celebrate, in de spirit of dis ting called ubuntu, [not only] leo we embrace ‘Ghana/ia-nities’, harvesting the legacies of our youth [movements] en elders, standing on de shoulders of our wahenga, calling wetu na wa West Afreeka, wale tunaowajua kama Kwame Nkrumah, Osei Tutu, Nana Yaa Asantewaa, na Gran nanny of de Maroons, wale wahenga sijui, na wale wanaotujua deeper than we know ourselves, infinitely grateful for your continued guidance and protection.

Mungu abariki Afreeka. From our shores to de diaspora of righteousness, pamoja tutafika!

Chale na kwasababu leo ni leo, asemaye kesho ni muongo, how do we honour & nurture our relationship with the struggle of working on our own unity first in, dis quest of, the liberation of all Afrikan peoples?

Leo, nawaita living mashujaa wa Ghana, precious metaphors of de most valuable resources we got – watu wetu!  [wa]Malaika kama Ama Ata Aidoo, Dzodzi Tsikata, na Dr Rose Mensah-Kutin, Y’akoto & FOKN Bois, bless am!…. those with honourable, honourable, honourable upbringing, wale wanao spread upendo, hope & positivity in abundance, our healers, wakulima, babalawos, natural born witches & wizards, those among us who carry de sage secrets of loving kama……..

In de werds of Kenya’s national anthem……Natujenge taifa letu. Ee ndio wajibu wetu. Daktari, wakulima, walimu na waganga wastahili heshima [mi substitution]. Tuungane mikono. Pamoja Kazini. Kila sike tuwe na shukrani. Ase o……..

Dear ndugu,

Thank you for empowering us, thank you for your sacred leadership…. I borrow from Black Looks, the Coalition of African Lesbians & Alice Walker and say en echo everywhere –

“David, rest. in us, the meaning of your life is still unfolding….”

Na kwasababu it is not taboo to go back for what you forgot, hii ni hadithi of where we come from……

The Child-confirmation and naming ceremony and festival

(Okwalula abaana) – among de Baganda

The naming and confirmation of children is marked as an important occasion and is therefore followed by ceremonies and rituals. The process literally means “hatching and coming out of the shell” by the child, signifying coming to the new world. The rituals are considered sacred. They are therefore performed in an atmosphere of sanctity. All people who are to participate in the rituals are supposed to abstain from sex and certain foods for no less than 9 days before the ceremony and during the duration of the ceremony. The occasion is marked by much feasting and rejoicing.
The children affected by the ceremony.

All the children of the family who have never been confirmed or officially named are included in the ceremony.

In traditional Kiganda society, the family includes children, parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters who may have their own children, and other immediate relatives. The Kiganda concept of family also includes the unborn members who are still in the loins of the living and members who have departed, while the household is the smallest unit of the family. The Euro or western concept of family is largely restricted to the household.

Preparing the Event
Members of the family, as in the manner described above, convene at the home of the children’s grandfather. Parents from the various homes which made up this family bring forward all the children who have not undergone confirmation and naming.

A big feast is prepared. The banquet signifies communion of the family, friends and neighbours in celebrating new members of the clan and the community. The ritual banquet consists of many selected local dishes, including matooke, millet bread, beef or goat meat plus the essential ritual items: unripe, unpeeled green bananas (empogola); mushrooms (obutiko obubaala); and sprats (enkejje). Simsim (sesame) in groundnut sauce and other vegetables are also part of this meal. The drinks consist of banana juice and beer. All items for the feast need the prior approval and ritual blessing of the clan elder or main celebrant.

Steamed unripe, unpeeled bananas (empogola) symbolise communion with twins since this type of dish is considered to be their specialty. Special songs for twins precede the rituals involved in the ceremony.

It is believed that mushrooms connect the departed with the living. It is believed that mushrooms contain properties that can protect the child from misfortune and from all manner of evil including witchcraft, magic, sorcery and taboos. Mushrooms are very much valued because the Baganda believe that they have high nutritional value and can be used to combat malnutrition and disease.
Sprats symbolise the spiritual connection of the Baganda with Lake Victoria (Ennyanja Nnalubale) and Ssese Islands, two major sources of the mythology and beliefs of the Baganda. It is believed that the lake and the islands of Ssese are the home of Buganda divinities.

Lubaale Mukasa is the chief divinity of the lake, while the sprat is the king of all the fish species found in the lake. The sprat is the totem of Mukasa, the chief divinity of the lake who lives in Ssese Islands and who is God’s agent for child-birth (ezzadde), wealth and bounty (obweeza). The Baganda therefore believe that the sprat when used their rituals connects their children with spiritually with Mukasa. The sprats are, on the other hand, considered nourishing and good for preventing and combating children’s diseases, such as measles and malnutrition.

Simsim (sesame) symbolises plenty, prosperity and multiplication; and is regarded as nutritious because it contains oil and vitamins and nutrients which are considered good for proper child growth.

Millet indicates bounty and strength. It is regarded as highly nutritious and resistant to disease attacks. It is believed that it gives vitality, endurance and longevity. It is used in the feast to wish the children a long life and a life of plenty and a life in which they can use stamina and endurance to overcome difficulties. Millet is also associated with the myth of Kintu and Nnambi, the first people on earth and the original ancestors of the Baganda. It is a symbol of the children’s origin and a reminder that their great ancestor, Nnambi, had gone back to heaven to collect millet when she was accompanied by her brother Death (Walumbe) who causes misery to mankind. Millet was the main food of the Baganda before the arrival of matooke (bananas) from Asia.

Beer brings unity as it is shared by all regardless of status. Quite often, part of the beer is offered as libation to appease ancestors and family spirits and exorcise them not to harm the child and to protect it from enemies.

The sweetness in juice is an indication of the sweetness of the world which should be enjoyed by the child in life.

The coffee beans, which are shared and used in the rituals, symbolise brotherhood. They are used as an offering to the ancestors and family spirits in order to create a bond, a brotherhood, between the child and ancestors and family spirits, and seek protection for the child from harm, as well as long life and prosperity for the child. Coffee beans are also used to consolidate brotherly ties and understanding among family members, friends and the community.

Drums and other musical instruments are played at the ceremony as a sign of rejoicing and marking a great event in the history of the clan and the community. Of special importance is the clan’s drum (omubala) which is sounded to mark the theme of the occasion.

Key celebrants 
The chief celebrant at the naming is the clan elder, usually the head of the family or kinship circle. His role is that of traditional chief priest. He is the link between the departed, the living and those not born who are still in the loins of their parents. He interprets the environment where the ceremony is going to take place. He offers libation and sacrifices to appease ancestors not to harm people but instead protect them. He supervises the rituals which are central to the ceremony. He blesses whatever takes place that day. He is assisted in this role by grandparents of the children, particularly the grandmothers. The clan elder and the grandparents are considered to be the custodians of wisdom. For this reason, they are present to guide the young through this process and to ensure that the rituals are performed in accordance with the traditional norms of society.

Another key figure in the rituals is the mujjwa. This person is the son or daughter of a man’s married aunt or sister. The mujjwa belongs to his father’s clan, and not to the clan of his or her maternal uncle. The mujjwa therefore represents the “external” wing of the family, while his uncle’s sons and daughters belong to the “internal” wing of the family. The mujjwa is by custom always considered a child (zoboota) by his/her uncle’s side regardless of his/her age or status. The role of the mujjwa role in respect of child-naming is that of a traditional priest who sweeps away all that is considered impure or unwanted or unbecoming. He thus cleans his uncle’s home of any abominations, curses, magic, witchcraft, sorcery, misfortune, sickness, and all manner of evil prior to the ceremony. He therefore brings purity, good fortune, prosperity and blessing to the home of his/her maternal relatives. It is his/her duty to give his clearance for the rituals to go ahead once he/she has done the cleansing. As a custom, the mujjwa is entitled to a high fee for his/her services. His/her maternal relatives make sure that their mujjwa is satisfied and comfortable. Any grumbling by the mujjwa about poor pay is to be avoided as it is a bad omen; and his maternal relatives make sure they pay him/her handsomely for wiping away the dirt which would otherwise make the ceremony imperfect and unholy.

The ritual banquet 
When the feast is ready, the main celebrant leads the songs of the twins, and asks the children’s paternal grandmothers to prepare the children’s mothers for the on-coming rituals. The mothers adorn themselves in special bark cloths and sit in a line with their children on a big bark cloth in the porch or on veranda. They sit with their legs stretched out. Each of the mothers has with her the child’s dried umbilical cord. It is customary to place a girl’s umbilical cord on her left, while that of the boy is put on her right. Until their acceptance and confirmation by the clan, these children are regarded as outsider and, because of this, their mothers, too, are considered outsiders.

Then, the ritual meal and drinks are served. The children’s paternal grandmothers and aunts serve this meal. The food and drinks are placed in front of the clan elder before they are served. The clan elder blesses the food and drinks, and offers prayers to the family’s spirits and ancestors for the smooth running of the rituals by dedicating the banquet and the benefits therein to the departed, the living, and those who are not yet born but are in the loins of their parents. After this, he allows the meal to be served. He and fathers of the children are served inside the house together with relatives, friends and neighbours. Part of the meal (ekitole ky’emmere) is given to the children’s mothers, grandmothers, children and other relatives who are seated in the porch or on the veranda. This food is served to them while they are still seated on the aforesaid bark cloth.
Part of the food is put aside for a subsequent ritual.

Establishing ownership of the children in the clan
After the ritual meal, the paternal grandmothers ask the children’s mothers to bring forward children of both sexes with the dried umbilical cords which they had kept with care after the birth of the children. Next, the grandmothers smear the umbilical cords with cow butter and clearly mark them so that their ownership as per child would not be disputed.

A dry sprat is also clearly marked for each of the children.

After this, the grandmothers drop the umbilical cords into a basket, which contains sprats, water, milk and beer. If the child’s umbilical cord floats, the clan elder or main celebrant accepts the child as legitimate, and there is much jubilation because this is an indication that the child belongs to the clan; but if the cord sinks, the child to whom it belongs is considered born in adultery and disowned. The mother concerned is in big trouble. She is put to task to name the father of the child.

This ritual has great significant and meaning to the children and their mothers. After this ritual, the child has received official acceptance, confirmation and recognition as indeed a child of the family and clan. The child has now deep roots and an identity. The mother of such a child is given recognition and great honour and respect as a mother and faithful wife within the family and clan. She is highly relieved from the state of having a child whose ownership was in suspense and doubt. In Buganda, a child who has no clan is a great stigma to the mother.

The sprat belonging to each child is carefully preserved and kept during the lifetime of the child until that moment after death when, at the last funeral rites, it will be thrown into the fire and burned to ashes.

The umbilical cords are kept by the grandmothers until they are ritually buried later in the day.
The liquid in the basket that was used in the child-confirmation ritual is kept until it is used for the bathing ritual.

All these actions are supervised by the clan elder with the assistance of the grandparents….

Kwa hivyo, kwasababu ni muhimu kuuliza tena na tena. Who among us carry the sage secrets of loving?

[read more at http://www.njovu.org/home.htm]

Msimulizi: Paukwa!

goddesses I love respekt, en admire so

Hadhira: Pakawa!

Msimulizi:              Kaondokea chenjaga

                                    Kajenga nyumba kaka

                                      Mwanangu mwanasiti vijino kama chikichi

                                      Vya kujengea vikuta

                                      Na vilango vya kupitia

 Up to this point, dis blog has been dedicated to sitting studently at the rivers of de feet of honourable, inspiring mashujaa wa mashinani, en sharing their/our hadithi kwasababu wanayofundisha si mpya… words cannot describe how infinitely grateful I yam for the continued guidance of malaikas en all ur zawadis, bless you akina dada, ndugu, mama, baba, watoto na wahenga wa Afreeka, nashukuru ukweli wa hadithi zetu ya zamani hadi leo na kesho……

Up to this point I have described the life of de Nubians who live south of de marsh-country; those who inhabit de marshes are in most tings much de same as the rest; and they also practice monogamy, as de Greeks do; nevertheless they are peculiar in certain ways which they have discovered of living mo cheaply: for instance, they gather the wota-lilies (called lotus by the Nubians), which grow in great abundance when de river is full en floods de neighbouring flats, en dry them in de sun; then from de centre of each blossom they pick out someting which resembles a poppy-head, grind it, en make them into loaves which they bake. De root of this plant is also edible; it is round, about as big as an apple, en tastes fairly sweet.

There is another kind of lily to be found in de river; this resembles a rose, en its fruit is formed on a separate stalk from that which bears de blossom, en has very much the look of a wasp’s comb. De fruit contains a number of seeds, about de size of an olive-stone, which are good to eat either green or dried. They pull up the annual crop of papyrus-reed which grows in de marshes, cut de stalks in two, en eat de lower part, about eighteen-inches in length, first baking it in a closed pan, heated red-hot, if they want to enjoy it to perfection. The upper section of de stalk is used for some other purpose. Some of these people, however, live upon nothing but samaki (fish), which they gut as soon as they catch them, en eat after drying them in de sun.

Gregarious fish are not found in large numbers in rivers; they frequent de lakes, which they leave at de breeding season to swim in shoals to de sea……When de Nile begins to rise, de hollows en marshy ground close beside it are de first to fill, de wota from de river seeping through de banks, en no sooner are these low-lying bits of ground formed into lakes than they are found to contain a multitude of small fish…..The Nubians who live in de marsh-country use an oil extracted from de castor-oil plant. This plant, which grows wild in Greece, they call Kiki; en de Egyptian variety is very prolific….

The Nile boats used for carrying freight are built of acacia [?] wood – de acacia resembles in form de lotus of Cyrene, en exudes gum…De boats have no ribs and are caulked from de inside with papyrus. They are given a single steering-oar, which is driven down through de keel; de masts are of acacia wood, de sails of papyrus…

When de Nile overflows, de whole country is converted into a sea, en de towns, which alone remain above wota, look like de islands in de Aegean. At these times wota transport is used all over de country, instead of merely along de course of a river, en anyone going from Naucratis to Memphis would pass right by de pyramids instead of following de usual course by Cercasorus en de tip of the Delta….

Up to dis point I have confined what I have written [en restored] to de results of mi own direct observation, research en memory ya ndoto, en de views I have formed from them; but from now on de basis of dis hadithi will be de accounts given to Herodotus by de Nubians themselves-though here, too, I shall put in one or two tings which I have seen with mi own eyes.

The priests told me that it was Min, de first king of Egypt, who raised de dam which protects Memphis from de floods. De river used to flow along de base of de sandy hills on de Libyan border, en dis monarch, by damming it up at de bend about a hundred furlongs south of Memphis, drained de original channel en diverted it to a new one half-way between de two lines of hills.

reclaiming maktabas

To this day the elbow which de Nile forms here, where it is forced into its new channel, is most carefully watched by de ‘Persians’, who strengthen de dam every year; for should de river burst it, Memphis might be completely overwhelmed. On de land which had been drained by de diversion of de river, King Min built de city which is now called Memphis – it lies in de narrow part of Egypt – and afterwards on de north en west sides of de town excavated a lake, communicating with de river, which itself protects it on de east. In addition to his de priests told Herodotus that he built there de large en very remarkable temple of Hephaestus….

[Je, hii ni ukweli au uongo?

p.63 – ?] source: The Histories by Herodotus

Nitamaliza na haiku mbili,

Memories of, nyimbo za Uhuru na #Hadithi Yetu

&

Coming Soon,  #To David With Love

kama ni ukweli…..

how can we harvest de wisdom of where we come from to create new possibilities for the United States of Afrika?

There’s a story I know bout de earth en how Kintu lived on it alone with his ng’ombe, until Nambi came, en everytime someone tells de hadithi it changes, some versions say she came with her ndugu, others say in the beginning, there was de fikra; she came alone, en then took him to see her baba, some modern Kenyan versions are reincarnated as Makmende, Abscondita Amerudi & Britannia Zimeisha.

Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi njoo, Uongo njoo, Utamu kolea….

Who among us carry the sage siri(secret)s of loving?

Leo ni leo asemaye kesho ni muongo, na asemaye ya wahenga ni?

Kuna another hadithi nakumbuka bout’ how…it was de Nubians who originated, and taught the Greeks to use, ceremonial meetings, processions, and liturgies: a fact which can be inferred from the obvious antiquity of such ceremonies in Nubia, compared with Greece, where they have [in comparison] been only recently introduced. The Nubians meet in solemn assembly not once a year only, but on a number of occasions, the most important en best

attended being the festival of A…st at Bubastis: second in importance is the assembly at Busiris- a city in the middle of the Delta, containing a vast temple dedicated to Isis, the Nubian equivalent of Demeter, in whose honour the meeting is held. Then there are the assemblies in honour of A….at Sais, of the Sun at Heliopolis, of Leto at Buto, and of A…at Papremis…

De kiboko (hippopotamus) is held sacred in de district ofPapremis, but not elsewhere…..Otters, too, are found in de Nile; they, and the fish called lepidotus, en eels are all considered sacred to de Nile, as is also the bird known as the fox-goose. Another sacred ndege is de phoenix; I have (not) seen a phoenix myself, (except) in paintings and (twice in d’bi young anitafrika’s play- benu)…it is very rare en visits the country (at least they say in Heliopolis) only at intervals of 500 years, on de occasion of the death of de parent-ndege.

To judge by de paintings, its plumage is partly golden, partly red, en in shape and size it is exactly like a eagle. There is a hadithi about de phoenix; it brings its parent in a lump of myrrh all the way from Arabia and buries de body in de temple of de sun. To perform dis feat, de bird first shapes some myrrh into a sort of egg as it finds, by testing, that it can carry; then it hollows the lump out, puts its baba inside en smears some myrrh over de hole. De egg-shaped lump is then jus of same weight as it was originally.

Finally it is carried by de ndege to de Temple of the Sun in Egypt…..

Such, at least, are some of de stories re/membered in dis series. How can we go out en plant these seeds (as ‘new’ year resolutions)?

[it is not coincidence that]…The Nubians were also de first to assign each moon en each day to a particular deity, en to foretell by the date of a wo/man’s birth, character, fortunes and the day of hir death – a re/discovery which Greek poets have turned to account. The Nubians, too, have made more use of omens en prognostics than any other nation; they keep written records of the observed results of any unusual phenomenon, so that they come to expect a similar consequence to follow a similar occurrence in de future.

The art of divination is not attributed by them to any man, but only to certain orisha….The practice of medicine they split up into separate parts, each doctor being responsible for the treatment of only one disease. There are, in consequence, innumerable doctors…..The Nubians are unwilling to adopt Greek customs, or, to speak generally, those of most other countries. There are however, notable exceptions, like in the case of Chemmis, a large town near Neapolis in de district of Thebes. In this place there is a square of enclosed ground sacred to Perseus de son of Danae; palm trees grow round it, and there is a stone gateway of great size surmounted by two very large stone figures. Within de enclosure is a shrine containing a statue of …guess who?

[multi-layered readings from The Histories by Herodotus]

How do we frame IT as we bring other people into the conversashun?

What other conversashuns if begun leo (today), could ripple out in a way that created new possibilities for de future of the United States?

Kwasababu, kama ni ukweli si mpya….na we are the mashujaa we’ve been looking for, au siyo?

I would rediscover the secret of great combustions. I would say storm. I would say river. I would say tornado. I would say leaf. I would say tree. I would be drenched by all rain, moistened by all dews. I would roll like frenetic blood on the slow current of the eye of words turned into mad horses into fresh watoto into clots into vestiges of temples into precious stones remote enough to discourage miners. Whoever would not understand me would not understand any betta the roaring of a tiger.

[Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land]

PROFILE OF AN ELDER

The profile of an elder includes certain types of behaviour and language that are quite visible and strictly followed. This is because age is related to powahs that can become lethal when in hands other than those of the old and wise. Among these is the powah of blessing. I have become very

fond of the elders’ werds of blessing. Every time I reach the end of my stay in the kijiji, they are the sweetest phrases for me to hear, “May all the wahenga of the tribe accompany you. May they pour vision, insight into your soul. This way you will see through them, feel through them.” “We must shower you with de grace of Spirit. May you go with your pocket heavy with precious stones of blessings.” I know that what the old wish well is certain to be well in the long run……..

ELDERS IN THE WEST

 Given the differences between indigenous and modern maisha, how do we recognise an elder in the West? How does one become an elder? How old are elders here?

….I would venture to say that there is something of an elder in any person whose words are listened to and who commands respekt and attention. One should not confuse such a person with an employer who forces respect simply because a paycheck is at risk…..Elders also appear as people who have profoundly changed the lives of others through their teaching or writing. In the best scenario, these teachers are able to help those who search for their guidance and leadership in their lives.

In the worst scenario, having become an author, they are changed into a lasting spiritual authority as well as a consumer product. In Socrates and Shakespeare, Hegel and Kierkegaard, and countless other Western deep thinkers, we see evidence of the form in which elderhood is cultivated and practiced in the absence of a villagelike community.

The Western elder is perhaps more visible as a wise thinker and holder or container of groundbreaking initiatives in human consciousness.Hence poets, philosophers, teachers, artists, and even social activists are either practising to become elders or have become elders altogether. Their legacy continues to affect people even as they have become, I would say, wahenga.

There are elders in the making in everyone, but it is most visible in those who have the receptivity to listen to the stories of others. The ability to listen, and the willingness to support others in difficult situations, are the heart and soul of elderhood. Young people have many difficulties to report. Anyone who would want to become an elder should lend them a listening ear. In the life of the elder-to-be, there is very little good news. Everyone who solicits the services of an elder-to-be is looking for a container to unload some problems. Consequently, one can’t become an elder who would prefer to hear only the better side of life…..

Above all, to be an elder is to be able to come down to the level of the person you listen to, not with a mind to tell that person what to do and what not to do, but to share similar experiences you have had in the course of your own life. People who have reached a place where they are able to recognise that everyone has similar troubles have begun to heal. The elder does not turn the tragedy of another into a horror story, but instead sees in de hadithi of the other his, hir or her connection with it.

Fame is not necessarily synonymous with being an elder. Fame often means being a commodity…..

ELDERS AND THE SACRED

If people in the West embraced the idea that de elder is at the edge, between two worlds, and is therefore a window to de Other Dunia as well as a mirror of it, certain of the West’s social problems would be solved. One of them is the rejection of aging and de elders, which puts the culture at risk. The other is the West’s relationship to de sacred. There is no doubt that in Western culture, the fear of aging has become quite acute …

If a culture rejects the sacred, it rejects elders. If it rejects elders, it rejects the welfare of its youth. You can’t have the one without the other. It is understood in the kijiji that youth and the elders are the ones in society who see clearly what is happening. The young are at an age where the hidden is obvious to their eyes. They want to point it out because they do not know how to pretend it is not there.

To be young or old in the modern world is to be at risk. People who wish to

embrace their elderhood must first listen to the pain around them. They must notice in the young and the adult the parts that are craving visibility. We must learn to sit quietly with our youth and to listen quietly to what they have to say. This is the job of elders. This calm, almost meditative approach to youth can also be a model for self-calming to other people who are too troubled to be quiet. Calmness is de beginning of de ability to hold the space, de beginning of an elder’s contribution to the community….

(kama how) dis post is a gift from The Healing Wisdom of Africa: Finding Life Purpose Through Nature, Ritual and Community by Malidoma Patrice Somé

[Paukwa! Pakawa! Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo….]    OUR BIRTHRIGHT AS A CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSE

If we view reality from de angle that we come to Earth to fulfill a particular purpose, birth can then be looked at as a contract between dis world en de dunia of the wahenga or other dimensions. This contract is agreed to in different ways. For some parents it is a conscious choice; for others, it is unconscious, but for the incoming soul the choice is always a

conscious one. In all cases the choice to be born is welcomed by all wahenga, spirits, and community. And in this sense we are all part of one large, interwoven community, ever growing, in this dunia en in worlds beyond.

We must remember that our position in respect to dis contract determines de quality of life our spirits will live in our

bodies. After our spirits are in human form, the difficulties of keeping de contract unaltered are always present.

Some people understand these difficulties as important landmarks are able to use them as maisha/life lessons, allowing the difficulties to remind them where to turn when they experience them. Many don’t realize, however, that de circumstances we experience in our lives are things we chose – we could even say “programmed” – prior to being born. And, because of dis state of ignorance or rejection of de idea that we actually plan our course, we often miss de lessons contained in de difficult experiences, en we continue to live in the dark.

If we believe that our greatest wounds are actually our greatest zawadi/gifts, we can embrace de idea that the hardships we experience in our families of origin are no accidents. Whether we are born to loving wazazi/parents, or abusive wazazi, born by natural childbirth or by Cesarean, born into or without a community, born with disabilities, or found in a trash yard, we all have unique zawadis to bring to dis dunia.

Our wounds are not only our landmarks, but our lessons – tools from which we must learn to draw our strength and wisdom. For example, if you find yourself irritated by the lack of true community, chances are that part of the reason you chose to be born in your environment is to bring an awareness to others that community is needed for our spirit and our watoto(children)’s spirit to blossom.

Ofcourse, we would like to assume that we did not have any part in such a contract so that we can blame others (such as our wazazi) or circumstances (such as a lack of time or affection) for our difficulties. Lakini ukweli ni, truth is,we signed up for de obstacles we experience, en when we reject dis ukweli, we spend most of our time feeling stuck and frustrated.

Our spiritual growth becomes stagnant, and our zawadis are not delivered to the world in a way that liberates us. As this way of life continues, our lack of spiritual growth and gif giving can turn into a toxin, a sickness that can destroy our lives.

When people do not fulfill their life purposes, they have to come back and try again, bringing different lessons to help them on their journeys. The question then becomes, How can we move forward in this life and do wot we are here to do? My sense is that we start to take responsibility for signing the contract, and then find, or create, the appropriate community in which we can then deliver our zawadis en be receptive to other people’s gifts as well.

The understanding Dagara people have of pregnancy, birth, and the purpose of incoming souls to Earth makes them take pregnancy and de birthing process very seriously. In fact, they make sure they prepare themselves for the incoming soul in a way that allows for a healthy and welcomed arrival. This overstanding is at de root of preconception, pregnancy, na afterbirth rituals…..

Hadithi-telling as a Ritual

There is a mythical and a ritual dimension to all hadithi/stories. Many rituals have been kept alive through hadithi. The simple fact of telling hadithi takes us into a ritual where we commune with de divine. In my kijiji, there is a prayer made at the beginning of each hadithi session to open de gates to de divine. Storytelling is a communal event (particularly in dis world wide web).

In my kijiji, there are days when the elders tell hadithi, en other days, de watoto tell hadithi. Sometimes watoto start the hadithi en de elders finish it or vice versa. By telling hadithi in this way, everybody is heard.

This is valuable because when a hadithi is told, you can tell wot is happening in the maisha of de person telling it, and it points out wot kind of ritual is needed for that person. And telling a hadithi to a group, family, or community can bring everyone together

Ndotos as a Ritual

Dreaming is one of the places where we dive into rituals without resistance. We can use our ndoto to do healing rituals for ourselves or other people. Again, you need to use and focus your intention, to ask for guidance and answers with an initial prayer before going to sleep, and be willing to receive the information you are seeking.

Often, ndotos send us valuable messages without our asking. Pay attention to your dreams – they just might be trying to tell you which ritual took place and which one is yet to happen, or simply tell you things you need to keep your eyes on.

There is no question that we all, at times, don’t remember our ndoto. This happens when we are agitated, frustrated, ungrounded, defensive, resistant to the work being done in our ndotos, or when we do not find value in dreaming.

If you awaken abruptly before things can be solved in your ndotos, you can carry the nervousness or anger from the dream into your waking hours. Try to wake up slowly and roll back to the side you were dreaming on. Lay down a few minutes and think about your ndoto. Keep a ndoto journal by your bed and write in it as soon as you wake up. You will be surprised by how much you remember and how much work you did during your sleep.

Be creative, and always remember that rituals are serious and should be taken earnestly. Most people practice some form of ritual in their lives without thinking about it. When you celebrate a life-strong, graduation, or marriage, you can turn them into meaningful rituals by bringing spirit, intention, and purpose to them. Think about the joy you receive when participating in a friend’s or family member’s birthday, graduation, or wedding. You can experience the same sense of joy, healing, and connectedness by incorporating rituals into your daily life…..

read mo from the source “Welcoming Spirit Home – Ancient African Teachings To Celebrate Children And Community” by Sobonfu Some.

Asante mama.