Maafa Dancers

Posted on February 9, 2011 by


Maafa Reflections

by Minister Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande (aka Mxolisi T. Sowell)

Senior Minister Emeritus

Wo’se Community of the Sacred African Way, Oakland

October 2006

Prelude: Maafa is a Kiswahili term referring to the heinous, genocidal, inhumane events and actions heaped upon our African Ancestors by demented, unconscionable persons during the so-called African slave trade; so heinous that they are beyond complete comprehension by normal human processes.

 There are five chants that we sing during the Maafa Commemoration at the San Francisco beach. They are in the Yoruba language and reflect five major concerns of the commemoration, with significant implications for lives, as we continue our quest for Justice, Peace and Prosperity for our families, communities and nations. 

Olulana O’ Olulana: Let the path be open

 A nearly universal desire in the great spectrum of African cultures is the desire to be remembered beyond one’s physical existence  –  to have one’s life and death revived, resurrected and celebrated in the hearts and minds of family and loved ones without end.

Hear the collective voice of our Ancestors:

“Don’t sweep me under the rug of indifference and oblivion, but gather me up in rituals of love and ceremonies of compassion. Let the best that I was inspire and empower you to be the best that you can be. Keep that path open eternally, for generations beyond enumeration. It’s the way our Creator has ordained.”

 It’s never too late. Let the path be open to history and heritage and love.

Love is in need of love today!

Olulana O’ Olulana! Let the path be open. 

Let the path be open to maafa and beyond: To families, communities and nations of Truth, Beauty and Goodness falling into the clutches of the wretched of the earth and plunged into the depths of the madness of their wretchedness and hell. 

Amen Ra, Holy One, let the path be open.

Olodumare, Holy One, let the path be open.

Yahweh, Jesus, Allah, let the path be open.

Olulana O’ Olulana.

Let Sankofa vision carry us beyond their suffering to their beauty, beyond their pain to their love. Olulana O’ Olulana.

Let the path be open beyond their misery to their hope, beyond the past to the future that their hope would build in us and through us  – through our hands, through our hearts, through our unity and love, through our quest for excellence in all things.

Olulana O’ Olulana. 

Let the path be open.

Let that path be open.

Olulana O’ Olulana!

 Iwo san re o, iwo san: Let there be healing for you and for me.

 Let the path be open in your heart and mind. When the path is open you can hear the Creator and our precious Ancestors calling your name. Hear and feel their voices rolling through your soul, calling you to remember and never forget the gate of no return, the misery and pain of the middle passage and inhumane lashes and legalized lynches. 

Remember and don’t forget, but don’t let it keep you from finding the higher ground where the sun of self-love shines night and day, where the river of self-esteem flows without end, where the breath of life flows through the Ancestors through you and me, warming our hearts – healing, cleansing and lifting our souls from the ravages of self-hate and the cancer of self-destruction, and clearing from our eyes the pestilent pus of the wretches’ brew.

Iwo san re o, iwo san: Let the healing flow in and through me and you and bring into view the path that leads to Justice and Truth and visions of excellence and prosperity, and the beauty of peace and harmony, and visions of our restoration. 

Listen and be healed! The Creator is calling.

Listen and be healed! The Ancestors are calling.

Iwo san re o, iwo san.

Ife lo ju o, ife lo ju: Love is supreme!

When we allow The Creator to touch our hearts and open the path to the Sacred Ancestors, the eternity of their humanity rides on the waves of the breaths of our lives and revives within us this eternal word: 

            What the world needs now is Love!

                                    Family, Community, Nation and Race.

            What the world needs now is Love!                          

                                    Parents, Elders, Sisters, Brothers and all our Beautiful Children.

            What the world needs now is Love! 

Our Creator and Ancestors want to take us to live where love is supreme!

            Let’s live in Love Supreme.

                        Let’s live in Love Supreme.

                                    Ife lo ju o, ife lo ju!

Atidonira: We Are Free!

When our relationship with The Creator is inspired by love and not driven by fear,

peace and power become the breath we breathe,

and the beauty, ingenuity and great spirits of the Ancestors become a garden of magnificent

glory and grace whose fragrance stirs our souls each day,

and our lives become libations of dedication to the greatest good that love can bring.

And hope is alive, and unity too, and compassion lives between me and you, and the power of our hearts, minds and souls be straining each day to reach the goals that only the people of the sun can know. 

When our relationship with The Creator is inspired by love and we know the magnificent fragrance of the Ancestral garden, then sacred songs of freedom ring in our souls, in our fingers and toes, and the breath in our nose says: Let Freedom Ring!

And the way we walk and the way we talk say: Let Freedom Ring!

And we are Free to be the best that we can be by the power of that love and divinity

living within you and me.

Let Freedom ring!

            Let Freedom ring!

                        Let Freedom ring!

                                    Atidonira, Atidonira, Atidonira!

Ope la wan da: Rejoice!

Free at last, free at last, thank GOD Almighty, we are free at last . . .

We are free at last to hear and feel the spirit-words of the African world – Creator, Ancestors  –  saying:

            Rise up from the ashes of misery and pain.

            Rise up from the ashes of vengeance and hate.

            Rise up from maafa in the spirit of Maat.

            Rise up like the bennu bird, on wings of vision and love

                                    and strive for excellence here below as above.

            Rise up on the wings of Truth and Justice, Justice and Joy,

                                    Righteousness, Balance, Harmony and Joy.

            Rise up on the winds of our Sacred Way where death no longer steals your life away,

                                    Where you live as we live – in the hearts and minds of those who follow,

            Seeking the open path of healing and love, freedom and joy.

                                    Ope la wan da! Ope la wan da!

Postlude: Within the Kiswahili term maafa we find the sound maa. In the Medu Netcher, the sacred language of ancient Kemet, maa is the sound that represents the infinite insight and intelligence of The Creator that served (serves) as the seed for the creation of the universe and all beings within it. Let us allow this reality to serve to inspire us, as we look back to the maafa that our ancestors suffered, to look forward to the maa that we must affect. Let us always use every sacred potential of our lives to always be about the business of creating, protecting and perpetuating the world of Truth, Beauty and Goodness that sacred essence within allows us to know is possible, as entrusted unto us by our Creator  – 24/7/365.