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Philadelphia Sankofa Festival

Okyeame Kwabena, Nana Kofi Tuuda (Philadelphianema/Nkabomhene), Nana Afua Afriye Kyeiwaa (Philadelphianema) and Okeame Kofi Atiba holding a staff with a symbol of the Sankofa bird
Okyeame Kwabena, Nana Kofi Tuuda (Philadelphianema/Nkabomhene), Nana Afua Afriye Kyeiwaa (Philadelphianema) and Okeame Kofi Atiba holding a staff with a symbol of the Sankofa bird
Maria Merlino Copyright 2014

In Ghana, the Sankofa bird represents the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future. Chief Nana Kofi Tuuda (Philadelphianema/Nkabomhene), who is the co-founder of the 4th annual Sankofa Festival held at last Saturday outside the 5th and Snyder Avenue headquarters of the Philadelphia Asante Nation and the Agogo World Wide Association said “ The significance of this bird, whose body is facing forward with the head turned backwards, taking an egg off its back, symbolizes the African people. The proverb is ‘Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,’ which translates ‘It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten’. Hundreds of years ago, when slave traders brought the people to this land, the matrilineal system of families was ripped apart. We can do DNA tests to locate the region and country, mostly it’s Ghana and Nigeria, but we don’t know the families from which our people are descended. However the spiritual psyche is still within us. We are reconnecting, reclaiming families. We are part of these families now and forever. For the African-American people, the missing link is finding the Divinity within us.” Nana Afua Afriye Kyeiwaa, the Queen Mother, talked about a system of Eldership. “This is not a religion, but a way of life and community. There are puberty rites, marriage and funeral rites, Holy days. What is important is the ritual and ceremony. We love living this life. To know it is to live it. My 5 year old granddaughter knows all the words and she points things out to me. A baby comes into this world with a new spirit. We have to nurture the spirit, but we must nurture the spirit of the earth, the plants, our health. These are universal principals. Our thoughts can be changed for the good. The subconscious mind is can impress the Infinite. Embracing the moral life to build character and integrity and to do the right thing, this is the African culture.”

The Philadelphia Asante Nation and The Worldwide Agogo Association

5th and Snyder Avenue

Philadelphia PA 19148

agogocenter@aol.com