SANKOFA KRADA ME BA
Return, Go and Grasp the Meaning of Krada
An Aakhuamu Story
Yaw Gyata and his Papa were walking along the path that leads to asuo, the river.
As they walked along the path, Yaw Gyata asked, "Papa, why do we come to asuo, the river, every year at this time?"
Yaw Gyata's Papa said, "Me ba, my son, today is your krada, your soul-day. It is the day that is special, sacred, for you because it is the day of the week upon which you were born."
"I was born on Yawda, a Thursday", Yaw Gyata said.
"Yes", said Papa. "And that is why your kradin, your soul-name, is Yaw. That is also why we come to asuo every year on Yawda, Thursday, after you have grown a year older. What we do when we come to asuo, will remind you of how you came into the world and will remind you of why you came into the world.
"The water of asuo will cleanse your head but the Sunsum, the spirit, of Asuo will cleanse your okra, your soul.
"You are then ready to enter your new year within Asaase, Earth, with a clear head, without and within."
Yaw Gyata smiled. He said, "Is that why you always say, 'a clean head makes good choices' ?"
"Yes", said Papa. "Our Nananom Nsamanfo, our wise Ancestresses and Ancestors who lived before us long ago, have shown us that when you know how you came into the world and why you came into the world, only then can you make the right choices while you are living in the world.
"Knowing where you come from and why you are here gives you the power to truly respect yourself Yaw Gyata, and to be fully committed to your nkrabea."
"What is nkrabea?", asked Yaw Gyata.
"Your nkrabea, is your purpose for living Yaw Gyata. It is your life-focus. It is the reason why you were sent into the world by Nyamewaa-Nyame. It is your Divine function." said Papa.
Yaw Gyata and his Papa arrived at the asuo.
"So what is my nkrabea, Papa? What is my reason for being sent into the world? What is my Divine function?"
"This is why we come here Yaw Gyata. And today, on your seventh krada, you have become old enough to remember."
Papa and Yaw Gyata stood by the asuo. Papa reached into his bag to get the offering he had brought for Nana Bosom Afram, the Obosom (Deity) of the asuo. He motioned to Yaw Gyata to get the offering that he brought for Nana Bosom Afram as well.
Papa then reached in his bag for the gourd that he always uses for ohwie, libation. Yaw Gyata put down his bag and watched closely.
Papa removed his top and his sandals. Yaw Gyata did the same.
Papa stooped down and put his hands in the water to wash them. Yaw Gyata did this as well.
Papa then filled the gourd with nsuo, water. He held it high over his head and called on Nyame (God) and Nyamewaa (Goddess), The Supreme Being:
Nana Nyame, Otumfo
Me kyere wo nsuo, na menma wo nsuo
Nana Nyamewaa, Obaatan Pa
Me kyere wo nsuo, na menma wo nsuo
God, All Powerful One
I show you this drink, but I do not attempt to offer it to you
Goddess, our Good and Gracious Mother
I show you this drink, but I do not attempt to offer it to you
Papa then called on Nyankonton and Nyankopon---the Great Spirit, Creatress and Creator of the Universe; the Nananom Nsamanfo---their Honorable Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit Ancestresses and Ancestors, and then the Abosom---the Goddesses and Gods, the Divine Spirit-Forces of Creation, the Children of Nyamewaa-Nyame:
Nana Nyankonton, bra nom nsuo
Nana Nyankopon, bra nom nsuo
Ye Nananom Nsamanfo, bra nom nsuo
Nana Aso Boade, bra nom nsuo
Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia, bra nom nsuo
Asonafo pa, bra nom nsuo
Brietuofo pa, bra nom nsuo
Akanfo mmusuafo pa, bra nom nsuo
Abibifo Nsamanfo pa, bra nom nsuo
Nana Asaase Afua, bra nom nsuo
Nana Asaase Yaa, bra nom nsuo
Nana Awusi, bra nom nsuo
Nana Yaw, bra nom nsuo
Nana Bosom Afram ye ntoro, bra nom nsuo
Nananom Abosom nyinaa Nyamewaa-Nyame mma, bra nom nsuo
Nana Bosom Afram, ye ntoro, nne ye Yaw Gyata krada
Ye ma wo aforebode
Me pa wo kyew, ye bra ma akraguare
Yesre wo, gye aforebode
Creatress of the Universe, come, accept this drink
Creator of the Universe, accept this drink
Our Honorable Ancestresses and Ancestors, accept this drink
Great Spirit-Mother of the Asona Clan, accept this drink
Great Spirit-Mother of the Brietuo Clan, accept this drink
Good Ancestresses and Ancestors of the Asona Clan, accept this drink
Good Ancestresses and Ancestors of the Brietuo Clan, accept this drink
Good Akan Ancestresses and Ancestors of all of the Clans, accept this drink
Good Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit (African/Black) Ancestresses and Ancestors, accept this drink
Earth Mother Afua, accept this drink
Earth Mother Yaa, accept this drink
The God Awusi, accept this drink
The God Yaw, accept this drink
The God Afram, our ntoro, accept this drink
All of the Goddesses and Gods of Creation, the Children of the Great Goddess and Great God, accept this drink
The God Afram, today is Yaw Gyata's soul-day
We give you offerings
Please, we have come for the cleansing of the soul ritual
We appeal to you, accept these offerings
As Papa Kwesi was chanting, he would pour the nsuo into asuo, the river. As Papa would pour, Yaw Gyata would respond, "Yiw!" Papa then took the aforebode, the offering of food, that he brought for Nana Bosom Afram and directed Yaw Gyata to do the same. They then placed the aforebode on the bank of the river just close enough for the water to wash up and take it.
Papa got down on one knee and filled the gourd with river water, the water of Nana Bosom Afram. Yaw Gyata got down on both knees and Papa began to pour the water over Yaw Gyata's head. He chanted:
Nana Bosom Afram
Me pa wo kyew, bo Yaw Gyata ho ban
Dwira Yaw Gyata Okra
Kyere Yaw Gyata nyansa
Kyere Yaw Gyata suban pa
Kyere Yaw Gyata aten pa
Kyere Yaw Gyata bo bra pa
Kyere Yaw Gyata akokoduru
Kyere Yaw Gyata nokware
Kyere Yaw Gyata nokwaresom
Kyere Yaw Gyata mmara ne kyi
Kyere Yaw Gyata akyiwade
Kyere Yaw Gyata akyiwadefo
Nana Yaw, mepa wo kyew,
Kyere Yaw Gyata ne nkra ne nkrabea
Kyere Yaw Gyata ne ohye ne hyebea
The God Afram
Please, protect Yaw Gyata
Purify Yaw Gyata's soul
Show Yaw Gyata wisdom
Show Yaw Gyata good character
Show Yaw Gyata good judgment
Show Yaw Gyata ethical existence
Show Yaw Gyata courage
Show Yaw Gyata truth
Show Yaw Gyata true religion
Show Yaw Gyata law and hate
Show Yaw Gyata Divine prohibitions/taboos
Show Yaw Gyata the spirits of disorder
Nana Yaw [Obosom Yaw], please,
Show Yaw Gyata his nkra and nkrabea
Show Yaw Gyata his ohye and hyebea
Papa then whispered in the ear of Yaw Gyata, "Sankofa krada me ba, Sankofa krada." Return, go and grasp the meaning of krada my child, return, go and grasp the meaning of krada.
As the water was pouring over Yaw Gyata's head he closed his eyes. As Papa chanted Yaw Gyata began to feel very light. He felt as if he was floating. Papa's voice began to sound as though it was an echo far off in the distance. . . . . . .
Yaw Gyata opened his eyes and he realized that he was under the water by himself---at the bottom of the asuo. Yet, even though he was under the water, he could breathe just as if he was breathing air. Yaw Gyata looked for Papa but didn't see him. Then he heard a rumbling sound. He turned to his left and a very large perfectly black man in a white ntama, traditional Akan garment, approached him and laid his hands on Yaw Gyata's head. He spoke to Yaw Gyata without moving his lips. He said:
"Mikyia wo me ba, I greet you my child. I am your Nana Afram. I am the Obosom, the God/Spirit of this asuo. I have protected your Papa's Nsamanfo, Afurakani (African) Ancestors, for thousands of years, and as you are his son, I will protect you as long as you live. I am your ntoro, your Agyabosom (patrilineal God). Just call on me when you need me, and observe the mmara ne akyiwade, the laws and restrictions, I have laid out for you and those related to you through me."
Yaw Gyata closed his eyes. He felt heat from Nana Afram's hands on his head. The heat began to move throughout his body and spirit and filled him with tumi, with power. Yaw Gyata then immediately experienced oneness with Nana Afram and the spirits of the thousands of Afurakani (African) Ancestors of his Papa's spirit-blood circle. He now realized that he was forever under their protection and guidance, for the same spiritual energy that ran through their veins, that of Nana Afram, ran through his own. Yaw Gyata understood that as one of a long spiritual and blood-line of Afurakani (African) Ancestors, he was responsible for the unique character, spirit and power that he inherited from Them. He knew that he must use it to contribute to the stability and defense of his family and the Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit (African) world-community. Yaw Gyata opened his eyes and thanked Nana Afram, by saying, "Meda ase Nana", and promised to follow his instructions by saying, "Mate Masie (I have listened and I will remember)".
Yaw Gyata then prostrated at the feet of Nana Afram and closed his eyes once again pondering all that he had experienced. . . . . . .
When Yaw Gyata finally opened his eyes and lifted his head, he was no longer under water. He had been drawn up above the clouds, and he found himself in the midst of a community in the sky. All of the men, women and children here were perfectly black and dressed in white. Yaw Gyata felt a slight brush of air against his body. He turned to his right, and one of the perfectly black women dressed in a beautiful white ntama approached him. She embraced Yaw Gyata and spoke:
"Mikyia wo me ba, I greet you my child. I am your Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia. I am the mother of your mother's mothers. I am the Great Spirit-Mother of the Brietuo abusua. I have birthed and nurtured the spirits of your mother's Nsamanfo, Afuraitkaitnit (African) Ancestresses, for thousands of years, and as you are her son, I have birthed you into the world, and will nurture you as long as you live. It is through My mogya, my blood, that you have inherited the right to rule your oman, your nation, when you become of age for your mogya is the mogya of the Brietuo. Just call on me when you need me, and respect the mmara ne akyiwade, the rules and restrictions of our abusua, our clan, which have been laid out for you and those related to you through me."
The embrace of Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia felt cool and pleasant to Yaw Gyata and put him at ease. He closed his eyes and knew he could never forget that feeling as the cool tumi moved throughout his body and spirit. Yaw Gyata immediately experienced oneness with Nana Asiama and the thousands of Nsamanfo, Ancestresses and Ancestors, of his Mama's blood circle. He now realized that he was forever under their tutelage and direction. Yaw Gyata now understood that as one of a long spiritual and blood-line of members of the Brietuo abusua (clan), he was responsible for the unique consciousness and awareness that he had inherited from them. He knew that he must use it to contribute to the development of his family and the Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit(African) world-community. Yaw Gyata opened his eyes and thanked Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia by saying, "Meda ase Nana", and promised to follow her instructions by saying "Mate Masie" (I have listened and I will remember).
Yaw Gyata prostrated before Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia and closed his eyes once again pondering all that he had experienced. . . . . . .
When Yaw Gyata opened his eyes again and lifted his head, he was no longer in the community above the clouds. He had been drawn up above the atmosphere of Earth, out into---and then beyond---the Great Ka/Kait, the Blackness of Space. He ultimately found himself in an enormous place that looked like the temples he had seen in ancient Keneset and Kamit (ancient Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit~Black civilizations of Nubia and Egypt).
He looked around and saw three large columns that looked like trees. He walked in between two of the columns and there was nothing but total darkness. Yaw Gyata walked into the darkness for a short distance and then saw a beam of light, then another, then another, then another and another and another and another. . . .
They were all coming from the same place. He followed the beams of light and came upon two Great circles of light linked together, each having a black dot in the middle. The seven beams of light were coming from seven different points around the two linked circles of light. One of the beams of light moved towards Yaw Gyata. It moved from his shoulders to his eyes. Yaw Gyata then saw nothing but white light.
Yaw Gyata felt warmth and coolness all over and through his body and spirit. He closed his eyes, yet the white light was still all that he could see. He then felt himself being lifted up off of his feet. He felt as though he was being cradled like a newborn. The white light began to dim. . . .
As he opened his eyes, Yaw Gyata found himself inside of a large golden room with a golden basin in the middle of it. He could not speak, but he realized that he was being held in the arms of someone. He looked at his own body and saw that he had the body of a small baby wrapped in a white cloth. The individual who was holding him was a perfectly black man wearing white short pants and a white Kenesu-Kamau (Nubian-Egyptian) head covering. The black figure carried baby Yaw Gyata past the basin. Once he passed the basin, Two wonderful figures appeared. They were the Great Black God and the Great Black Goddess, Nyame and Nyamewaa, The Father and Mother Supreme Being, sitting on golden thrones. The black male figure carried baby Yaw Gyata in front of Nyame and Nyamewaa. He then got down on both knees and bowed to them. He stretched out his arms to present baby Yaw Gyata to Nyame and Nyamewaa. Yaw Gyata strained to see their facial features but could only see the perfect blackness of their faces. Nyame and Nyamewaa placed Their Divine Hands on baby Yaw Gyata. Yaw Gyata felt and knew that They were one with him and that he was one with Them. He was infused with purpose/function and power/potency.
The black man that was holding Yaw Gyata then stood up with Yaw Gyata, acknowledged Nyame and Nyamewaa, and took seven steps backwards. He then turned around and walked over to the golden basin. Around the basin were ten other perfectly black male and female figures dressed in white and gold. They watched as the black man began to bathe baby Yaw Gyata. The bath reminded Yaw Gyata of the ceremony his Papa had done for him in the asuo. The black man then spoke:
"Mikyia wo me ba, I greet you my child. I am your Nana Yaw. I am the Obosom, the God, Who rules Yawda, Thursday. My Sunsum, my spirit, bathes Earth every Yawda, Thursday, through my planet Yaw, and therefore those children of Afuraka/Afuraitkait (Africa) who are Akan and sent into the world to be born on Yawda are my soul-children. You are my soul-child."
Nana Yaw then acknowledged the ten figures standing around the basin. "These are my ten relations: Awusi, Adwoa, Abenaa, Bena, Akua, Awuku, Yaa, Aaba, Afia and Amen-Men. They are the Abosom of the other six days of your Akan week, for They govern the solar, lunar and planetary bodies which define those days. It is our light that you saw in the form of seven beams proceeding through the Eyes of Nyankopon and Nyankonton, Whom your Ancestresses and Ancestors first called Ra and Rait, the Creator and Creatress of the Universe."
"I, Yaw, am the Spirit-Force in Creation Who upholds Divine Law and challenges all that is wrong. I relentlessly challenge all disorder in Creation and in this way the Divine Order of Amen and Amenet, Whom you now call Nyame and Nyamewaa, is respected. Nyame and Nyamewaa, the Great God and the Great Goddess Whom Together comprise The Supreme Being, have given you your Okra and your nkra and nkrabea, respectively, through me."
The Obosom Yaw then took an adwera leaf and dipped it into the nkwa nsuo, the water of life, and let the drops fall onto the tongue of baby Yaw Gyata. Yaw Gyata was immediately filled with tumi and awareness as his Okra united with his sunsum, his spirit. He now felt the same fiery energy inside that he felt coming from the Obosom Yaw as he was holding him. Nana Yaw instructed Yaw Gyata to always tell and uphold truth and to relentlessly challenge disorder.
Yaw Gyata now felt like he was a piece of the Obosom Yaw Himself. He had always felt strongly that he must challenge wrong and put things in order when they were out of order, but now he understood why. He now knew what his nkrabea, his Divine function, his life-focus was. He realized that he must be led by his Okra, his Divine soul. Yaw Gyata also understood why he loved and respected his Akan culture, protocols and rituals so much. The other ten Abosom standing around the basin smiled at Yaw Gyata as he thought about all that had happened to him--and all that he now understood.
Yaw Gyata then heard a rumbling sound coming from underneath the basin. The basin disappeared and revealed a large black hole. A beautiful, perfectly black woman came to retrieve baby Yaw Gyata from the arms of the Obosom Yaw. Yaw Gyata looked at Nyame-Nyamewaa, Nyankonton and Nyankopon and thanked Them and promised to obey the Obosom Yaw by thinking, "Meda ase" and "Mate Masie". He then acknowledged the other Abosom. As the beautiful black woman embraced baby Yaw Gyata tightly, they both descended into the black hole. There was a rush of energy as Yaw Gyata and the woman moved through the blackness of Space, through Owia, the Sun, through the planet Yaw, through the clouds of Earth, into the water of the asuo, through the Earth's surface and into a very small and dark space filled with water. This was a familiar place to Yaw Gyata. He realized after a moment that this was the place inside his Mama's womb. He also sensed the presence of a perfectly black male Obosom/God over his head and shoulders. This Obosom told Yaw Gyata that they would talk soon. . . .
After a bit of stillness, there was a great deal of motion. The water which was surrounding him, the beautiful perfectly black woman, was suddenly gone. Soon, he felt pushing and pushing and pushing. He was about to be born . . . .
Push, push, push, push . . . . "Yaw Gyata, Yaw Gyata, Yaw Gyata..can you hear me?. . . .Yaw Gyata."
Yaw Gyata opened his eyes . . . . He was kneeling in the asuo.
Papa Kwesi said, "Yaw Gyata, I see that the Abosom have given you something to remember."
"Yes", Yaw Gyata said. "I now know how I came into the world and why I am in the world. I know my ntoro, my abusua and my Okra and nkra/nkrabea."
"Then this akraguare, this soul-washing ritual, has now fulfilled half of its purpose." Papa said.
"What's the other half?", asked Yaw Gyata.
"Look out into the asuo me ba."
Yaw Gyata looked out into the asuo and saw thousands of Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit Ancestral Spirits dressed in different clothing. Some were in white, some were in torn clothing, some were in gold. Some were ancient Spirits from Keneset and Kamit. Some were from Adanse and Akwamu. Some were warriors and warrioresses, the akofo, who waged war against the whites and their offspring and won the war during the enslavement period and established Their sovereignty. Yaw Gyata was looking at his Nananom Nsamanfo, his Honorable and wise Spiritually Cultivated Ancestresses and Ancestors, Those Ancestral Spirits Whom Papa had called during the ohwie, the libation.
The Nananom Nsamanfo all looked at Yaw Gyata and said to him without moving Their lips:
"All that the Abosom have shown you and told you, We are here to make sure you follow it. We will never abandon you, but you must never abandon us and our culture, our way of life. This is balance. For our way of life, is your way of life. It is only through our Ancestral culture--your Ancestral culture--that you can fulfill your Divine function, your life-focus, your nkrabea."
"The Abosom are directed by Nyamewaa-Nyame to give you the power and consciousness to fulfill your nkrabea. We, your Nananom Nsamanfo, are directed by Nyamewaa-Nyame to give you the guidance in the use of that power and consciousness so that you may properly carry out your nkrabea throughout your life."
"Your connection to Nyamewaa-Nyame, Nyankonton and Nyankopon, the Abosom and us your Nananom Nsamanfo, is made clear only through our Ancestral language and the sacred rituals of our Nanasom, our/your Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit Ancestral Religion."
"You must therefore accept, love and embrace your ethnicity, your people, your language, your religion and your culture and you must absolutely hate, reject, forever your and our absolute enemies, the akyiwadefo, the spirits of disorder. This means that you must embrace the reality of your spiritual and genetic identity as an Akan and you must absolutely hate, reject ALL of the whites and their offspring, their false-"religions and culture, forever, without compromise just as We do, as We have always done and as We will always do until we make them extinct. For it is they that live only to try and keep you and all other Afurakanu/Afuraitkaitnut (Africans) from fulfilling your Goddess/God-given function, your nkrabea. You must realize and embrace this truth in order to remain true to your purpose for living."
"You must also realize that some few Afurakanu/Afuraitkaitnut (Africans) have fallen under the disordered influence of the akyiwadefo and are now ayarefo, culturally and spiritually ill---you must guard against them as well."
Yaw Gyata got down on his knees, prostrated and thanked the Nananom Nsamanfo and promised to obey Their instructions and uphold our culture by saying, "Me Nananom Nsamanfo, Mate Masie. Meda ase pii." (My Honorable Ancestresses and Ancestors, I have heard and I have kept it-I understand. Thank you so very much.) Yaw Gyata then turned and looked at his Papa who was on his knees as well and said, "Meda ase Papa. Mate Masie."
Papa said, "Mme nna ase. I know you have me ba."
Papa Kwesi and Yaw Gyata both said, "Meda ase pii" to Nyamewaa-Nyame, Nyankonton-Nyankopon, Nana Bosom Afram, Nana Asiama Nyankopon Guahyia, Nana Yaw, the other Abosom, and the Nananom Nsamanfo, for the akraguare.
Papa Kwesi and Yaw Gyata then gathered themselves and their things and returned to the path by which they came. . . . Yaw Gyata had so much to share with his Mama Akua.
Bra nkwa mu.
(c) Copyright, 13006 (2006), 13012 (2012), 13014 (2014) by Odwirafo Kwesi Ra Nehem Ptah Akhan. All rights reserved.
We are in the process of developing Sankofa Krada Me Ba into an Afurakani/Afuraitkaitnit (African~Black) children's book and animated film. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, feel free to make akyede (contribution/donation) below. Contributions of any amount will help us to move this process forward to completion.
Yeda ase (We thank you) for your consideration.