To do Sakhu is to illuminate the spirit (Wade Nobles, 2006) of our Afrikan ancestors. Sankofa means to return to the source of our origins (Marimba Ani, 1980). We need Sankofa to remind our souls of the efforts of our ancestors and elders who are responsible for our very existence today. Definitely we need to be asanteful (thankful) for the powerful life achievements and accomplishments of a multitude of our ancestors like Anna Julia Cooper, Septima Clark and Nannie Helen Burroughs who cared enough to sacrifice their daily lives to educate black women in our communities. We need to also know of the lives and say the names of Asa Hilliard, Ivan Van Sertima and Jacob Carruthers who valiantly cried forward for our need to reclaim the minds of our Afrikan youth, notifying us that we have been and remain at war in this regard.
As I could do an extensive document in the above regard, the idea of this essay is for Afrikan people, to do Sakhu via Sankofa in order to remind our souls daily of why we are here on this planet, of why we were chosen to mortify into this realm we call life. To achieve the aforementioned, we must know of our ancestors and their life efforts, we must do Sakhu, illuminate their spirits via Sankofa, return to the source of our origins so we can optimally remind our souls of the efforts and life experiences of Afrikan people. We need remembrance so that we don‟t allow their lives to go unnoticed, in vain, and becoming obsolete, or “something that happened long ago” which is something often said when it comes to Ourstory. The only way we can overstand who we are, where we are and why we are here on this planet is to do Sakhu, Sankofa and remind our souls.
Surely we are sent here in the physical from the metaphysical realm to continue the life cycles of our ancestors and elders who created us, it is they who are our Creators, our Gods. Therefore we must connect to those who have gone before, those who have tried and succeeded in making a difference in the lives of Afrikan people. When we learn of and acknowledge the life efforts of our Hatshepsuts, Aramintas, Kentakes and Nzinghas, we must commit to continuing their Sakhu (Nobles, 2006) via Sankofa (Ani, 1994).
The only way to do Sakhu, illuminate the spirit of our Afrikan ancestors is to Sankofa via learning of then practicing Afrikan Value Systems (AVS). AVS such as the Afrikan Worldview, the Neteru, the DWAT – Deep Well of Afrikan Thought, and Kwanzaa permits a constant reinforcement of the power and beauty of being Afrikan. The Afrikan Worldview is a system of guidelines for living based on the life experiences and practices of our Afrikan ancestors (Carruthers, 1994). The Neteru (Maulana Karenga, 2006) is a comparative of the “Complementary Pair” also know as Maat and Djhuti. The DWAT (Asa Hilliard, 1998) is a circular script of Afrikan terms relative to Afrikan life experiences and Kwanzaa (Karenga, 1966) is a system of values based on the Nguzo Saba (seven principles) that Afrikan people can and should practice on a daily basis. These AVS permit and reinforce the life goals of Afrikan people to attain a daily reminder to our souls to continue the life work of our ancestors thereby achieving our humanity. We succeed in doing the life work in which our ancestors sent us here to complete in this realm of our existence.
In completing this most deserved task called life, we must do Sakhu and Sankofa, we must remind our souls by doing Sakhu, by calling the names of our ancestors, learning of the lives of our ancestors, following the traditions of our ancestors and continuing the work of our ancestors. This too is how we claim our Afrikan agency (Asante, 2001) via giving voice to the life experiences of Afrikan people knowing that such a claim cannot be fulfilled without knowledge of the life experiences of Afrikan people. The knowledge and practice of Afrikan Value Systems (AVS) allow us to remain connected to our ancestors continuously illuminating their spirits and maintaining Afrikan agency.
Through the practice of AVS that we learn of and then model the powerful life efforts and achievements of our Afrikan ancestors and elders. We do Sakhu to Sankofa and remind our souls of the imperative need to become a part of the cycle of the lives of Afrikan people. We remind our souls via Sankofa but first we absolutely must do Sakhu. Doing anything else is living in limbo as a disconnected Afrikan person who is not apart of their ancestor given collective. You exist as a person who is living in the life experiences of people who are not culturally connected to the life experiences of your Afrikan ancestors. You become yurugu – an incomplete being (Ani, 1994).
Iya Adjua Zauditu Mandikizela Hetheru Zenzile, PhD
Independent Scholar and Edupreneur