As an honor to your Father Sharlelenerose, here is Babatunde Olatunji beautiful chant to Sango (Orisha of Lightning and Thunder)…Enjoy!!
This is a beautiful and poignant story by Sharlenerose , about her father whose views of the world was very avant-garde. While reading this post I felt his spirit reaching out to me Obara Meji from his home in the realms where he now reside. Happy, that his story is being told, especially by his precious daughter. Sharlenerose, he was not crazy, he just needed balance and to fit his head spiritually under one cap. He had spirits pulling here and there giving him messages, teaching him, but he needed to be grounded. He has passed the mantle onto you my dear. Care it and use it well!!! Ase!!!!!!!
Obara, I went on the site this morning and read your post on Wonderful Musicians, and I was prompted to look up this man who my father dedicated a poem to called Ladji Camara. When I did a Google search on him, I found out that he actually toured with Baba Olatunji for 7 years! I must say I have been feeling my father’s presence when speaking with you, but also here on the site. As I said, you seem to be channeling him and that has had a profound effect on me. Baba Olatunji has a song called Shango and one called Oya, distinct tributes to the Orisha, enforcing my belief that everything is interconnected I have been inspired to write this piece based on your most recent music posts, I have downloaded, because of you these men onto my computer so that my father and the ancestors are able to hear what they have been listening for. The spirit came to me in a dream about a week ago, and told me to play music for them to listen every day. I, however have been playing this Haitian c.d. by King Kessy, that has not been enough, they want to hear Africans singing African music. Djembe, what we call bembe. Here now is a piece that I have done to honor my father and the ancestors.
My father was very educated. He was a lawyer, a poet, a teacher, a political activist, and so much more. He was also very afro-centric, this I knew from birth. He wrote about the death of apartheid. He was the very first person from whom I heard the word Diaspora. He wrote about being in exile in the western civilization. I love him so much. This is a way to honor my father and the spirits he left behind, which are many. When my father was growing up in the country, he was called by his father. He was the sixth out of seven sons, his father told him, you are not to till the soil, or work with your hands, your destiny is to study. My father was the only one out of about thirteen to go to college, and receive higher learning. My grandfather died before I was born but I wonder what he was like to pass the mantle to his son. In his early twenties, my father had a vision that the African deity came to him.
The first poem in one of his books is called a “Distant Walk With Oludumare”. I have often wondered where he learned the things he knew, and even accosted his African blood brother, and asked him what God do you serve, this was after I had begun to research different religions and came upon the names of the Orishas in other religions in vodun and Santeria. I accosted my “uncle”, what did you get my father into, with this stuff. My “uncle” stated that he didn’t get my father into anything, my father taught him, and he knew things before he came to America. Imagine my surprise when my favorite poem that I used to read in poetry readings and such, in America, was called “Beat the Drum Ladji-Camara.” In this poem my father stated, “call upon the orishas, Ogun, Ogun, gun, gun, gun…Obatala, Obatala,talala, talala,talala…Elegba, Elegba,legba, legba, legba. He was operating on a vibrational frequency that I was unaware of. Now while I’m writing this; I would say that my father activated me from the age of thirteen or fourteen; I would read that poem for anyone who would listen. I was in love with those words. Olokun, Oshun, Ochosi. I’m still in love.
My father was diagnosed to be schizophrenic, said he heard voices, but I know what he heard was spirit, and he wasn’t able to deal with it, because he didn’t reach his hands out and grasp it. I say I have been groomed from birth, my first poem at the age of six was Black is The Color Of My Skin. My ancestors and astral mates are the deeply African ones from eons ago. This is what he has passed on to me. It is a heavy load, one that would drive you mad, mad I tell you, if you were not strong in the original spirit. My father had the temerity he just did not have the strength to fight what was being thrown at him, as I do, by this I mean the obstacles that came with spiritual awakening,and that was to social acceptance. The reason is because I accept; I accept that they are here. I accept that I am never alone. I accept that there is nothing to fear. I accept that I have to be strong, and I was born a rebel. So when the spirit of fear comes around me, I kick its funky ass. My father’s spiritual family, which he has passed onto me, is full of many, and they sure as hell aren’t silent. They were constantly talking to him.
I remember he came to spend Christmas in Jamaica before I migrated and he couldn’t sleep. This was after he had penned his last book. The True Masaai. I was like what the hell, is he trying to say he is the Messiah, I must confess, I thought he was crazy too. There are times now, when I cannot sleep, when spirit has me awake all night, the demands are many sometimes, even overwhelming, I cry for my father because, he did not know how to cope. I cry for myself, because I know what it feels like to not have asked for this, and to have your life interrupted. However, I love the spirit, and the feeling of being protected, again, because I accept. What it is, to accept your destiny, and to know that even if you’re like a baby, they will nurse you, and feed you, and carry you through, I will never be hungry, I will never be homeless, because I am obedient. My father did a poetry reading when I came over to America for black history month. I of course, read that poem, as well as a couple more of his, and a few of mine. When I was done my father said, “This is my daughter, I feel like now I can go, because she is here.” That was a special moment for me, and I will always remember him, the way he was that day. My father was a rebel as am I, we walk with Ogun on that side, a set of rabble-rouser is my family. I can’t tell you about these people. My aunts they don’t play, they call police and flash them in a minute…in America…where do they do that at.
My father, I was told, was very antagonistic toward the law. He said vision of apartheid’s death, so he wasn’t going to be called boy by nobody, he wouldn’t take any of that. He used to be beaten by police and things of that nature, here in America, he came in 1979, so you know they were just bringing about a civil rights and such. I don’t have to wonder where I get my fierce spirit from. He clung to Africans, and had his whole adopted family. He and this family used to come together and drink brandy, eat kola nuts and do their thing. There is a Chief that he was close to as well…Itchie Osita, this is one of the first men to open up my understanding, I asked him for a book to read, he gave me “Letters To Scewtape”. If you can that is a good book to read to understand what is behind the reason why we as human beings react to each other in certain ways, as we are influenced by malevolent forces. My father changed his government name to his African name. This was the name he died with. He used that name for seven years and the government awarded it to him. He went through a name changing ceremony, and also changed mine and my sister’s in Jamaica. I take it seriously. I am Ayodele Abidemi Babatunji. Ase O
A child is what you put into him…Yoruba Proverb.