134 years after Marcus Garvey’s birth, and over 30years after Seestah IMAHKÜS left New York with her husband in search of the motherland, destiny has united both in one narrative, as she continues leading a chapter in the eternal gospel of Garvey, as one of the Gate Keepers of the Diaspora African heritage in the motherland.
Seestah IMAHKÜS’ Journey to Africa was not an easy one, as she came at a time when most Diaspora Africans were yet unaware of what awaited them in the continent. She weathered all storms, surmounted all challenges and emerged a Guide, Teacher and Mentor to both Africans on the continent, those that have visited and a lot of others that wish to return home.
Her memoir Returning Home Ain’t Easy But It Sure Is a Blessing is now a sort of compass and has directed many Diaspora Africans to Elmina, Ghana and Africa in general; fulfilling the dream of Garvey and his wish that Africans in Diaspora return home to Africa; “Africa for Africans at home and abroad”.
Recently her exploits were featured in the documentary on the life of Marcus Garvey which was used to mark his 134th Birthday Anniversary, below is an excerpt from an eye witness report on the documentary from caribbeanlifenews.com which recognised the impact Seestah IMAHKÜS has made on the dream of the late Pan-Africanist, the role and responsibility she and her resort has borne for sojourners of Diaspora African Heritage who visits from the Caribbean, America and Europe to Ghana, Elmina and Africa in search of the Gate of Return.
“On the eve of the 134th anniversary of Marcus Mosiah Garvey’s birthday, a capacity crowd filled a Harlem venue to view the biopic “African Redemption: The Life and Legacy of Marcus Garvey.
They gathered inside the Joseph P. Kennedy Center located blocks away from Garvey’s former residence in the village Garvey toiled to empower Blacks; inform the audacity of white supremacy and unify with Africa for the first public screening of an anticipated documentary. Invited by filmmaker Roy T. Anderson and Allison, his producer/partner/wife.
The select audience included former Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel, former CUNY Professor Leonard Jeffries and scores of guests willing to be temperature checked, sanitized, socially distanced and masked throughout the screening.
Covid-19 precautions disallowed a full capacity crowd which would have included scholars, intellectuals and beneficiaries of Garveyism. No one seemed deterred by the entrance policy.
Determined from anticipation of enlightenment of a definitive document about perhaps the very first Civil Rights leader, a Black, newspaper publisher, philosopher, Pan-African advocate, father, husband, immigrant, non-conformist and revered “Negro Moses” they arrived at dusk to witness the early evening feature.
Audiences seemed riveted to the progression of facts they already seemed versed and except for occasional expressions of malcontent to injustices imposed by powers in the USA, England and Jamaica, throughout the screening prolonged hushed periods prevailed.
Some reacted to interviews, commentaries, re-enactments, photographs, archival footage and musical interludes.
The filmmaker took his lens to Cape Coast, Ghana where a “Door of ‘No Return’ still marks the destiny of captured Africans ultimately sold into slavery.
There in the town of Iture, in Elmina, situated between two major edifices, the Cape Coast Castle Dungeons to the East and the Elmina Castle Dungeons to the West on the Gulf of Guinea, Seestah IMAHKÜS, an African born in Americarepatriated with her husband Benjamin H. Robinson, Jr, enstooled and renamed Nana Okofo Iture Kweku I Ababio; affectionately referred to as “One Africa” they established a traditional lifestyle becoming ‘Keepers of the Flame.’
Her spacious bed and breakfast attracts guests who rarely check out without getting a full course meal of Black/African history from her museum. In tribute to Black achievers, she is renowned for plastering the walls of her haven with newspaper clippings, paintings, sculptures and other artifacts hailing outstanding Blacks who have triumphed and fought for the liberation of African people at home and abroad.
Throughout the years Prof. Leonard Jeffries has visited and revisited the domicile as well as the former Portuguese castles that became dungeons in Elmina and Cape Coast.
The above narrative as precise as it isdoesn’t capture all the essence of Seestah IMAHKÜS’story and how she has stood and still remains in the gap between Diaspora Africans and those on the motherland, giving over 30 years of her life, her professional experience and wisdomic intuitions in selfless service to Africa and her people since the day she took the odyssey back to the motherland over32 years ago,and living the better of her life on the continent of Africa despite being born, raised and educated in the USA.
She served as the historical and intellectual guide to CNN’s Anderson Cooper when he came visiting Cape Coast Castle Dungeons after the then president of the USA, Barack Obama wept his bit of tears at the slave castle.
She and her late husband Nana Okofo Iture Kweku IAbabio have supported the Elmina community where she lives and has raised awareness, called and funded educational scholarships to children in the community, provided Bore Holes in villages without water and the list goes on.
Seestah IMAHKÜS is an expert consultant on Africa and is the Chairperson of African Elders and Women Intercultural Dialogue and founder of the One Africa Resort and Museum in Elmina Ghana. This culture activist is also the Co-Chair of the Bureau of African Diaspora Affairs (BADA),Patron of the Institute of Afrikology and the Afrika Day Foundation of Durban, South Africa and Member of the Local Organizing Committee for PANAFEST since its inception in Ghana in 1992.
She has been an organizing member of JUNETEENTH Celebrations in America and Ghana since 1988 and has been pivotal in steering the affairs of Global Africans Against Slavery (GLAAS) a coalition of multi-sectoral partnership of the relevant stake holders in the fight against human trafficking on the continent, which is still at its formative stage. Additionally, after visiting Rwanda, she co-founded the Rweru Womens Center, a foundation to economically empowerwomen who are survivors of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda with opportunities to acquire skills to enhance their financial independence.
Posterity will be kind to Seestah IMAHKÜS NzingahOkofu Ababio and we commend her for finding her rightfully deserved place in the story and history of foremost Pan Africanist Marcus Mossiah Garvey’s 134th Birthday Anniversary,even though it was not her goal or ambition at the time when she was returning to Africa in the eighties.