We’ve just finished breakfast! And soon I’ll have the house to myself because Stephanie, my wife, and Malcolm, my son, will be taking all four grandchildren to the movies.
The little rascals (Malcolm’s kids) don’t live with us. They visit every other weekend. Jakari, 8, loves to eat; he also loves school and soccer. He almost scored in his last game, he tells me. And he’s still on the honor roll. Naya, 5, is an old soul: helpful, refined and sweet! Mai Mai, 4, is cute as hell. No doubt about that. She isn’t afraid of anybody, and she’ll give you a “beat down” if you mess with her. And Jadan, 4, is just coming out of his shell. He whines a bit too much (if you ask me), but who knows, maybe he’ll grow out of it soon.
All in all, I enjoy their visits! They’re affectionate and they make me happy! “Papi,” that’s what they call me. I love it – it’s a cool name. And when Stephanie asked what I wanted for my birthday, I didn’t have to think about it. What’s there to think about? The answer came right away. Cake and ice cream with my grandchildren, I blurted out. Shouldn’t every birthday be this way?
And while I ate with my little ones, I couldn’t help but reflect on the power and promise of Ifa.
We’ve come a long way!
You see, 10 years ago I couldn’t imagine that there would be peace in my family. That’s because Malcolm was giving us hell night and day. He was 16 at the time. And to say he was merely in a dark place would be more than an understatement – it would be misleading.
Back then he was an aspiring thug who ran with gangs in the streets of Oakland. He was arrested numerous times and spent months in Juvenile Hall for stealing a car.
And we didn’t know if he would live or die.
But Ifa turned things around for us.
I took Malcolm to Nigeria with me when I went to be initiated into Ifa. There, the elders performed ebo (ritual) to help him. They also assured me that I would see “good things in my family”.
The changes in Malcolm didn’t happen over night, but they happened. And the changes are still happening even though 10 years have passed since our trip to Africa. I’m grateful because some of his friends are in jail and others have long been buried in the cemetery.
These days, Malcolm, 28, works two jobs and stays out of trouble. He still has important life lessons to learn, but so do all of us.
As for me? These days I’m a busy filmmaker and Ifa priest. As an Ifa priest, I help clients facing a wide range of challenges.
And if you come for divination, I’m sure I can relate to you because I’ve had my share of problems too. But I’ve learned there are solutions. Maybe you can’t see them but the orisas can.
Amazing things have happened for some of my clients. Miracles. And when I witness them, I get on the phone to tell my mentors in Africa all about it.
Though we can’t always predict when the change you seek will come to your life, have faith that it can.
Then work hard and never give up. The power of Ifa is no joke. The orisas work for me and can work for you!
And that’s a promise…
Producer, Across The King’s River