Many words can be used to describe this complex individual: Afrikan, Jamaican, committed, controversial, persistent, Poet, Pan Afrikan Radio Programmer, Community Activist, honest, hard working, stubborn and relentless. No matter how you describe him, one thing is clear Sankofa is determine to do his part in moving his people forward in reclaiming, re-educating, re-connecting, renaming and returning to our traditional greatness.
Sankofa came to Canada in 1987 not realizing at the time that this move was part his destiny. Shortly after his arrival, he experienced many trials and tribulations as a newcomer to Toronto. He found himself on the outside looking in and ended up living in various shelters in Toronto. Notwithstanding his struggles in this new land he called home, Brother Sankofa, whose name literally means, “Go Back and Retrieve It” and loosely translated to mean one who must return to the past, in order to move forward. Brother Sankofa has he is affectionately called by his comrades has found a voice by sharing Afrikan lectures, Motivational presentations and poetry across Canada and the world.
Sankofa’s destiny not only includes his work as an artist, but also the creation and involvement in numerous community organizations including For The Love Of Ayiti (Ayiti), Prospect Primary Alumni Association
(Jamaica), Jamaican Canadian Association Youth Affairs Committee (Canada) and Knowledge Cultural Class (Canada).
In a true testament to his name, Brother Sankofa was inspired by the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey to create SankofaInCipher (2004). An enterprise developed out of the principle of Umoja (Kiswahili, Meaning Unity), this initiative is another towards the spiritual, educational, economic and socio-political upliftment of Afrikans around the world.
Sankofa is now a decade long supporter of the arts, historical Afrikan lectures and media. He uses these platforms to reach out to youth, adult and seniors to enlighten and edu-tain. Brother Sankofa has dedicated himself to such initiatives as the radio producer for Pan Afrikan radio shows – “Kubandwa Show” and “New Nows” on York University’s Community Radio Station (CHRY 105.5 FM) for which he received an appreciation award in 2005. He is also the founding member of the Westside Cipher, a poetry collective of Toronto’s own storytellers and poets, where his contributions to the poetry scene has dazzled audiences with messages of encouragement and emphasis on the importance of spirituality, education, economics, politics, cooperation and self love.
Several years ago, Brother Sankofa went home after 400 plus years of separation. He toured Ghana, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso. A journey he made to honour his Afrikan Ancestors and reclaim his past. Out of this profound pilgrimage came a deeper spiritual connection to his Afrikan Roots. He recommitted to the struggle of informing and uplifting Afrikan peoples at home and abroad. In a final act of reclaiming his rightful name; Brother Sankofa took part in a traditional renaming ceremony at a traditional shrine in Larteh, Ghana. His new name – Brother Kofi Aboagye Akrofi Sankofa was the result.
In a article he summed up his life, “Personally, I hope to be able to leave this world a better place for the next seven generations of Mother Afrika’s children. I want to be satisfied knowing that I did everything possible to help my people who needed it the most, that is my purpose in life” (Canada Extra). Brother Sankofa, a man on a mission to return Afrikan people to their rightful place on the earth.
DubPoetrySankofa – Libation Statement and Protestation
MorrisLCA – Colored Greens
lambsBreathe – War Poem by Sankofa
sankofajuba – Sankofa Black Print – 4 Part Documentary Series