For the elders in his village, Malidoma Some’s (1956–2021) life in the West was preordained. As Malidoma related in his recent book “Of Water and the Spirit,” he was taken from his tribe at the age of 4 by Jesuit missionaries, who intended to make him a priest. At 20, he rebelled and went back to his village. But he could not speak his native tongue, was hardly recognized by his family, and was regarded with considerable suspicion by the villagers. After much discussion by village elders and undergoing his tribal initiation, Malidoma, whose name means “be friends with the stranger/enemy,” was told that he would fulfill his destiny by living his life in the West as a teacher of African ways and wisdom. “The village will be reborn,” the elders predicted, “in the heart and soul of the culture that is destroying the village.” Under their spiritual guidance, Malidoma pursued a Western education. He held doctorates in both political science and literature.
Malidoma taught that it is unthinkable to separate daily life from ritual contact with the unseen world of spirit, or to pursue political change without ongoing spiritual development. Africa’s inherent wisdom of marrying daily life to a spiritual worldview, Malidoma suggested, may prove key to healing our own cultural catastrophes in the West.
Malidoma Some will be deeply missed! His legacy & teachings will live on!
CoCreAvatars have written a deeply moving tribute in their newsletter for Malidoma Some, linked here:
Listen to his recorded teachings here: https://soundcloud.com/mackboogaloo/sets/african-ancestral-wisdom-dagara