adeyelabennettweb.gif“I behave as my God creates me:
I do good always. I am honest, too…
Only [Wisdom] applied Honesty of Thought
To overturn all evil machinations.’’

The passage above is from the first chapter of the Ifa scriptures of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, Brazil, Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago. It declares iwa pele, or divine character, as the humane way of life. 

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise:  In the West African world view, poverty, hunger, war and disease are counted among the 200 “evils” that can be spiritually reversed. The two simple keys to reversing misfortune are first to meditate or maintain pure, focused thought, and then to sustain that purity by taking wise actions that are in line with divine will.

Only then can we enjoy life’s 201 “blessings.” To the traditional West African, these gifts from God include world peace, love, an honorable name, spouse, children, long life, good health and prosperity.

Traditional West Africans understand that every action creates an equal or greater reaction.  We are co-creators of our world with God.  Our thoughts and actions today dictate the tomorrow our children and grandchildren will enjoy.

When my spiritual elders initially shared this scientific knowledge with me more than 20 years ago, I rejected it straight out. Are we to blame the victim for her poor lot in life?  Is it the fault of African people that we were brutally enslaved for 400 years?  Did Hitler burn Jews in the furnace because the Jews did not behave in a divine manner? Are the Pacific Islanders to be blamed because a tsunami came their way? 

No, no, no!  We are not to blame the so-called victim.  We are to have compassion for the billions of other beings with whom we share this planet. 

Throughout the ancient world, prosperity and social harmony were considered divine entities.  To the Greeks, she is Aphrodite, the beautiful maiden.  To the
Catholics, she is the Virgin Mary, a symbol of purity and miracles.  To the Hindus, she is Lakshmi, the gentle goddess of wealth and prosperity.

Among the Yoruba people, from whom many African-American and Caribbean people are descended, this divine force is known as Yeye Oşun, the Crowned Mother.

Learn more about the first, simple key to reversing misfortune for free with meditation instructor Roz Reich at the Hollywood branch library every Tuesday morning.

You can also deepen your understanding of prosperity and social harmony by joining the WaWa Aba Wellness, Corp. (a South Florida-based non-profit organization dedicated to the integration of traditional and Western health and education) in their celebration of Nana Kwesi, complete with a slide show of ancestral celebrations from 2007, storytelling, dancing and drumming. 

Adeyela A. Bennett •


WHAT: WaWa Aba Wellness is celebrating Nana Kwesi, the Spirit of Prosperity and Social Harmony.
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 20
WHERE:  Village Community Centre, 6700 SW 13th Street, Pembroke Pines (near Broward Community College, east of Pines Blvd. and University Drive)
COST:  Free.
CONTACT: Nana Mena Yaa: 954-322-5347.

WHAT:  Raja yoga classes with meditation instructor Roz Reich.
WHERE: Hollywood branch library, 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood.
WHEN: Tuesdays at 10 a.m.
COST: Free
CONTACT: For more information about meditation or for locations of other meditation classes, call 305-442-2252, 954-962-7447 or go to

WHAT: Perpetual Meditation: The Healing Mind of Ancient Egypt.  Discussing Kemetic yoga as a tool for healing and self development.
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 19.
WHERE:  Holistic Arts Center, 3600 Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale (about two miles west of Broward Boulevard and Interstate 95, in the African bookstore).
COST: Tickets $10 in advance; $15 at the door.
CONTACT: 305-652-2188.