Tagged: Culture

United Virgin Islands Kwanzaa 2014-2015 Schedule of Activities

KWANZAA Banner at Fort Christian 2012

Saturday, Dec 20th 9-11pm Strength to Strength on WSTA Radio 1340 AM http://www.wsta.com (Passed: Stay Tuned for archived photos, videos and audio from the radio interview.)

Monday, Dec 22nd Morning Kwanzaa Presentation at Bertha C. Bochulte Jr.  High School (In progress)

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 12-1pm Out to Lunch Radio Program with Tommy Boatwright on AM 1000

Thursday, Dec 25, 2014 – Kwanzaa Eve

Sunset until; Hanging of Kwanzaa Banner at Fort Christian/Emancipation Garden and Screening of The Black Candle – A Kwanzaa story – Another Natural Livity/Sankofa Saturdays Fundraiser by Donation (Tentative)

Pay it Forward – Kwanzaa Zawadi Exchange: Making commitments to do for others during the week of Kwanzaa as a random act of kindness (Tentative)

Friday, Dec 26 – Umoja (UNITY)

– 6 p.m. St. John Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Franklin Powell Ballpark

– 7 p.m., Wesley Methodist Church in Tutu. African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation presents their annual Kwanzaa Program with music by Echo People, Guest Speakers, African Marketplace, good food and Kwanzaa activities. (Confirmed)

Saturday, Dec 27 – Kujichagulia (SELF-DETERMINATION)

– 5 – 6 p.m.; Kwanzaa Education & Music Radio Program on WUVI AM 1090, presented by KWANZAA365 and Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Education Initiative. (Confirmed)

– 6:30 p.m.; Arian’s Restaurant. Pan-Afrikan Support Group and Environmental Rangers present their annual Kwanzaa Gathering and Educational Program. (Confirmed)


– 10 a.m.; We Grow Food Farmer’s Market at the Bordeaux Farmers & Agricultural Grounds. A Kwanzaa program will start at 2 p.m. highlighting the principle of Ujima with poetry, youth activities, music and other cultural education and entertainment. Farmers produce, arts, crafts, wholesome meals and refreshments will be available in the African Marketplace. (Tentative)

-4:30 p.m.; The annual Kwanzaa Run & Walk will take place starting and finishing on the UVI soccer/baseball field. One can run 7 km (4.3 miles) on the road to/from the Airport or walk or run a two mile course. They hope to offer caps to the first 30 registrants. Contact Roy Watlington for details: 777-8183 (Confirmed)

Monday, Dec 29 – Ujamaa (COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS)

Tuesday, Dec 30 – Nia (PURPOSE)

Wednesday, Dec 31 – Kuumba (CREATIVITY)

– Sunrise/Sunset; The Blake Family hosts sunrise and sunset Hatha Yoga at Brewers Beach. (Tentative)

Thursday, Jan 1, 2015 – Imani (FAITH)

– Midday/Early Afternoon; United Communities Kwanzaa Potluck at Brewers Beach. Bring a natural dish or seasonal refreshment and a cultural or literary gift for the Kwanzaa Zawadi Exchange. (Tentative)

#KWANZAA365 More than just a Holiday; Nguzo Saba as a Way of Life!

A Tale of Two Perspectives: Economic Growth through Environmental Development

Internet use and multi-media documentation has facilitated community education in the recent movement to “Save Mandahl Bay” on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. While opposing stories and letters have been shared in the local online and print newspapers, Mrs. Anna Wallace-Francis of Camp Umoja and Friends of Mandahl Bay are actively strategizing towards preserving the natural environment on St. Thomas.

Anna Wallace-Francis and First Lady CECILLE DEJONGH

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area. Photo ©SankofaSaturdays

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Camp Umoja Welcome Wall

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area.

Camp Umoja’s Mandahl Bay area tours, similar to one held on Dec 13, 2014 with the Hotel Association and St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce including the First Lady Cecille deJongh, also help to educate the community on concerns of those in favor or opposed to transforming the Mandahl Salt Pond area to build a new “300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel,” according to a VI Daily News story.

If developers are eventually successful with building, a concern is that too often, local people are not qualified to make more than substantial salaries. “If we don’t have the skills or bonds to build a marina, then those jobs wouldn’t come to us. Those jobs would probably go to people flown in from Puerto Rico or elsewhere and the remaining service-oriented jobs would offer low wages, which still leaves Virgin Islands people needing to work two jobs,” shared Wallace-Francis.

Knowing locals who, with support, could start their own eco-tourism, agri-tourism and culture-tourism businesses almost immediately, Wallace-Francis shared that she felt entrepreneurship instead is in the best interest of helping the community.

Wallace-Francis provides eco-tours as well as kayaking, snorkeling and other environmental or educational activities. Local youth programs including student interns from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University’s collaborations have already benefitted from workshops on the campground’s location. She also envisions the ability to add horseback riding, sustainable cottage industries as well as cultural productions, performances, along with more educational marine-life and sustainable agriculture workshops.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Port of Mandahl Project New Jobs List

Proposed New Jobs with the Port of Mandahl Proj

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Photo/Video Footage Collage from the Tour on Dec 13, 2014

Through Our Own Eyes: Iridology Seen as Major Highlight of International Healing Symposium by Attendees

Virgin Islanders and attending participants learned and experienced practical holistic health methods, received hands on diagnosis and treatment from natural healers on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at the Bordeaux Farmers Market on St. Thomas, VI. The Indigenous Healers’ Collective Inc. hosted the third annual Indigenous Healing Symposium entitled “Implementing Ancient Healing Wisdom,” in order to help the community learn about the natural methods of healing and maintaining health that we all can do for ourselves.

RAs Speedy

Ras Speedy-I presents and gives a demonstration on chlorophyll.

Tweet: Ras Speedy-I teaching the audience the ingredients and how to make at the 3rd Annual…

Lukata Shango

Lukata Samuel gets his Iridology assessment from Dr. Odada Shango

In addition to herbalists and massage therapists, a major highlight was the presentation of Iridologist Dr. Odada Shango who spent much of the day performing live one-on-one consultations both during as well as the day after the Symposium, by popular demand. According to Dr. Shango, when you look at the iris, an Iridologist can actually see the invasion of parasites. “We look for tissue changes. We see literal signs, openings, closing and different colors that indicate if there is bacteria in the system.”

Dr. Shango continued to explain that one way of describing the eyes can be broken down into three parts: strong, medium or weak constitution. When looking at persons with strong constitutions, you can’t always tell what’s wrong easily and “the eye doesn’t give information as fast as someone with medium or weak constitution.” Dr. Shango continued that these persons often end up being the ones having seemingly unexpected health failure because no one realizes anything is wrong until it’s severe.

Healer Allan

Healer Allan Haynes “making dem ball” out in pain… then they always smile renewed.

When treating ailments we have to look at the body holistically. The physical body is just the house for the spirit, so when we’re looking at the body holistically, we have to approach it from a spiritual, mental, emotional and then the physical. We have everything within already. Education means to bring everything within out.

Ras NashambaI

Ras Nashamba-I, high-in-demand vegan chef and baker, gives a culinary demonstration.

Amad Martin, a symposium attendee, mentioned that this was the first time he’d had an iridology diagnosis. “His diagnosis was very accurate,” Amad recollected with a smile. His younger brother Lukata also enjoyed his session and they both learned more about why they should stay away from sweets and different forms of flour products. “We have reached a point where we are eating for pleasure which is not our culture,” declared Dr. Shango.

Approximately 10 local and international healers presented their different modalities to the people in the form of lectures, demonstrations and workshops. Food, herbs, herbal products, arts & crafts and more were on sale. Entertainment included drumming, poetry and dancing.

More live tweets from the symposium:

Another successful public event educating and entertaining ourselves at the 3rd…  (click link for pictures from the Symposium)

Brother Malak of pouring for customers at the 3rd Annual Healers Symposium…

Ras Bookie, Virgin Islands Numerologist, enlightening the community audience here at the International…

‘Where Mosquito Bite, Leads to Insight’: Fighting Chikungunya Virgin Islands Style


Dr. Odada Shango Iridology Session with Lukata SamuelFinally being officially categorized as an epidemic by the CDC, Virgin Islands community members have been using various local herbs, plants and remedies to weaken the impact and shorten the length of time seriously affected. Taking the bull by the horn, many outside of the territory can learn from wellness store owners, along with local and regional natural healers, who share knowledge and wellness tips to Virgin Islanders.

The V.I. Health Department declared that the territorial outbreak is officially an epidemic… since May!  While the grassroots community had long already declared the situation an epidemic amongst themselves, store owner and customers at the Natural Livity Kulcha Shop and Juice Bar expressed their concern and disdain for how the crisis has been handled by the Virgin Islands Government. Like many other places within the Americas, most people in the Caribbean region are not immune. http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/americas.html


Juice Bar owner, Jahleejah Love Peace, exclaimed that when she felt it coming on, she attacked it quick! Her remedy included fresh juice blends and products she sells in her store like Chlorophyll and the Flu Shot, “which is a high dose of Vitamin C by combining fresh orange, lemon, grapefruit, ginger and some cayenne pepper.” Along with those, she says that she gave herself and her children some ACF Fast Relief Immune System High Penya's MoringaPotency supplement. Jahleejah shared that, other products she commonly suggests include, “local moringa, neem bark bitters, lemon grass for the fever and chlorella.” She mentioned that for the pain people should, “get rubbed down with a herbal blend,” which she also carries for the numerous customers that have been coming in in droves.

One in particular, shared what he used to minimize the effects of his extremely uncomfortable experience along with his conclusion. “It’s all about how we take care of our body,” shared Brother Dawuud N. Nyamekye of Caribbean Historical Tours. Not being able to drive his safaris while being ill, he stated his belief that,

“when you don’t watabreak out then you didn’t fully get it and have not built up the full immunity.”

Getting lots of rest and drinking a lot of liquids especially coconut water and seamoss were additional tips that Dawuud used himself. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-caribbean

Both of his arms were covered in a rash that appeared as ongoing multiples of small reddish bumps, but he still smiled when mentioning that he agrees with the common saying about prevention being better than cure. He admitted that with the amount of mosquitos currently present in the Virgin Islands, strengthening the immune system is the wisest thing to do so that when one does get the virus, it won’t affect them as harshly.

Natural Food Grocery & Deli Chikungunya picOn the other side of town, there’s the Natural Food Grocery and Deli which has been, “helping the Virgin Islands find health since 1975,” as their catch phrase states. They put up a display of preventative and supportive products including mosquito repellents, citronella candles, joint and muscle ache creams and immune system supplements. The display also included printed information about the Chikungunya virus.  Store customers come in daily requesting immune support products and seeking ways to learn more information.

In an interview with visiting Naturopathic healer and Iridologist, Dr. OdaDr. Shango giving a consultationda Shango, he mentioned that mosquitos don’t just bite anywhere. He continued that, “mosquitos are attracted to heat, warmth and tend to infect people in areas of their bodies that are weak so people should pay attention to where they bite.”

‘Where Mosquito Bite Leads to Insight’ ~DaraMonifah

Internal Healing from within our Shores: Profile of Naturopathic Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce

Back to Basics: “Non”-traditional or “Alternative” Healing | A Natural Oxymoron

Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer's Market_AishaZakiyaBoydphoto

Ras Bobby Vending at Farmer’s Market Photo credit @AishaZakiyaBoyd

A natural healer indeed, Ras Bobby Olivacce, residing in the Virgin Islands, was born to heal. If nothing else proves it, his family lineage allowed for him to be born into healing with the use of herbs and plants as the primary source for encouraging healing and the life experiences that followed confirmed his fate to this day.

Raised in Dominica, a central Caribbean island from age of 4, most people had farms where Ras Bobby grew up and he went to their farms daily and herbs were taught to him by his family. His parents gave him herbs first thing in the morning in the form of teas for general well-being or colds and fevers.

“In 1978, a Rastafarian was the first person who spoke to me about the therapeutic uses of healing herbs.”

He travelled for a few weeks to other French Caribbean islands and on his last day, the end of the trip was Martinique. At the airport leaving, he met Dr. Sebi, a world renowned pathologist, herbalist, biochemist, and naturalist from Spanish Honduras. Someone in California had encouraged Dr. Sebi to visit Dominica.

“It was like a calling, like I just had to be doing this.”

“Meeting Sebi at 22, I was already seeing what herbs were doing,”

…experientially himself by using recommended herbs from childhood for various conditions. Within a few minutes of using the first herbs ever suggested to him by Dr. Sebi, Ras Bobby’s headache was gone. This was Dr. Sebi’s first time ever visiting so Bobby became his tour guide to Dominica. So receiving the Back to Eden book from the Rastafarian man, meeting Dr. Sebi three weeks later, then becoming his tour guide back to Dominica and experiencing the effects for himself led to Ras Bobby’s revelation that he as destined to become a healer.

According to Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina, a Naturopathic Healer, Psychotherapist, Midwife and commonly consulted resource on natural healers, Ras Bobby’s qualifications are based on his experiential background.

“His area falls under a non-traditional or alternative medicine approach.”

She’s experienced some of his presentations, met with some of his clients/patients and witnessed the work that he’s done here in the Virgin Islands as well as in Dominica.

“He’s had a chance to learn from his family line and do the research and educational reinforcement as well as practical use of the various elixirs and herbal medicinal products that he’s produced over the years.”

Though he didn’t spend clinical hours per se in a contemporary collegiate setting going through clinical evaluative processes, “his evaluative processes were learned from what was passed down through his family lineage as well as his actual practical experiences.” He has alliances with international herbal and traditional healing organizations and learned directly from the onset of his training from noted Naturopaths including Dr. Sebi.

Ras BobbyBobby has successfully assisted with the healing of severe ailments including cancer, kidney stones, fibroids insulin use and others. What makes him more unique from other healers is his open and public desire to highlight and support all other healers and healing art forms. Ras Bobby has been the driving force of the highly anticipated International Healers Symposium. Held annually on St. Thomas, a major focus on September 21st, 2014 will be the use of local herbs to aid in the healing from the Chikungunya virus.

As he shared, some call him a Naturopathic Healer, Traditional Healer, “some people call me a Rasta Shaman.”

Whichever the terms, which to him are synonymous, the story of Healer Ras Bobby Olivacce, would make anyone question the need for the prefix “non” in the expression, non-traditional healer.

Ras Bobby Interview at Farmer's Market_SankofaSaturdaysphoto

DaraMonifah interviewing Ras Bobby at the Bordeaux Farmer’s Market on St. Thomas, VI @SankofaSaturdays photo by Majestik Freedom and Harmony Olivacce

For more info about Ras Bobby and the Healing Symposium, call 340-775-0851 or email rasbobby2000@yahoo.com

LIVE Radio Interview:
http://tinyurl.com/TuneIn2SankofaSaturdays for the full LIVE radio interview and the #SoundCloud.com upload immediately after on Saturday, September 20th during the 2nd hour of our weekly radio program. Listen live on http://www.wuvi.am or #TuneIn at http://tun.in/seqFx