What is Sankofa?


/san koh fah/

Before we go into the meaning of our business name, Universal Sankofa, we first want to break down the meaning of “Sankofa”.

So….what is Sankofa?  Sankofa is a word in the Twi language from the Akan tribe in Ghana.  Sankofa translates to “Go back and get it” (san – to return; ko – to go; fa – to fetch, to seek and take).  Sankofa is often associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates as: “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind”.

Essentially, Sankofa means that you must know your past to know where you are going;  Let the past guide our future; every experience in life should leave you wiser.

Sankofa also has two visual portrayals (see below).  One is a stylized heart shape and the other is a bird with its head turned backwards with its feet facing forward while carrying a precious egg in its mouth.  These visual portrayals of Sankofa are referred to as Adinkra symbols. Adinkra symbols are visual symbols with philosophical and historical significance. There are at least 122 Adinkra symbols originating from the Asantes of Ghana.  These adinkra symbols were originally printed on cloth for Asante royals to wear to important ceremonies. Today, the symbols have global importance and are found on fences, furniture, clothing, sculptures, home goods and much more!

There is also a great movie called “Sankofa”.  We both saw this movie and it was life changing and moving for us.  This was one of the first movies that gave us the drive to recognize, respect and return to our ancestral roots spiritually, physically and mentally.  It was also one of the main motivating factors that influenced Sankofa, co-owner of Universal Sankofa, to adopt the name “Sankofa”. Although we have not made the journey to the motherland, it is on our list and we are working on manifesting that journey.    

Sankofa the movie was made in 1993 and is a captivating historical account of the Maafa, the African Holocaust.  It gives a good look at the loss of African consciousness, loss of identity and the connections between the people of African descent across the world.  If you haven’t seen this movie, please take the time to do some research on how you can view or purchase it (see movie cover below).

In our next blog post, we will discuss the meaning of our business name, Universal Sankofa.

So…how do you see the principle of Sankofa being important to our people?  We’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Universal Sankofa Blog

Hey world!  It’s the Universal Sankofa husband and wife team, Sankofa & Stacey.  This is going to be our first real attempt at blogging. Way back around 2012, Stacey attempted to blog about vegan cooking and gardening.  I think she attempted maybe 6 posts at the most and let if fall to the wayside. We are back, and we are here to share our experiences of being black, married, and in business together!  We hope you enjoy this journey with us! We will be sprinkling content around all of the platforms we are on (Facebook Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and here)!

Why Blogging?

“If you learn, teach. If you get, give.”

Maya Angelou

We have decided to blog to share our experiences and the things we have learned over the years.  We love the quote by Maya Angelou that says, “If you learn, teach. If you get, give.” This blog will be our way of giving back and teaching others.  We are both world learners, we love learning and believe in a holistic approach to learning. We are open minded to all walks of life and spiritual understanding.  We love to take what speaks to us most and live our lives accordingly. On this blog you will see discussions about current events, topics and issues in the black community, discussions about marriage, discussions about running a black owned business, our experiences and love for supporting other black owned businesses, and much more!

How often?

We are not going to commit to a set schedule with posting new blogs.  We both have full time jobs, have hobbies to keep us in shape and well, and running our business.  We promise not to keep you all waiting too long. We have plans on posting content for the blog several times a month, just not on a set schedule.

Who should read?

We are writing and speaking to our brothers and sisters of the African diaspora.  Living in America and being black is not easy. We are here to discuss the ways we navigate through this jungle and keep ourselves healthy and well, while supporting and uplifting others who are in this struggle with us.

What now?

We encourage you to be involved as little or as much as you feel comfortable with.  Comment on our posts! We would love to engage with you. We are open and encourage comments that both agree and disagree with our point of views.  This is a place for open and healthy discussion. Feel free to email us if you have any questions, suggestions, complaints or want to be featured on our blog. 

We are excited about this new journey and look forward to sharing our stories with you!    Make sure to subscribe to the blog so you can get updates when new posts are made!

Love is infinite…

~Universal Sankofa