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African-Centered Women Take Charge

Au Jin & Niamo (1)

My mother and me; HealMobile Niamo and Jeannette DeSandies, 1927-2015

My dream is to have every woman, born of or grounded in their African descent, embrace the philosophy of ENERGY, and have us nurture this as a sacred skill akin to preparing nourishing meals for our families. 

You are part of this dream if you acknowledge the millions-of-years-old origins of the world’s human species in the breast of the earth, also known as The Motherland, Kmet or Africa, among many other names…    

Lead the Way and Follow Guidance

Asara Tsehai initiated the African Medicine Women concept over a decade ago and Sis. Sakinah took it and soared! New Jersey sisters who became the initial group members declared, “We are teachers, healers and priestesses” serving our community.

Founding members were, seated from left, Beverly Altenore, Niamo Muid, Solange, Sakinah Kinley (founder/organizer), Vera Boykin, Mamie Major, Rhona Vega, Ayo (Pat) Hinds-Bankole, Caroline Brown (not pictured) and Lovely Ali (not pictured).

In the beginning, the major focus was chakras, the womb (or Het Heru) dance, and meditation. It was inspiring and very educational–something all communities can organize. The group sponsored events, yearly retreats, and guest speakers to visit and share their knowledge.

In keeping with the concept of women-healers in training yet completely separate from the Jersey experience, your HealMobile Driver received a sacred medicine bag from an indigenous healer and Sundancer in 2006. I attended the Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) conference in Edmonton, Canada, and while there was introduced to shaman Taj Johnson. 

photo of 8 African Medicine Women

African Medicine Women of NJ

Research “Sundancer” on the Internet to get a glimpse of how stupendous in generosity these cultural leaders are.

During a very special pipe ceremony involving Taj, two male healers and me, she gave me a few gifts. The bag was one of them, and very personal to her. It still contains the healing herbs she gave me in it.

I cherish the ceremony and symbolism in receiving this special gift bag, handmade of soft suede. I will never forget how it came to me or the giver, a very special Canadian shaman. 

In addititon, two books and the experiences that occurred around and through them also brought to the surface the HealMobile as a contribution to life.

The first is The Healers by Ayi Kwei Armah. Get a copy and observe how this beautiful novel captures West Africa’s colonial transformation and its impact on the grassroots, especially those who wrestled with being called to heal their community.

The book lists the required characteristics of claimants to the challenging title of healer.

These qualities include the basics, such as you cannot lie, steal or cheat. Even to “sleep the night” is not recommended.

The second book is Self-Healing Power and Therapy by Dr. Bunseki Fu Kiau, the late Kongolese doctor. My own ability to help heal others began to emerge in early 2007 when I submitted to a Reiki attunement. Reading Fu Kiau’s book I began to understand and deeply appreciate this ability as being innate in most everyone.

I embrace my African Medicine Woman-ality and intend to continue researching information about other indigenous heritage medicine women’s (and men’s) services and culture. 



(I am also inspired by diverse role models, described here.)