Wisdom From West Africa with Sobonfu Somé

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A daughter of the Dagara people of Burkina Faso, Sobonfu Somé is one of the first voices to bring African spirituality to the West. Her remote West African village of some 200 people provides a support system encompassing virtually every area of life. Her people believe all humans have a "life purpose, which is a unique gift we bring to the world." This purpose is discovered through a ritual before one is even born so that the village can provide a space for the new soul and ensure his or her unique gift will flower. Somé finds that, living in America, "I am always looking for a community and finding I have to create my community if I want to have one." Somé also explains her tribe's views on romance, marriage, sexuality and the deep connections to the Earth and ancestors. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Sobonfu Somé was born in Burkina Faso and was recognized by the village elders as possessing special gifts from birth. She is a teacher and activist and is one of the foremost voices of African spirituality to come to the west. Destined from birth to teach the ancient wisdom, ritual and practices of her ancestors to those in the West, Sobonfu, whose name means “keeper of the rituals” travels the world on a healing mission sharing the rich spiritual life and culture of her native land Burkina Faso, which ranks as one of the world’s poorest countries yet one of the richest in spiritual life and custom.

Sobonfu Somé is the author of:

To learn more about the work of Sobonfu Somé go to www.sobonfu.com.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • African spirituality and its relevance to relationship
  • How initiation can help you reconnect with your soul
  • How community supports relationships
  • Why falling in love is laughed at by the elders and romance is illusion
  • What is the importance of making peace with your ancestors
  • How the life's purpose is discovered even before birth
    Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 10/31/1997       Program Number: 2674