The Queen Mother has arrived.
Afrohemian JuJu Woman. Veteran performer,
Queen Mother Imakhu, celebrates her African, Carribean, African American, Native American roots in her CD,"Water Woman"
Masterful storytelling, dynamic drumming, sultry and soulful Folk Contemporary singing, insightful spoken word...
Queen Mother Imakhu has built her career not only upon her diverse talents, but also upon her wit and love of people. Because of this she has crossed many chasms as an artist committed to healing the community.
Throughout her thirty-five plus year career, Queen Mother Imakhu has performed shows and presented workshops at theatres, festivals, schools, libraries, TV...
Born and raised in Union County, New Jersey, Queen Mother Imakhu began her professional career in 1975 at age fifteen singing and playing guitar. In spite of her vocal, instrumental, theatre, and dance training, Queen Mother Imakhu says she received her best honing as a solo vocalist, storyteller and concert performer in the Baptist Church. ("If you can move a Baptist congregation you can perform ANYWHERE!" says Queen Mother Imakhu). The following year she was the reluctant title winner of the Miss Black Fantasia pageant (Queen Mother Imakhu's mother entered her against her wishes). Queen Mother continued performing in diverse venues, including theatre. At age eighteen Queen Mother accepted an offer after graduating high school to jump right into the business by performing on gospel/R&B singer Billy Scott's album as a background vocalist, instrumentalist (flute, sax, percussion) and musical arranger. She has hit the ground running ever since.
As an actress, Queen Mother Imakhu has appeared in shows including THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, WORKING, KINSWOMEN, THE COLORED MUSEUM. Phases of '97 to '99 found Queen Mother Imakhu touring the East and West coast as Charlaine in the musical AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' directed by A. Curtis Farrow. Queen Mother Imakhu in recent years has presented her original One-Woman productions, WEDNESDAY'S AFRICAN CHILD: GOTH TALES OF MY BLACK PEOPLE and RENEGADE VOICE FROM THE MYTHIC MOSAIC,.and has continued to perform/create sacred theatre, and presents African storytelling in mainstream theatre and cabaret.
Queen Mother Imakhu has choreographed numerous dances and theatre performances, including Once on This Island, Damn Yankees, Once upon a Mattress, West Side Story, Hello Dolly, and They're Playing Our Song. Queen Mother Imakhu served as director/choreographer of the liturgical Praise Dance group, The JOYFUL PRAISERS of Anderson Baptist Church in Anderson, New Jersey (1992-1995). During that same time, Queen Mother Imakhu founded and directed her own multi-generational, liturgical dance group, HARMONIC ESSENCE, which honored universal spiritual themes. Queen Mother Imakhu was also lead African dancer and a principal drummer for Ghanaian drummer/entertainer Maxwell Kofi Donkor and his group SANKOFA.
In 1995 Queen Mother Imakhu joined IT EXPRESSES ME (I.E.M.), Lehigh Valley, PA's only African American theatre ensemble. She served as a director, choreographer, producer, and technical advisor for I.E.M's 1st Anniversary Performance. Thereafter in the same year, Queen Mother Imakhu retired HARMONIC ESSENCE to found, direct, produce and write for her new theatre/performance ensemble, THE ZAWADI COLLECTIVE, which Queen Mother retired after its tenth anniversary.
Queen Mother Imakhu is former member of the popular performance duo JUXTURES!, which celebrated world cultures through music, storytelling and dance (1990-98), seen in schools, libraries, theatres, festivals and on TV. She also co-hosted JUXTURES:The Radio Show, featuring topical talk and music on WDVR-FM public radio in New Jersey. Queen Mother eventually hosted/produced her own topical/spoken word/music show, Reaching for the Sky, for WLVR-FM public radio in Bethlehem, PA. She went on to host/produce four Internet radio shows in 2003 (ASHE!, GRACE OF THE GRIOT, SANKOFA SPIRITUALITY for October Gallery.com, JALI! JALIYA! and SANKOFA SPIRITUALITY for BlakeRadio.com. Queen Mother also co-hosted the AM radio show, ETCHINGS on WHAT-AM in Philadelphia. Overall, she has interviewed such notables as Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Dr. Laiola Afrika. Dr. Muata Ashby, THE LAST POETS' Abiodun Oyewole, Ramona and Pam Afrika of MOVE, Baba Heru Ankh Ra Semahj se Ptah, Herbert Harris, SPEECH of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT. ASHE! is now syndicated, and heard on a number of top ranked Internet radio stations along with her metaphysical show NUBIA GODDESS RISING. Queen Mother Imakhu eventually used her radio experience to create the Internet radio station, AKERU NuAfakan Network (TM).
In 2001 Queen Mother Imakhu was the subject for the cover article in NEW VISIONS MAGAZINE.
As a writer, Queen Mother Imakhu was columnist and staff writer for the paper FIRST WORLD NEWS, read in Philadelphia, New York City, Trenton, Newark, and the Lehigh Valley/Poconos area. She also wrote a column for PAINT magazine. Queen Mother is a popular spoken word artist known for her sense of wordplay and deep insights into African American life and the human condition.
Queen Mother Imakhu served as moderator for a panel discussion of distinguished African American women following the U.S. premiere of the bio film, The Eyes of the Rainbow: Assata Shakur and Oya, about the life of activist Assata Shakur (2003). The event was hosted by the Million Woman March organization. She was also Mistress of Ceremonies for one of Philadelphia's JUNETEENTH celebrations.
In 2002 Queen Mother Imakhu, along with musicians of the legendary Sun Ra Orchestra, accompanied Sonia Sanchez and Marvin X in, "In the Crazy House." Queen Mother Imakhu and The Zawadi Collective performed at Philly's Babatunde Olatunji/Mongo Santamaria Homegoing Celebration (2003), where many nationally known drummers and artists honored the passing of the two drumming legends. Queen Mother also drummed with South African drummer Mahwane Maolele and the ensemble TYEHIMBA. Queen Mother Imakhu is known as,"The Little Lady Who Can Play That Drum." She conducts drumming workshops for all ages.
As a career storyteller, Queen Mother Imakhu credits her talents to her family and their North and South Carolina roots. "My (maternal) grandfather and his brothers would keep the family both mesmerized and in stitches when they got together. I learned a lot from them." She also attributes her abilities to her beloved South Carolinian father, who masterfully held power over listeners with verbal color and charisma. Queen Mother was a member of KEEPERS OF THE CULTURE, Philadelphia's storytelling guild dedicated to the preservation of African culture.
Queen Mother founded and ran the youth studio, The Performance Workshop (1990-94). Queen Mother Imakhu served as dance/theatre teacher at Warren County School of the Arts (1995). She also served as Arts Programming Director at the Easton, PA Boys & Girls Club in 2001. Queen Mother has been a workshop presenter (theater, dance, young people the Arts, believing, "Art changes and saves lives." She is known for her skill, patience, honesty, and compassion. Queen Mother has taught for Point Breeze Performing Arts Center's summer and after school programs, and their art for the disabled youth program (2003 - 2004); for Boys & Girls Club of Trenton, NJ; for The Garvey Charter School of Trenton, NJ; and the city of Trenton's SCOOP after school program (all Trenton in 2005). Queen Mother says some of her most gratifying work was when she taught for Afrikan Poetry Theatre of Queens (2007 - 2009), through whom she was subcontracted to teach her African themed art therapy program to senior citizens, and to at-risk youth for the Department of Juvenile Justice in citywide detention homes and Lower Manhattan Courthouse. Queen Mother Imakhu was recognized by the NYC Department of Juvenile Justice for her successful program.A dynamic motivational speaker and lecturer, and workshop presenter, Queen Mother Imakhu is a certified Success Master Workshop Presenter through Herbert Harris' LIFESKILL INSTITUTE. Herbert Harris is the renown author of The Twelve Universal Laws of Success. Queen Mother Imakhu is the author of the self-empowerment book,THE COWRIE BLESSINGS BOOK: NU AFRAKAN WORDS OF WISDOM , and of UNDERSTANDING KEMETIC (EGYPTIAN) MAGICK.
Her music CD, Water Woman, is receiving worldwide airplay on Internet and public radio stations.
Queen Mother is producer/host of TV show, ASHE!, highlighting African diasporic culture, DIY info, healthy recipes, bargain shopping tips, and personal self-empowerment.
As a visual artist and designer, Queen Mother sells her Renegade Wise Woman TM fashions, crafts, and spiritual products at her personal appearances and online.
Queen Mother Imakhu's outreach multimedia work has now become AKERU MultiMedia, reaching people worldwide through Internet web casting, radio, recording, and print. Queen Mother is founder and chief executor. Through AKERU MultiMedia, Imakhu produces her ebooks, TV show, podcast, educational/motivational DVDs and videos, mp3 lectures, her music CDs, her visual art, and AKERU! Family Radio. Queen Mother Imakhu has been fittingly immortalized in the new, contemporary tarot deck, TAROT OF THE BOROUGHS, where she depicts the Queen of Cups in six of the cards.
In 2003 Queen Mother Imakhu led the Mother Bethel Church and street processional in Philadelphia, PA for the famed Rites of Ancestral Return, dancing as an Egun/Shepsu (revered Ancestor), depicting the freed spirit of an Ancestor who was previously held in captivity (slavery). This nationally welcomed commemoration marked the final internment of hundreds of African Ancestors whose remains were discovered in New York. Some of the remains had been taken to Howard University for study. A major city processional to mark the return of these Ancestors, now in African carved caskets, started in Washington, DC and ended in New York City. Queen Mother considered this honor to be the most humbling experience of her life.
Spiritually, Queen Mother Imakhu has embraced her African origins. Formerly known as Eyele Yetunde (Nigerian Yoruba for "The Mother/Messenger has returned"), she became the Queen Mother/Elder High Priestess and co-leader of KERA SERT MWT AST (Sacred Shrine of Mother Aset) , with students and supporters throughout the world. She is also an ordained Interfaith minister who has performed wedding ceremonies and has performed African Libation Ceremony at numerous events. Queen Mother Imakhu became spiritual daughter of Grandmaster Kham, and recognized as one of the Queen Mothers within the Shrine of Khpra of Brooklyn, NY. She continued her journey and became initiated into the Bantu water spirit tradition as a Nganga (healer/water priestess) through Baba Mandaza Kandemwa of Zimbabwe, and Michael Ortiz Hill. Her ministry, now known as AKERU Temple of the True Living Waters, is the first official African-centered Water Church in the modernity, honoring African Kemetic Water traditions, along with providing an alternative to those seeking an African-centered spiritual path.Queen Mother Imakhu teaches African spirituality and metaphysics in her podcast show, Nubia Goddess Rising, which enjoys a worldwide following. Queen Mother's teachings can also be found on YouTube.
In the African Kemetic language, Queen Mother translates to Mwt Nswt (Moot neh-Soot; Mother Queen - the descriptive follows the noun). Imakhu (ee- MAH-koo) means Reverend, and Water Spirit of The Light. As a Water Priestess, Queen Mother Imakhu is commissioned to spread the message of peace, self-empowerment, and understanding through education in the arts. Having been known to many since 1999 as Water Woman, Queen Mother Imakhu is also a popular motivational speaker. She incorporates her music into her presentations. Her music and singing has always brought joy and inspiration to her audiences.