Nana Korantema Ayeboafo, 2008 Pew Fellow. Directed by Glenn Holsten.
"The rhythms and the pulsating energy that we get from drums have a way of connecting us to everything else in the universe."
Nana Korantema Ayeboafo (b. 1951) is a drummer whose work is grounded within the Akan cultural and spiritual community of Ghana, Africa, and the Diaspora. She was introduced to the Akan community in 1974 when she traveled to Africa with her first mentor of 17 years, Arthur Hall. She later spent seven years in Ghana, furthering her learning of Akan drumming techniques in the context of religious and healing practices. During this time she studied under Nana Okomfohene Oparebea, priest of the Akonnedi shrine, where she was able to master the language, traditions, and protocols, as well as drumming and dance. Korantema Ayeboafo became an initiate, continuing her training for 21 years. In 2002 she was raised to the level of the Akomfohene, head shaman of this Akan tradition for North America, a rare honor, especially for a woman.
In 1999 Korantema Ayeboafo founded StarSpirit International, Inc., a nonprofit that promotes education about African culture, facilitates international cultural exchanges, and sponsors health, education, and economic development projects. She also serves as president of the Cecil B. Moore Community Partnerships, a grassroots community organization. Korantema Ayeboafo has been the recipient of a Leeway Foundation Transformation Award and an Art and Change Award. She has been a multiple year recipient of the School Year Award from Bainbridge House, and the recipient of an Arts in Education Partnership Grant.