Sena Vancujovi Sena Vancujovi

Sena Voncujovi: A Blasian Vodun Priest by Salvi Tony Hoxha

Sena’s parents underwent extensive difficulties before, after, and during his birth. His mother, Chieko Jimbo, was born into an old and wealthy industrialist family in Japan while his father was an itinerant entertainer and African spiritualist who found himself in Japan after traveling through India and Southeast Asia. His grandparents were extremely averse to the idea of their daughter being involved with an African man and this consequently led to termination of Chieko ’s first two pregnancies.
Sometime after this Chieko decided that she did indeed want to have children but was told by doctors that due to her previous abortions as well as relatively advanced age –thirty-nine—she would not be able to conceive. Sena’s father, Christopher, then petitioned his most trusted spirit and companion, Akain, to intercede. Akain’s intercession proved effective and Chieko conceived though the doctors warned that the child would likely have Down syndrome. Furthermore, his mother’s water broke very prematurely and during the procedure Sena was born with a nuchal chord which occurs when a baby exits the womb with an umbilical cord wrapped around his or her neck and which can often lead to brain damage and conditions such as cerebral palsy. Despite these events, Sena and his mother suffered no serious complications during his birth and the former grew up free of developmental disorders. During the day of his birth, the eggs of the dove Christopher Voncujovi used in his televised magic acts hatched for the first time in eight years. Just as significant, Sena’s grand parents visited the hospital, acknowledged, and fell in love with their grandchild.
Sena Vancujovi After a few years in Tokyo, Sena’s family uprooted and moved to Ghana. The main reason for this was that his parents feared the potential discrimination Sena and his soon to come brother, Pele, would face in Japan. Japan is an ethnically homogenous society and this often makes matters difficult for a “hafu” or person of mixed descent. Interestingly, while growing up in Ghana, Sena was often labeled an “obroni” or white or non-African person due to his skin colour. Because Sena has been/is labeled an “other,” regardless of where he is or goes he has come to see what makes particular cultures unique and this in turn has made him value and cherish the culture and traditions of his native Ewe people.
Sena Vancujovi After being accepted into United World College – Costa Rica, Sena decided to delve deeper into his culture and traditions in order that he may be an apt ambassador for his country and people in such a cosmopolitan environment. UWC- Costa Rica had students enrolled who came from seventy-nine countries and this created an environment where students found themselves to be unofficial goodwill ambassadors. Sena’s love for his culture and the need to present it positively taught him that Africans are not lacking in any way and made him realize that Africans, from across the continent, need to be proud of their achievements and traditions and cultivate an image of themselves and their self-worth that is not dependent a colonial identity. Sena believes that only after this is accomplished will Africans begin to regain true sovereignty over themselves.


Snapchat: sena-voncujovi
Photographs by Gigi Gatewood and Pele Voncujovi

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