A major distinction was bestowed on a son of Africa and longtime servant in the global struggle of Black people. Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the International Representative of the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, was recently enstooled as a Development Chief in Ghana, West Africa.
Mr. Muhammad was enstooled in the Asebu Traditional Area in the nation’s Central Region. He was given the honor during an installation ceremony and celebration in mid-December. The enstoolment is seen as a beginning as well as a continuation of his efforts to unite Black people and engage the continent.
“I am honored,” said Mr. Muhammad, speaking about the enstoolment. “I am thankful to Allah (God). As long as He keeps me here and alive, I will be a fulfillment of the vision and dreams of those throughout history who wanted to come back to Africa and build,” he added.
Mr. Muhammad sees the enstoolment as an avenue to facilitate goals of institution building in health care and education.
“One of the first projects I am looking to do is a health clinic,” Mr. Muhammad said. He also aims to build a library and elementary school. “That’s where we will start,” he said.
Mr. Muhammad told The Final Call these are particular institutions Minister Farrakhan envisioned for land acquired by the Nation of Islam in Ghana. “I will use the same thing in the area I’m over,” he said.
Chiefs, more properly known in Ghana’s Akan language as “Nana,” which means ruler, are the custodians of the land with many responsibilities including development.
Over the years many people from different walks of life in Africa and the global Diaspora were given the honor of enstoolment, including Minister Farrakhan, who was enstooled in Nigeria; renowned scholar Dr. Leonard Jefferies; singer Isaac Hayes, and NFL star Ziggy Ansar. Actress LisaRaye McCoy was enstooled as Queen Mother for the Development of Women in Agona Kwanyanko, also located in Ghana’s Central Region.
Abdul Akbar Muhammad’s nomination came about because of the efforts of Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, president of The African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) and former African Union ambassador to the United States. ADDI is a global movement established from the desire to bring “Africa to the world” and the “world to Africa,” noted the group’s website.
Dr. Chihomberi-Quao is a foremost advocate for the return of Africa’s sons and daughters to add their skills and know-how for the benefit of Africa.
There was an allocation of 5,000 acres of land outside of Cape Coast for development. In December 2021, a groundbreaking of the Wakanda-One City of Return, a continentwide undertaking occurred. The village where Mr. Muhammad was enstooled is located in the area.
“When they reached out to me about an enstoolment,” Mr. Muhammad told The Final Call, “I thought about it,” he said, reflecting on how many people were given the same honor. Some made efforts to the commitment, while others treated it as symbolic.
He said this invitation was different because of Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s proven track record as a Pan-Africanist on record challenging the status quo and taking principled positions against powers like France concerning Africa.
Considering the “Wakanda One” vision, Mr. Muhammad was convinced that the enstoolment was more than symbolic and inked to a serious effort of reunification and progress.
“This sister was sincere in her efforts to reconnect us,” he explained.
It must be noted that Mr. Muhammad holds dual citizenship with Ghana and is respected in every region of Africa. He lived in Accra for 12 years after Minister Farrakhan asked him to open the first Nation of Islam Africa office in 1989—at the invitation of then-President Jerry John Rawlings.
But perhaps a glimpse into Mr. Muhammad’s early life gave signs of what he would ultimately become. He was born in Hampton, Virginia, in 1940s America and raised in New York City during a period of history when many African nations were breaking the yoke of colonialism and foreign domination. Simultaneously, Blacks in America were engaging a freedom struggle for justice and equality.
Written next to his photo in the 1961 Aviation High School yearbook are the words “more school than Africa.” Reflecting now over a lifetime of public service that literally took Mr. Muhammad around the globe, the inscription proved to be prophetic. At the time little did the teenager know the role he would play reuniting Africans with their kinfolk kidnapped and taken away on slave ships 467 years ago.
There is added significance to the enstoolment. The area Mr. Muhammad is responsible for is near the Cape Coast and Elmina slave dungeons and notorious “door of no return” that shackled and chained Africans exited to waiting ships destined for the “unknown” and never expected to return.
Whatever his yearbook inscription meant, it is clear Mr. Muhamad “schooled” many people about Africa.
As the international representative of the Nation of Islam and Minister Farrakhan, he has traveled the length and breadth of the planet, to 154 nations. For several decades his contribution in the uplift of Black life introduced and facilitated a wide array of folks to consider, visit and make meaningful connections to the Motherland.
Mr. Muhammad is credited with opening the door of Africa for the group Public Enemy; “Black Moses” himself, Isaac Hayes, along with songstress Dionne Warrick, Jermaine Jackson, jazz flutist Bobbi Humphery, the late composer-producer James Mtume, and 1990s girl group Blackgirl, to name a few. Besides entertainers and businesspeople, hundreds of everyday folks were brought to the continent by Mr. Muhammad.
In October 1994, along with his family and several others, Mr. Muhammad organized 1,900 people—most experiencing Africa for the first time—to the Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day Convention held in Accra, Ghana—the first ever outside U.S. borders.
Such contributions to Africa and the Black global struggle make the enstoolment a worthy accomplishment for Mr. Muhammad. He lives, breathes, and works for the reconnection to Africa.
“It’s better to see Africa once than it is to hear about it a thousand times,” Mr. Muhammad often says.