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Fujo Malaika

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What was it that first called you to train as a OneSpirit interfaith minister? I was a peace activist, passionate about bringing peace to our streets in Manchester in our late gang culture back in 2006, after my son received a 9-year prison sentence. I was seeking office space and approached local headteacher Laura Roberts, who was unable to offer office space but instead mentioned the interfaith minister training (which she also undertook). I clearly remember thinking, ‘Wow, I now understand my life’s journey!’ As a child I lived on a white working class estate where we were theonly black people and I was called racist names on a regular basis. In bed, I would pray and ask to be taught to teach the children to be kind to me and others. This then drew me to having a ‘rainbow of friends’ — Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Rastafarian and Christian. Always wanting to connect with people’s heart and soul, regardless of faith or culture. ‘Many ways but one truth’.

In which year were you ordained?   2012

What is your minister’s vow, and your relationship to it?

‘I vow to live in love and trust, and know I am a child of god’. It anchors me. No matter what I am faced with, I am to love and trust in myself and know that the creator always has my back.

What was the most important thing that changed in your life as a result of the training?

Evan in my saddest/most challenged days or moments I can still shine a light, share inspiration and love to those I minister to.

How does your ministry or your life’s purpose manifest in the world now?

I create/deliver Peace Mala, Forgiveness, and Personal & Spiritual Development workshops along with bespoke ceremonies. I also provide public speeches, spiritual counselling and remain very active in Manchester’s Caribbean community.

What main sources of inspiration or guidance do you draw on for your continuing spiritual journey?

I was raised from birth by my late Guyanese grandmother who arrived here in the UK in the Windrush years of the 1950s. She passed when I was 18 years old. The years following were tough for me, but as I matured I sensed the huge presence of a guide in my life. She is with me always, and often sends me messages of love, complete admiration and support for my work. She is my greatest inspiration and I love her deeply.

Where is your ‘edge’ currently — what most challenges you on your path?

Not having regular work, and the challenging conversations with others who don’t understand the One Spirit or me! I am hopeful and continue to rise. From pain can come great joy.

How do you envision your ministry developing in future?

My dream is to create a peace retreat, whereby you can visit, eat my veggie food, sleep peacefully, receive treatments and attend a wonderful workshop with the odd Interfaith ceremony thrown in. How blessed would we be.