AFRICAN MAGICK TEMPLE
Christopher Voncujovi, the founder of Afrikan Magick Temple, was born in the Volta Region, Ghana to Christian parents. Although his grandfather was a Vodun priest, his own father, a high school teacher, discouraged him from Vodun calling it “backward.” He was unsatisfied with organized religion because he wanted a more personal connection to the divine.
As a result Christopher read extensively about spiritual traditions around the world and was eventually drawn to Hinduism. He spent the next few years practicing yoga and eventually ended up in Varanasi, India.
He practiced and excelled at Tantra Yoga for ten years under the Hindu organization, Ananda Marga.
At one point, he was named the Regional Priest of the Bangkok Region, an area which included Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia as well as all of Thailand. However, after realizing that Ananda Marga was more religious than spiritual he left the organization in 1987.
Still seeking spirituality he was reintroduced to Vodun by Togbe Tudzi, a one-eyed Vodu priest in his early hundreds. In Christopher’s words: “In five minutes Tudzi showed me spirituality I did not have, even after 25 years of practice.” He was surprised by Vodun’s potency and decided to become a practitioner. Today, he is both a Vodun and Ifa priest. His teachings focus on developing individual spirituality, not religious doctrine that will dictate how practitioners should act and think. He believes that this dogmatic approach creates spiritual dependence on a personality or organization that hinders true spiritual awakening.
He hopes that his students will positively impact the world in their respective communities after his teachings.
Bokor Fire, né Marcus Dotse Wegbah was born on the 20th of December 1967, the last of eleven children, to a family of renowned spiritualists. He is a Southern Tongu Ewe, a people well known for their prowess in Vodu and Afá.
His father, grandfather, and uncles were all bokors of great repute. While his mother was a Yewe si. Yewe refers to the original Ewe cult of spiritual practice. Bokor Fire has been working with Vodun or spirit since a very early age and has traveled throughout West Africa to learn about different spiritual practices.
He is the leader of the Awlakpo Vodu Society, therefore making him an Awlakpo Hounnonga or “big spiritualist of Awlakpo”.
He is also particularly knowledgeable in seal magic or Veve. His specialty is cases or more generally anything that involves judgment issued by an authority. He is a huge fan of Bob Marley and enjoys games of chance. His nickname “Fire” was given to him due to his success in aleatory endeavors. He has four children: two young sons and two daughters one of whom is currently enrolled at the University of Ghana, Legon.
Bokor Costa Rica, né Sena Jimbo Voncujovi, was born in Tokyo, Japan to Chieko Jimbo and Christopher Voncujovi. He is, besides a junior at Middlebury College, a Vodun and Ifa priest. He was initiated into Ifá in 2011 by a Togolese Bokor. He has been working with Vodun for the better part of eight years. He works mostly with his father Christopher and his elders, though he has personally done work and consultations for individuals on a case-by-case basis. Sena is fluent in English and Japanese, and speaks some French, and Spanish.
Today, in addition to his schoolwork and extracurricular activities, Sena gives talks about African spirituality at colleges or by request. In 2013 he spoke for Canal 9’s “En la Oscuridad” on Costa Rican national T.V. He has spoken at Middlebury’s AMKA African Conference in 2014, 2015, and 2016. He has also spoken at Skidmore College’s African Heritage Awareness Week and he is working on a documentary “ReVodution” that will be released this summer. Like his father, he is also stage magician and has performed since the age of five.
Pele Voncujovi is the media coordinator of Afrikan Magick Temple. While he has worked with Vodun for about 6 years, he is yet to become a priest. He will be initiated into Ifa this August.
Like his older brother, Sena, he is currently an undergraduate student at Middlebury College (19’) and also attended United World College of Costa Rica.
His role at the shrine is, primarily, to produce aesthetically pleasing work that captures the essence of Vodun from the perspective of practitioners. In the summer of 2015, Pele collaborated with artists Gigi Gatewood and Sunita Prasad to create a short film titled "Like a Knife: The Real Vodu" that documents Vodun philosophy and practice. Pele’s photos from the project were exhibited in March 2016, at Middlebury College’s Center Gallery; they were also featured in the College's student-run Black Bird Magazine.
Pele is in charge of the shrine’s Instagram page (voncujovibrothers) that exposes how the Voncujovi brothers juxtapose their cosmopolitan lifestyle with their Vodun practice. When he is not using his camera, Pele can be found dancing with Middlebury’s dance troop, Riddim.
Pele means “wonder maker” in Hebrew and this name was given to him by Christopher's spirits on the day he was born, on Christmas.