Niemah Nefertiti Royal, a motivational speaker known as “Dr. Niemah,” presented, “The African Origins of Goddesses,” covering African origins of goddesses from around the world and women erased from Black history.
The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo closed Black History Month last Friday with a lecture and performance by Niemah Nefertiti Royal, a motivational speaker known as “Dr. Niemah.” Royal’s presentation, entitled, “The African Origins of Goddesses,” covered African origins of goddesses from around the world and women erased from Black history.
Royal, based in Hilo, is a motivational speaker and performer who inspires people to work together for a sustainable future. An ordained minister, she is the founder of an organization she created as a way for people “to work together and create sustainable change for the betterment of our society.” The Forward Movement initiative is to “develop, uplift, and cultivate Africa (its people, processes and infrastructure) through strengthening the relationship between the African-Diaspora and native Africans, increasing accessibility to daily necessities (such as clean water and sustainable foods), helping to develop and distribute beneficial technology and education, and honoring its rich history, culture and resources,” according to a web statement from Royal.
“I am grateful and honored to do my part in assisting people and the planet, wherever I can be of service,” she says in her statement.
The UH Hilo event was sponsored by the UH Hilo Black History Month Committee (Yolisa Duley, chair), the Office of Equal Opportunity, and the departments of history, sociology, and art. Other events during the month were a film series, soul food served at the university’s main dining hall, an art exhibit (see below), and other public events.
Story by Susan Enright, a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.