"Eyele means Dove, Pigeon in Yoruba. The dove is beloved of the African orisha/orixa (Forces of Nature) Obatala and Yemoja.) Doves are symbols of purity, peace, and communication.
Yetunde means The Mother Has Returned."
Rev. Queen Mother Eyele Yetunde, formerly known to the world as Queen Mother Imakhu, has enjoyed a well-rounded, forty-plus year career as an artist, activist, motivational speaker, lecturer, and yoga instructor.
As an arts educator who believes Black and Brown youth empowerment comes through cultural heritage instruction, Queen Mother has taught African/Latino drumming, dance, theater, music, visual and literary arts throughout her forty-plus year career. She has also specialized in teaching physically challenged, at-risk, and detention home Black and Latinx youth throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. She continues to teach drumming, dance, meditation and yoga to youth and elders, and actively performs in concert as a solo artist. Her concerts are motivational, educational, and truly unforgettable experiences.
Proud mother to two adult daughters. Eyele was born in Elizabeth, NJ, raised in 1960’s Kenilworth, NJ, and can remember seeing crosses burned in the small town.
Former columnist/reporter for FIRST WORLD NEWS. Director and playwright. Touring actress, storyteller, vocalist, poet, dancer, and musician/percussionist throughout the U.S. and Canada. Member of NJ Storytelling Network, Patchwork Storytelling Guild, and Artists Standing Strong Together. Founder of AKERU MultiMedia in 2004. First African American woman to found and run her own 24/7 online Black & Brown Consciousness radio station in 2005. Host/Producer of video/podcast series, ASHE: The Truth is Black & Brown (2003-present), highlighting politics, cultural news, poetry, and art, return to the airwaves in fall of 2021. Eyele is the original creator, executive director/producer and co-founder of Newark Latino Film Festival, LLC (2018), founder/director/producer of Newark Latino Fashion Show (2019), co-founder/producer of Cultures Across the City Music Festival (2019). In 2021, she founded Greater Essex LatinX Art & Film Fest.
Spiritually, Queen Mother Eyele was ordained as an Interfaith Healing Minister by Metaphysical Universal Ministries Seminary of Allentown, PA, an Ordained Interfaith Minister by Spiritual Healers & Universal Ministries in 1999, and in the same year established Universal Circle of Light Ministries, now known as Mu Nedjem Family Temple. She was enstooled as a Queen Mother in the Khametic tradition by Grandmaster Kham of Shrine of Khpra, Brooklyn, NY in 2005. She is an enstooled Elder of the National Council of Elders, fou Eyele is known for her expertise in Ancient Egyptian culture, yoga, and language, and her lifelong immersion in African/Afro-Caribbean traditions. In 2006, Eyele was initiated as a Bantu nganga and peacemaker by Michael Ortiz Hill. She is also an Umbanda faith practitioner.
Over the years, Eyele has served the greater Newark community by offering free yoga and meditation, spiritual and business mentoring to the city's underground artists, and pandemic food distribution to Newark artists, residents, and our neighbors-with-no-addresses. Queen Mother Eyele was honored by the Newark Interfaith Alliance for her ongoing commitment to community service.
On a personal note, Eyele’s interest in history and culture are close to home. Her father, Tommie Lloyd, was the first African American accepted into the NJ Tool & Die Association. Her father was Gullah Geechee from South Carolina. Eyele’s mother, Jean Whitley Lloyd-Mayfield, was the first African American Girl Scout Leader in Kenilworth, NJ – at a time when crosses were still being burned. In the 1600’s, Virginia manumission laws were changed because her maternal ancestors were left land by their slaveholder in his will – something unheard of at that time. They chose, instead, not to take residence. This was the side of the family that ultimately became Artis (originally Ortiz). Eyele lectures on the rich history of her family, which is Bantu, Haitian, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Gullah, Melungeon, and Bajan. She has been studying the hidden history of enslaved people of color in the Americas and Caribbean with a personal quest and devotion.