Brand new South Florida channels aim to demystify Afro-Cuban religions

Followers of the Yoruba religious beliefs will soon have TV plus radio channels devoted entirely for them and believers of other beliefs that mix African faiths along with Catholic Church iconography. The route will also serve those interested in understanding more about la Regla de Ocha, better known as Santeria.

South Florida-based Obaife Radio and Television was designed to achieve a market overlooked by Spanish-language press and to forge a degree of oneness among priests of the Afro-Cuban beliefs, according to founder José Montoya, the businessman and sometimes-controversial priest from the Mayombe and Regla de Ocha religions. The broadcasts may also help enhance the image of their rites, often turned down in the West.

Development is slated to begin in late Oct on cable, internet and transmit TV signals. Its name, Obaife, means “ king of the property of Ifé, ” the historic Yoruba city in southwest Nigeria that is home to the Ooni, the particular region’ s traditional ruler.

“ We would like to tell our audience about our own practices, especially the ethics associated with religion, because there’s been a very detrimental image of our religion due to unethical individuals and some people who are not even people, ” he said.

“ There is much competition among the different branches of our religious beliefs — a war between people who want to follow religion as it had been during our ancestors’ time and the ones who have adapted it to present times, ” said Montoya, who will be president of the Temple of Ministers Shangó Eyeí fe. His brand new channels will represent both factions, he said.

Programming will include original documentaries, live rituals and debate community forums, along with interviews in Miami plus Cuba with prominent religious commanders and personalities.

Some of those are the decendents associated with slaves brought from Africa in order to Cuba who were forced to adopt Catholic practices in the New World but carried on to observe their ancient rituals.

Montoya owns 2 television stations and four r / c, with studios in Davie plus West Palm Beach. He stated he will change the names of 2 stations, Nocturno 99. 7 FM and 80s Freestyle Radio ninety two. 7 FM. Both can be noticed from West Palm Beach in order to Cocoa Beach, on the Internet and on their own mobile phone apps.

In order to expand his potential audience, Montoya said is also is negotiating along with Comcast to distribute Obaife TELEVISION in northern Miami-Dade County, which includes Miami, Hialeah and Doral, plus southeastern Broward.

He is waiting for FCC approval to use a low-power religious community radio stations station in Miami-Dade, he mentioned. The programming also will be available upon www.obaifeteve.com .

Juan Manuel Casanova, a Ohio priest and doctor of hypnosis, will host one of the Obaife TELEVISION programs. His section will be entitled “ Ciencias ocultas y santerí a” – Occult Sciences plus Santeria – and focus on the dialogue among believers of the individual branches of the Yoruba religion.

Differences in beliefs plus rituals mark the gap in between followers of the traditional Nigerian college and the so-called Criollo Cubans who seem to follow the mixed versions handed down by way of a slave ancestors.

“ That fragmentation gives increase to a lot of speculation and a lot of lies, ” said Casanova, author of a number of books about Afro-Cuban culture.

“ We do want to force people to accept our own position, ” he said. “ We want to establish an ethical collection that would be good for Miami and Cuba. ”

MiamiHerald