HUMANS OF HONOR
Owe cooking at Chapter 25’s 2nd annual family day cook out
Zulu King EL-one, Zulu Prince Owe and Zulu King Q @ a Crotona Park, Bronx
The life of Brother Owe was the life of a Hip Hop purist, He embodied Hip Hop Culture with his Aerosol Art (graffiti) This was the way Owe chose to express himself through his art. His name Owe was an acronym short for “Other Writers Executioner”. Owe joined the Elite chapter of the Universal Zulu Nation in the year of 1999. During this time Brother El one was the president and Brother Leedrock was the vice president. He was brought to the meeting of 20 plus brothers and sisters by Brother Jus- P. The word on the street was Owe was already Zulu from a different chapter, during questioning it becamethat he was not a part of the organization but indeed knew very much about it. Brother Owe professed his love for art and Hip Hop music and told us of wanting more knowledge of life and a bigger family that is what interested him in the Zulu Nation. Owe became a full fledged Zulu after a few meetings. He demonstrated an understanding of the basic knowledge, history and laws of the U.Z.N upon earning the rights of passage to wear his beads and medallions you would rarely see him without them. Owe would often attend universal meetings in Harlem N.Y, His outgoing character would earn him many friends who would embrace him and look forward to speaking with him. Owe would often bring his black book which was filled with tags of many street artist as well as his own pieces he would add on to this book as often as possible. Owe would proudly display that he would have international Zulu members tag his book and vice versa, it meant a lot to Owe to have a collection of art with great work from all walks of life, but yet all apart of The Zulu Nation.
Owe’s participation in chapter meeting as well as functions was very high he would rarely ever miss the opportunity to share a good time or learn. This is where leadership gained the most respect for him through his dedication. As years passed Owe would transform his love of street art to canvas and do pieces for members of the Zulu Nation as well as his friends you would often see him on his skate board traveling through out Huntington he was known by everyone due largely to having a big family in the community as well as just being one of the most outgoing lively individuals you could meet. In the year of 2005 leadership in the Gestapo changed due to brothers coming home from prison. The direction of Brother EL one did not co inside with the direction of the elder G’s. During this era Brother El-one became Zulu King El-one in a grand ceremony located in the National Black Theatre in Harlem N.Y. Brother Owe took the ride on the train with the members for the celebration again being there for all the important events in relation to Zulu. As time passed the direction began to change in our community, the membership was growing older and wiser, through that growth came power. in regards to the Gestapo chapter things came to a boiling point and Afrika Bambaataa had a sit down with EL to discuss moving on and elevating from the jungle world he asked that Long Island establish our own identity within the Universal Zulu Nation, when this meeting ended El proposed his own chapter to be recognized and founded. Chapter 25 was born March of 2005 it was voted in by the chapter leader council in 2005 this brought about a meeting of the membership in which they were asked to choose if they would become chapter 25 or stay Gestapo. Many parted ways and quite few also stayed Gestapo. Brother Owe decided he did not want to be apart of either he loved us all and felt we are all one regardless of chapter he did not take sides for over a year or so he claimed to be Universal (apart of no chapter) upon the councils request Universal membership was terminated and Brother Owe than joined Chapter 25 he was impressed with the youth Brother El obtained through recruitment during this time he started getting tattoos to show his love and dedication to Zulu Nation. Owe first got Elite then Gestapo as well as 1973 on his wrist , These Tattoos meaning his first two chapters as well the birth year of the Universal Zulu Nation. As Owe’s love for chapter 25 grew he tattooed a Zipper many early members of chapter 25 said 25 to life meaning Zulu chapter 25 for life. Owe told Brother El the Zipper was the Zipper of a body bag meaning Zulu until he is in a body bag. You could not hold Owe back from a Zulu function he even attended meetings in crutches when he hurt himself. We would hear Owe rap, See Owe dance, See Owe do art. Owe was a true Zulu in every sense of the word. Owe was known to be the life of the party. He would often have everyone laughing until we were in tears. Owe was emotional and if you did not express your love to him often he would get aggressive and demand that love. Through time all Zulus would learn to love Owe for who he was a dedicated friend/Brother/Zulu. Owe was prankster and jokester in the most tense situations he would find a way to ease the tension and make brothers laugh. Brother Owe became very close with many of us and had a different relationship with each one of us some deeper than the next but he embraced us all and we all admired his art and passion for life.. In thinking back they were not many special times in Zulu that Owe was not apart of he was there for them all.
Between the years of 2010 and 2013 Owe had grown to become more responsible keeping consistent with maintaining a job, making more healthy choices and also becoming more spiritual he would go to the local mosque to learn about Islam as well as going to church to learn of the ways of Jesus. It was just another deep layer to the man who we called Owe. During this time Owe also completed his program at Katherine Gibbs for graphic design in which he hoped to land a career opportunity. On the day of November 19, 2013 I awoke to facebook news of Owe passing I shook my head and thought it was a hoax a ploy to garner attention Owe was a comic and he loved attention as time passed that early morning we all found out the news to be true it was devastating tears flowed like water from a burst pipe, Zulus calling my phone crying like babies. We were all in shock in loving one another we never would think to embrace the idea of death for a brother and for this brother it was true. In a terrible accident Brother Owe tripped and fell into the Syosset station track of the long island rail road in which he was hit by a east bound train heading towards Huntington. On the night of his passing Zulus from chapter 25 gathered in his name we told stories of what we shared with him the stories flowed for hours. The Chapter gathered in force along with local Zulu Chapter 17 7,18 and also Gestapo Chapter as well. All Zulu’s gathered at 7 pm to say farewell to him over 50 Zulus showed up. We made an eye opening entrance that caught the attention of the elders and youth at his services. Zulu King El one, Zulu King Q and Zulu King Bigz led the army of Zulu into the funeral parlor. Every direction you turned there was a Zulu saluting one another all you heard was Peace Ahki the formal greeting of the Zulu Nation. The pastor called beloved friends and family in to the room to speak on Travis Rittenhouse who we called “OWE” Brother Sos spoke followed by Zulu King EL one and then King Q, Each of us touched their hearts and I can only pray it touch Owes heart. It was our final fair well to our beloved Brother.
A message to the reader of this lesson on the history of Brother Owe please live your life to the fullest as Brother Owe did. Love your family as Owe did, Love Zulu as Owe did, embrace the lesson as Owe did. Get a hobby and love to practice that hobby like Owe did. There will never be another Owe and there will never be another you. Life is what you make it and I must say the Zulu life I shared with Owe he made it great.
R.I.P Owe Canvas at Brother Owe’s wake @ Connel Funeral Home Huntingon N.Y
Zulu Brothers from Chapter 25 and Chapter 17 paying respect for Brother Owe
Zulu King EL one
Chapter 25 founder
Universal Zulu Nation