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A Tribute to Baba Kilindi Iyi

By Darren Springer

First and foremost I’d like to send my condolences out to the immediate family and friends of Kilindi Iyi. It’s just over three weeks since I got word and it feels weird having to write this as I’m still coming to terms with his departure. Like many others in the family, we had big plans for 2020. We were going to—and still will—raise the bar with our work and efforts to make his presence, and that of the community as a whole, felt.

Kilindi Iyi was first brought to my attention in the mid-1990s. At the time he was introduced to the community as a master martial artist, who specialised in traditional African fighting sciences. Although fresh to me, Kilindi had already dedicated decades to teaching and sharing his knowledge and wisdom. He had founded not only martial arts schools, but community educational programs and provisions. He was a maverick, a mover and shaker and much more in his home city of Detroit. In his pioneering entrepreneurial spirit he produced a series of underground cult classic martial arts videos that me and my peeps in London got hold of. These practical demonstrations revealed ‘some would say’ controversial/secret practices that would eventually end up in homes all around the world, and can now be found circulating on the internet. Kilindi, having no alliances with any martial arts authority, in combination with his persona permitted him to share and not withhold the knowledge. 

This is the same spirit Kilindi brought with him wherever he rolled. If we fast forward to early summer 2011 this was when I was reintroduced to Kilindi’s work and eventually directly introduced to him via a mutual friend and teacher. I was on a newfound psychedelic quest, and the universe brought Kilindi back into my world not via martial arts, but this time through psychedelics. It didn’t make sense to me that the martial arts guy was now talking about psychedelics! 

On a DVD that I got my hands on Kilindi was basically saying everything came out of the mushroom; martial arts, yoga, ancient Egypt, the pyramids, swings and roundabouts. He left no shroom unpicked. I thought, this guy really likes his mushrooms and had probably eaten too much. Little did I know... this was even before the ‘high dose man’ moniker he was given.

Anyone who was in attendance at the very first Breaking Convention in Canterbury 2011 could not forget the moment Kilindi stood up during the closing Q&A and clearly and strongly suggested to the panellists that ‘you all need to do higher doses’. This was in reflection to what he heard from those on the panel, who in his opinion felt they were getting into something that they didn’t really understand. There was more to it but, he believed that, for one thing, a higher dose would push them into territory that would enable them to see some of the BS they were suggesting, while trying to monopolise and control the use and access to psychedelics... through learning by direct experience and not tippy toeing around it all. I’m not sure if the footage still exists but do remember, however he put it, him getting an ovation of applause in support. He said what I guess a lot of the audience felt but were not brave enough to stand up and say. That was Kilindi.

Kilindi was a man on a mission and an inspiration. His high dose approach wasn’t about ego and who can do the most. It was about getting enough fuel in you to get you where you needed to go. Deep into the depths of the unknown. He was a true psychonaut, a voyager, a warrior to the essence.

There’s so much about him and his work we are to fully grasp. Yes there’s hours of his work available for us to view, but I guess we’re going to have to do higher doses to see exactly what he was or wasn’t talking about! :)

His untimely departure is a big hit to us all, whether we really understand it or not. He knew and understood the mushroom to be an organic technology, a tool for navigating consciousness, the journey of the alone into the alone, into the multiverses and beyond the Planck scale realms. He encouraged others to see it for what it was and not to fantasise the experience. Keeping it real ;)

Baba was a true warrior and a hero of mine. He came like a Morpheus into my life, arriving with divine timing and I know he was vitally important for many others in the tribe.

I feel honoured to have learnt, travelled with, and shared the same platform as Kilindi, spreading spores, inoculating and colonising minds in preparation for the fungal future.

Continue the journey, brother. His legacy is sure to continue and live on in spirit, flesh and through the technology.  

Darren Springer, May 2020