Cover photo for Vivian  Ovetta  Hindrew's Obituary
Vivian  Ovetta  Hindrew Profile Photo
1955 Vivian 2022

Vivian Ovetta Hindrew

July 24, 1955 — January 7, 2022

However far the stream flows, it never forgets its source – Ewe proverb

Vivian Ovetta Gartley, a.k.a. Chief Sagbe, passed away at the age of 66 on January 7, 2022 in Martinez, GA. Born July 24, 1955 in Chicago, Il, she is the eldest daughter of 4 children born to Elnora Logan Hunter and Robert Gartley, both of whom, along with her elder brother, preceded her in death.

She attended Jefferson Elementary School in Chicago, Ill. In 1969, her family moved to Compton, California where she attended Whaley Junior High and Dominquez High School. In 1973, Chief Sagbe enlisted in the U.S. Army, under the old WAC (Women’s Army Corps). While enlisted, she worked as an Operating Room Tech and Emergency Triage. It was in 1976, during her enlistment at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts where she met and married her husband , Rodney Hindrew. In 1981, they gave birth to their first and only child, Jarrett.

Chief Sagbe continued her education by attending Chaminade University, in Honolulu, Hawaii. There she obtained her BGS. Throughout the course of her studies, Chief Sagbe attended various programs of extracurricular studies at the University of Hawaii, Würzburg University in (then West Germany), concluding with a summer intensive at the Université de Caen, in France. Later, she obtained her M.Ed in Community Counseling at Augusta State University, in Augusta, Georgia.

Chief Sagbe was employed in various government jobs including International Logistics, journalists, special project writing the “After Action Report” during Operation Desert Storm, to VEEP (Veteran’s Employment Educational Program) Counselor; Procurement Officer (Augusta State University Library); Upward Bound Counselor (Paine College); Drug and Alcohol Counselor (Aiken, South Carolina).

However, it was after searching for more than 20 years for someone who understood the spiritual nature of her suffering and destiny, in 1987, during a conference at San Francisco State University, she received a powerful healing ceremony by Master Chief Akuete Durchback. Chief Durchback was a visiting chief priest from Togo, West Africa. This powerful healing event dramatically change the destiny of Chief Sagbe’s life. It was through “Papa” Akuete that Sagbe learned the ancestral nature of her suffering, and over a span of 25 years of formal traditional ceremony and travel to West Africa, Chief Sagbe set out to discover the ancestral source within her family lineage of who bequeath her destiny to acquire the ancestral Zekpui (stool) of Mami Wata, Mama Tchamba, Jihossou, Dan etc.,. She is the first African-American to install the great shrine of the Amenganise. A path bequeathed to her from her maternal great-great grandmother.

Chief Sagbe has traveled countless time to Togo, West Africa, and to more than a dozen countries, and have worked feverishly to answer her ancestral calling, by reestablishing the ancestral traditions of Africa here in North America for the Diaspora and to heal, unite and service the family and the world. She firmly believe that it is within these ancient ancestral systems where one could find the history, culture, spiritual direction and personal destiny of oneself and family.

In 1999 Chief Sagbe founded the Mami Wata Healers Society of North America Inc.. an ancestral, religious non-profit organization whose objective is to educate, initiate and guide the Diaspora back to their spiritual ancestral roots. Later, she would expand the society’s objective to include spiritual services and initiation to the world.

It was her MWHS organization who challenged the Library of Congress to change the pejorative classification of African religions, (formerly classified under “Satanism an witchcraft) to “African Spirituality”, and African Religion respectively. It was also her organization who challenged and had included in the U.S. Veteran Administration manual of headstone markers, the African “Nyame” ancient symbol for God, so that those who have taken the path of their ancestors would have a respected symbol lending dignity to their Ancestral Spiritual path.

The author of six books that have become cult classics within the Indigenous Spiritual communities, Mama Sagbě is the first African-American to establish the temples of the grand Vodou deities here in America. She is the first to have also rebuild the ancestral temple in Klobatimé, Togo, West Africa; bringing all of her ancestors back home. Mama Sagbé was inducted into the worldwide, Oborigine Ogboni Faternity Society of the Grand Royal Ancestral Vodoun Agbassa of Afiwa Negue (Awono Grand Chief, Mama Zoedede); her maternal, biological Togolese cousin in Lome, Togo. Mama Sagbě is also the first African-American inducted as a recognized Traditional Lineage Priest in the esteemed F.N.C.V.T.T [Fèdération Nationale des Cultes Vaudous et des Traditions du Togo]

Mama Sagbé is proceeded in death by her dear mother, Elnora Logan Hunter, her father Robert Gartley Sr., her brothers Robert Gartley Jr., & Earl Gartley. To celebrate her home-going to the Ancestors, is her husband, Rodney Hindrew, her son, Jarrett E. Hindrew, her wonderful daughter-in-law, Katie Roach Hindrew, Her elder sister, Connie White. Her younger sister, Mary Larry. Her baby brother, Patrice Gartley. Her adoring grandsons Jackson and Connor Hindrew. Her nephews, Larry Adams, Carlos Adams, Metro Gartley Jr., Darryl Gartley. Her nieces, Patricia Ann Gartley, Amber Gartley, Jasmine Gartley. Her grandniece Leeandra Gartley and a host of other grandnieces, nephews, cousins and godchildren.

She requests that in lieu of flowers, that anyone wanting to make a contribution can purchase food and/or clothing and donate to the Mami Wata Healers Society Suraka Charity Fund for the Dispossessed and Homeless, managed by Mama Chief Zodede. Or they can simply make a commitment to offer some help to the homeless in the name of their ancestors, throughout the course of their lives.

*(phonetically known as “Zogbe” in the West) “Sagbe” (meaning “No matter how deep the ocean, your enemies can never defeat you”), is the spiritual name given to her by her maternal ancestors upon completing her Amengansie ceremonies in Togo, West Africa (1999).

The family will receive friends at Platt's Funeral Home, Belair Road on Saturday, January 22, 2022 from 1:00 until 5:00 PM.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vivian Ovetta Hindrew, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 22, 2022

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Platt's Funeral Home - Evans Location

337 North Belair Road, Evans, GA 30809

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