The Cumbo Family announces with great sadness the passing of Fikisha Ella Lois Sampson Cumbo, daughter of Elnora Evans Brantley Sampson and Emanuel Sampson. Fikisha transitioned into eternal life on Sunday, August 16, 2020. She was loved by so many and will remain in our hearts and in our memories forever. We appreciate our community of family and friends who have sent prayers and support. She is survived by her son Malik Cumbo; daughter-in-law Dona Tarectecan; five grandchildren: Autumn, Ezra, Selah, Sage and Eli; two sisters: Erma Jean Thomas and Chaney Douglas; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Fikisha Lois Cumbo, a mother, grandmother, poet, teacher, author, filmmaker, television host and photojournalist, was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and completed undergraduate studies at Texas Southern University. Graduating Magna Cum Laude in biology and chemistry, Fikisha accepted a research assistant position in Lipid Biochemistry at the University of Southern California where she co-authored five publications for journals such as Science, Journal of Lipid Biochemistry and Neuropathology. Interested in the adventures of New York City, she accepted a Lecturer in Biology position at Brooklyn College.
Passionate about music, she was introduced to Reggae in the summer of 1975, and immediately fell in love with this music in which she couldn’t tell “where the beat drop.” During this period of her independent study at Goddard College for a Master’s degree on “The Sociology of Musicians of the African Diaspora”, she met Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Initially utilizing the formal sociological interview format, she soon realized that it limited the artists’ full expression. Friendship with people prominent in the lives of Tosh and Marley allowed her to interact on a regular basis with these two legends. This led to her publication of “Get Up! Stand Up! Diary of a Reggaeophile” which was sold out in its first-edition printing. She has also photographed and interviewed a plethora of legendary musicians and artists during her long-standing career. She was the Editor-in-Chief of PURE JAZZ MAGAZINE (www.purejazzmagazine.net), and The Producer/Director of the weekly TV show CACE INT'L in New York City, and on the world wide web (www.Bricartsmedia.org) with YouTube www.youtube.com/caceinternationaltv) channel viewers in over 228 countries. This show has been on the air for over 30 years.
Fikisha was a cultural icon in her son's eyes and heart, as well as that of many people she knew in the community. She has always been a rebel standing for social justice until the very end.
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