Bovenga Na Muduma
Program Director, Chief du Bwiti
Bovenga (Robert Payne) is pleased to be program director at Oka Center and has been administering ibogaine compassionately since 2009. His first medicine encounter 11 years ago resulted in the cessation of 17 years of hard alcoholism and he has been devoted to the plant ever since. Since 2009, he has conducted nearly 1000 safe Iboga detox ceremonies using a ceremonial protocol formed with Dimitri Mugianis.
Robert was a presenter at the first Ibogaine conference in Sayulita, Mexico in 2009, then again in the 2011 Vancouver conference. In 2009 and 2010 he split his time between conducting NYC underground Ibogaine treatments with Dimitri Mugianis and attending Bwiti ceremonies in Gabon, where he learned traditional methods of administration and setting for Iboga ceremonies and earned the Bwiti name Bovenga Na Muduma. He also trained in music, smoking ceremony, spiritual baths, and songs and chants performed before and during ceremony. In 2011 Bovenga was prosecuted by the DEA for his underground/activist work with Ibogaine within the US.
Oka Center Director
David’s passion has been Bwiti since his Iboga initiation in 2007. It’s his privilege to be sharing this medicine with people in need.
David is extensively well-traveled in Gabon, Africa where he is known as Okukwe. During his time in Gabon he learned Bwiti traditions, music, and ceremonial practices and is proficient on both the moungongo (musical bow) and ngombi (harp) instruments.
David views Bwiti and Ibogaine as a lifeway that champions communion with others while also empowering the individual. His approach to working and healing with others starts with the awareness of alienation and isolation as common and appropriate responses to our western culture, and is based in nonjudgement.
Grace is a woman with an amazing personal history for being so a young. Wise beyond her years, sensitive to Oka guests’ needs, and uniquely inspiring for the creative life at the center, she is way too modest to have written this bio.
Ally Karn Few
Substance Abuse Counselor (not on site at this time)
Ally hails from San Francisco CA. She brings a lot of life experience with addiction to her work as a substance use counselor. After countless failed attempts, she was finally able to free herself from an on and off 19 year heroin habit with the help of Ibogaine. She is forever grateful to this beautiful medicine and devoted to supporting others who feel called to it. When not physically at Oka, Ally works as a harm reduction counselor and community health social worker in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco.
Brian Murphy, LCSW, M Ed (not on site)
Senior Advisor, Therapist
For over ten years, Brian Murphy, the founder of Self-Led SolutionsSM has been working with drug users and heavy drinkers in a non-judgmental and effective way to help people get their lives in order without having to commit to a lifelong 12-step program. He is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of New York, having obtained his Master of Social Work degree from he Shirley Ehrenkratz School of Social Work at New York University. He also earned the degree of Master of Education, summa cum laude, from the City College of New York.
Brian is a member of the Internal Family Systems Therapy Association, and is involved in the training of other therapists in this model. He is also a member of the Harm Reduction Therapy and Training Associates, an organization that works toward the humane and effective treatment of drug and alcohol problems.
Brian has led trainings in harm reduction and therapy topics at such institutions as Fordham University, Cornell Medical Center, New York University, the Harm Reduction Training Institute in New York, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and at various conferences nationwide.