Born on October 3rd 1975, Sekyiwa Shakur is the Tupac’s sister and the daughter of Afeni Shakur and Tupac’s step-father, Dr. Mutulu Shakur.
In 1981, Mutulu was on the run due to participating in an armed robbery. This landed him on the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted list and in February 1986, was arrested and charged. This left Afeni to bring up both children in Harlem.
Growing Up In Poverty
It wasn’t the best of times for the family. Sekyiwa, age nine, found herself homeless, struggling in poverty, along with her brother and mother. Around that time, Tupac landed the role of Travis in A Raisin in the Sun at the Apollo Theater. He partly took this role so that the family were inside a warm building with food. He was the only child in the cast."Because I was raised by a woman half of my life then thrown to the streets, it's like I got the woman side, then I got real rough, manly values." – #tupac Click To Tweet
Growing up, she was close to Tupac, with her elder brother nicknaming her ‘Setchi’ and ‘Set’. Although having plenty of sibling fights, they loved one another.
From being young, Tupac felt the need to protect Sekyiwa, as any brother would. From getting into a fight with one of her friends playing hide and seek to telling his friends to look out for her when he was older.
Reflecting on their relationship Sekyiwa Shakur said; “If I’d grown up with anyone else besides Tupac as my brother, I don’t think I would be the person that I am. If he’d grown up with anyone else as his sister, I don’t know if he’d have become the person he was.”
In the 2017 biopic, All Eyez On Me, Rayven Symone Ferrell stars as Sekyiwa Shakur. She quickly learned of the life of Tupac’s younger sister, coming up with a similar reflection to her real life character. Speaking on that, Ravven said; “he was forced to take care of her and provide for her so it caused him to grow up quickly. In the end, I do believe that they taught each other a lot.”
Sekyiwa Learns About Life First Hand
As Tupac went out to California to tour with Digital Underground, Sekyiwa went to New York to high school. This period of separation saw both of their lives change. ‘Pac was beginning to become a household name and appearing in movies. Whilst Sekyiwa witnessed her mother go through drug and alcohol recovery.
Afeni passed on her knowledge to her children, with constant discussions about the struggle and world they live in. It was this education that enabled Sekyiwa to gain a full scholarship at an executive private school. Her mother convinced the principal that Sekyiwa’s presence would benefit everybody at the school.
When Tupac passed away, it sent shock waves through the Shakur family. This colorful, vibrant and talented young, black revolutionary gunned down at such a young age. As soon as Sekyiwa got back to California she held one of her beloved brother’s jackets and hugged tight on it.
She has since spoken on people who were there for the Shakur family in their time of need. These people include the Outlawz, Keyshia Cole and Jasmine Guy.
Strong Network Of Support
Since the death of her big brother, she lost Yaki Kadafi, whom she grew up, just two months later. In 2016, her mother, Afeni, died of a suspected heart attack. With the tragedy over the years that she has had to deal with, it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. But she has kept strong and pushed on, concentrating on herself and children. She and EDI Don, from the Outlawz, has two children together.
Over the years she has kept out of the public eye, protecting her privacy. Sekyiwa Shakur spoke about coming from a family of revolutionaries, deep rooted in changing the world for the better. In the 2008 book, Tupac Remembered, she says; “My nuclear family, which included my mother, my father and my brother, all changed the world by the time they were twenty-five. I’m thirty-one and I just learned how to make banana pudding!”