One year ago, Kema Michelle Jamal danced into our Cody world.
She brought passion and drama and fire and love, and she began dancing her way into the lives of everyone she met. Our Maui girl came to Cody to heal and to grow, and she poured every ounce of energy into living and loving.
Intuitive, intelligent, and full of spark and fun, Kema was ready for a fresh start, accepting God’s love and presence in her life and allowing her recovery family, her work family, and her church family to invest in her physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Her goal, by God’s strength, was to stay well, to build a new life, and to reconnect with her beautiful children.
Born in Casper, Kema was the only child of Fronia Tate and Ramul Jamal. Kema and her mom relocated to Maui when Kema was 8 years old, where they remained until Kema graduated from Maui High School in Wailuku, Hawaii, in 1990. She attended San Diego State University, receiving her BFA degree in Dance in 1995.
Kema danced her way all over the world as choreographer and performer, from Los Angeles to New York City to the West Indies, Budapest, the Ivory Coast, and beyond. She met and married a Jamaican man in 2006, but they later divorced.
She is the mother of three beautiful children: Michael Jamal (deceased), Nevaeh Kema Williams (12) and Anthoneil Andre Williams II (11).
As a single mom, Kema owned and operated the 808 Dance Studio on Maui, Hawaii, for several years. She developed her own brand of expressive movement, KemaTherapy, LLC, guiding its students in non-verbal restoration of soul and spirit. Kema was an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and mental health labeling.
Kema’s most intimate revelation was experiencing God’s love and acceptance and receiving His grace through Jesus Christ. Her Cody Bible Church family witnessed her authentic worship on Sunday mornings, and her close neighbors could hear her shouting praise as she danced through the teachings of T.D. Jakes on her iPhone.
Kema was the heart-daughter of Kent and Jan Dempsey (Papa and Hana’i), the heart-sister of Joy Jochems (Tita), and was Auntie Kema to Josiah, Jordan, and Jessa Jochems.
Kema’s commanding presence and welcoming spirit graced our Cody town, and perhaps you connected with her at The Local, at Whole Foods Trading Company, at The Chamberlin Inn, at AA & NA meetings, at Cody Regional Behavioral Health, at Cody Bible Church, or through Cody Performing Arts.
A remembrance gathering will be held at Cody Bible Church on Wednesday, July 29, at 10 a.m.
An online guestbook is available at BallardFH.com.