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Since the year of 1930, many famous and influential world state leaders have made their mark but few are remembered in the passing years. However, Emperor Haile Selassie, stood alone and is remembered everyday by millions across six continents and by people of many different races. In their daily prayers, Rastafarians read the Emperor’s selected speeches which they call the Third Testament. Various hymns are verification to Emperor Haile Selassie as a living King. The Emperor’s message to humanity: peace, love, equal rights, and justice are the core values of the founder of the Rastafari movement. To get this message across many paid the ultimate price which now gradually begins to be noticed by the Latin American and Caribbean parliament. Recently, the Antigua’s and Barbados’ governments have officially apologized for the crime they deliberately committed against Rastafarians. 

 

From May 9-16, 2019, the trails and achievements of the Rastafarians will be exhibited in South America by Brazilian Rastafarians in the State of Bahia. The life and works of the Emperor and of the struggle of the Black race are the theme of the exhibition.

 

Ras Makandal, a native Brazilian, said that in addition to the exhibition, the tabernacle in Rio de Janeiro which bears the Emperor’s name will be inaugurated. Environmentalist, young people, and peace loving people are welcome, he added.  

 

The Emperor visited Brazil in 1960 according to historical records. While he was in Brazil, a coup was taking place in his homeland, Ethiopia. This news arrived while the Emperor was having a dinner with Juscelino Oliveira, the president of Brazil. The Chief of Security of Brazil entered the dinner hall, approached his president, and whispered the news into his ear.  The president paused; his gaze fixed for a moment, and then whispered the news to the Emperor. Both, leaders left the dinner hall and but later returned to finish the dinner program. The Emperor showed no emotion—even his own entourage assumed that it was the Brazilian president who had a problem rather than the Emperor.

 

The next day the Emperor had a press conference with local and foreign correspondents. Dr. Getachew Mekasha, who wrote the speech of the Emperor in Brazil recalls, “Aklilu Habtewold (The then foreign minister of Ethiopia) and the rest of us looked at the huge crowd of the press outside the hotel. We walked to the room of the Emperor and advised him not to have a press conference. But the Emperor said ‘We will answer their questions’. The Emperor, with just two answers wrapped up the session. The first question was: ‘Would you stay in Brazil or England like in 1936.’ The Emperor replied: ‘We will go home tomorrow.’ The second question was:  ‘How did it happen and who was behind the coup?’  The Emperor said, ‘What we know is what you heard through the media.’ There was a moment of silence; the Emperor said ‘If you don’t have other questions, excuse us, we have to go.’"

     

Almost 60 years elapsed since the press conference where the Emperor was asked if he would stay in Brazil as an exiled Emperor. Though the Emperor did not stay, his spirit has remained in Brazil since then. Today, for the Emperor’s sprit in Rio at the Tabernacle was built by Ras Makandal. There are other tabernacles in other areas of Brazil, where annual celebrations take place for the Emperor’s birthday and coronation. 

 

According to the history of The Middle East religions, it is man who has created God in his image. As his and her image change, so does that of their God – since time immemorial: God had been created and discovered by different individuals in different times and locations. Ibrahim discovered God when he was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Moses discovered him at the burring bush on Mount Horeb, Prophet Mohammed on the mountain Jabal an-Nour. The Rastafarians discovered their Deity on November 2, 1930, when Ras Tafari sat on the throne of King David with the coronation name, Haile Selassie, the power of the Trinity.

 

Since the coronation of the Emperor, the Rastafarians have been crowning themselves with glory in changing the course of History: in faith, music, medicine, fashion, food, language, and now they set the legacy of Halle Selassie on which the sun never sets. When the Rastafarians in South America praise the Emperor before they go to bed, Rastafarians in South Africa praise the Emperor in daylight. 

 

Two months ago the BBC undermined the Rastafarian way of life and the Emperor’s legacy through offensive news coverage of a newly erected statue of the Emperor at the African Union. In their article, the BBC posted an insulting image of the Emperor that looked like a drawing by a grade 5 student. If the BBC treated the Islam faith in a similar fashion, by now all of its office in Muslim countries would have been forced to issue an apology. Rastafarians should be treated with the same respect given to other belief systems. The legendary Rasta, Bob Marley once said to the regard of beliefs, “The Rasta doesn’t believe, but the Rasta knows.”

Can the BBC be critical of King Henry VIII, who formed a new denomination, the Anglican Church, just because the Catholic Pope did not grant him the right to divorce his wife so he would marry another? Do you blame the Rastafarians for forming a new way of life which allowed them to connect with their ancestral African roots, which also helped them fighting the institutionalized philosophy of one race superior and others are inferiors? Samuel Ochen, a native Ugandan, writes in his poem:

“Excuse me the pope, I will worship Selassie

Cause, I get strength when I call up on his name”

  

It is interesting to note that the image of Haile Selassie in every former British, French, Spain, Dutch, Belgium, German, and Portuguese colony has evolved into that of an icon of good over evil. 45 years ago, a generation of Ethiopians used to refer to the Emperor as ፀሐዩ ንጉሣችን (Sahayou Negusachen), meaning “The Sun King”. Now, the sun never sets on the legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie. (Selassie’s Legado Donde Nunca Se Pone El Sol)

 

Ras Makandal invites you, if you can, to come to see the new Rastafari exhibition in Bahia. He also invites you to visit the Selassie Taberancle in Rio de Janeiro. For those who cannot make it, please join him in congratulating the Brazilian Rastafarians for their accomplishments in building a strong community. To contact the Brazilian Rastafarian community, please see the email address below and cell number.

jorgemakandal@gmail.com

Tell 55 21 984892644   

 

 The Sun Never sets on the Legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie (Selassie’s Legado Donde Nunca Se Pone El Sol)

 

 

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