Our Readers' Opinions
December 11, 2012
Put differences aside, start anew for 2013

Tue, Dec 11, 2012

Editor: Please permit me space to express my opinions and to make a special call to the Rastafari Movement. Sometime in 1996, my eyes were opened to a different form of life and living, that is the way of life called Rastafari. In my earlier days, this movement spiked in me a quest for my African Self; through the words of Marcus Garvey, I was urged to look to Africa for a Black King who would lead his people.{{more}}

I found that king and his name is Haile Selassie 1 – King of Ethiopia. I started reading his words and found them to be an inspiration in various aspects of my life. At Asmara University, he stated “Life is full of trials and tribulations and man in his struggle to survive and guide his own destiny has to be prepared to meet its many challenges, particularly in our modern world. Education can harness man’s immense potential and enable him to be better equipped in his life-long pursuit so he can utilize his strength and intellect to the highest use. Mankind has benefited from this through the ages”; hence my pursuit of tertiary education. When I decided to pursue my chosen part of life of being a Rasta Woman, I could remember the advice I got from his speech on religion: “Since nobody can interfere in the realm of God we should tolerate and live side by side with those of other faiths. In the mystic traditions of the different religions, we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen.”

The Rastafari Movement in the region and more specifically in SVG has been a beacon for awakening the African Consciousness, encouraged, promoted and practised a healthy lifestyle in eating more natural foods and drinks, and they also promoted the natural hair, and the use of all natural products like coconut oil, shae and cocoa butter. In the late seventies, eighties and nineties, the Rastafari movement was vibrant and at its highest peak, where the love and respect for each other was high, the concern and love for the wider community was great, and their presence and participation in the development of SVG was seen and felt. This is what inspired me to be a part of this movement.

But from the late nineties up to today, there has been a significant decline in the vibrancy and involvement of the Rastafari movement in their own activities and in that of the wider community. I am not going to point fingers at any individual or sector of the movement and this article is geared at all the branches of the Movement: the Nyahbinghi, the Twelve Tribes, The Bobo Ashanti, The Ethiopian Orthodox, and The Rastaman. This letter is really an appeal to all persons of the Rastafari Movement to awake from our sleep and slumber.

A line from a great song comes to mind which is: “where are all the Rastaman gone?” and I need us to answer this question and do so with an open mind. Are we dwindling into the fight for our survival? Are we so caught up with the daily hustles that we no longer think of our collective and the wider community? Have we forgotten our creed: “Let the hungry be fed, the naked clothed, the sick nourished, the aged protected, and the infants cared for?”

I am going to use another popular song by Burning Spear “Calling Rastafari – sons and daughters of His Imperial Majesty, and I am calling on us to put our differences aside and start anew for 2013; let’s work together to build our vision of Zion, starting right here in SVG. The will, the interest and the ability to change our destiny rests squarely in our own hands. I am proposing a meeting of all members of the Rastafari Movement who are thinking that we need a revitalisation to come together for a meeting. This meeting should be one of inclusion of all members of the movement to chart a way forward. I am proposing this meeting for January 7th, 2013. Remember, united we stand, divided we fall!!

Idesha Jackson