I listened to a brief news story on BBC world service, last evening.. it’s been 50 years (21/4/1966) since Ras Tafari visited the Island of Jamaica. In case you don’t know.. Ras Tafari was the pre-coronation name of: His Imperial Majesty (HIM) Haile Selassie I, last Emperor of Ethiopia. The ‘Rastas’ saw him as their spiritual leader (some even thought he was ‘the second coming of Christ’ ?).
In the interview ‘the two witnesses’.. gave a brief recount of the day:
1) there were literally 100,000s of Rastas & other Jamaicans at the airport to welcome him
2) there was a lot of ‘Ganja’ being smoked (their sacrament) in great big chillum pipes
3) it was overcast & raining heavily.. until his plane appeared, then as if ‘a sign from Jah’ the clouds cleared away; maybe they thought the prophesy had come true ‘he shall come with clouds & every eye shall see him’ ?? (2nd coming)
4) the crowds cheered & tears were shed, as Ras Tafari, HIM Haile Selassie I, step from the airplane
5) he stayed in Jamaica for 3 days & the crowds followed him everywhere he went.
One of the interviewee, said whilst he was very taken aback by the event.. he was surprised to actually see Ras Tafari (in the flesh).. ‘he was a small, timid looking man, in a military uniform’. He thought he would be a GIANT & the earth would shake in his presence.. ‘The conquering LION of the tribe of Judah’ & ‘King of Kings’ (the Myth lives on).
I find it interesting that 50 years on, the general misunderstanding about the Rastafarian religion is that it’s all about smoking Ganja.. many people are probably unaware who OR what ‘Ras Tafari’ actually was/is. “Rest in Peace Man !”
Many associate it with the other more recent ‘spiritual leader’ of Rastafari : Bob Marley RIP
btw; Ganja is now legal in Jamaica.. perhaps this will mark the rising tide of change.. hopefully coming to the rest of the world in 2016 ?