The Jamaica Observer recently reported a visit by Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I, on April 22; the local Rastafarian community turned out in numbers to welcome him. Accompanied by his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, Prince Ermias traveled to Jamaica to participate in activities to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s visit.
Hundreds of Rastafarian men, women and children flocked Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, where the ‘prince’ arrived on a flight from the United States at minutes before noon. But the Rastafarians, who were beating drums, chanting verses, and smoking marijuana, said the gathering was nothing compared to what was seen half-a-century ago.
Following a press conference, Prince Ermias — who lives in Washington, DC — emerged from the airport building and walked to the car park accompanied by Minister of Culture Olivia Grange, Transport Minister Mike Henry, and representatives of the Commemoration Committee and the Republic of Ethiopia. He greeted the crowd of Rastafarians and thanked the people of Jamaica for hosting him.
He then journeyed to the National Heroes Park where he was greeted by Mayor of Kingston Dr Angella Brown Burke, before placing a wreath at the shrine of national hero Marcus Garvey.
“…We are focusing on making sure that we represent our custom; practise lifestyle, as Rastafarians, to be involved and, I pray that everything works out. I give thanks to the brethren and the sistren dem who have been focusing on the tradition of Rastafarians over the period,” Bunny Wailer, the only living member of the Wailers singing group, told the Jamaica Observer. [. . .]