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Original Thread
In Response To: Baba Ras Marcus ()

I am posting this as a reference so we can heal and move forward ever...

Check Out The Real Situation: Rasta in Ethiopia

Posted By: Ras Nathaniel I
Date: Tuesday, 5 August 2003, at 3:27 a.m.

Check Out The Real Situation: The Rastafari Community
in Ethiopia

When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we
were like them that dream. (Psalms 126:1)

Ever since the Rastafari Movement appeared, it has
demanded Repatriationthe return of the Ethiopian sons
and daughters who were taken by force from Africa,
placed in chains and carried to the four corners of
the earth, particularly the Americasnorth, south and
central as well as Carried-Beyond (Caribbean). This
unshakeable faith in our eventual return comes from
Bible verses such as Isaiah 43:5-7.

"Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed
from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will
say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not
back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from
the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called
by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I
have formed him; yea, I have made him."

And Hebrews 11:14-16:

"For they that say such things declare plainly that
they seek a country. And truly, if they had been
mindful of that country from whence they came out,
they might have had opportunity to have returned. But
now they desire a better country, that is, an
heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called
their God: for he hath prepared for them a city"

And Revelations 14:1-3

"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount
Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand,
having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many
waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I
heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne,
and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man
could learn that song but the hundred and forty and
four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth."

And many other Bible verses as well. However, the
Bible also says that When the LORD turned again the
captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. As a
newly arrived Rastafari Repatriate of seven months, I
have begun to understand this particular verse.

Like most Rastas, I viewed Ethiopia not only as the
birthplace of mankind, the Garden of Eden and the
location of the Holy Mt. Zion, but also as the
favorite place of God on earth. When Emperor Haile
Selassie granted 500 acres of land in Shashemane to
the Black people of the West, most Rastas saw this as
the fulfillment of prophecy and the defining act of
liberation from physical oppression in the land of our
captors, i.e. Babylon (the West). Because of the
divine nature of Repatriation to Ethiopia, I, like
most Rastas, were caught up in a dream, not knowing
the realities of such a mass exodus to Ethiopia.
Although reports of poverty and famine in Ethiopia are
widespread, I tended to view Ethiopia as the great
city of God and my faith destroyed any fears about
anything negative in Ethiopia.

In addition, we Rastas often say, Many are called,
few are chosen. To me, this was linked to
Repatriation. Although there are many Rastas, or at
least those who appear to be Rasta, very few actually
Repatriate. Those that do, I thought, were those who
had qualified through their livitytheir knowledge,
their works, their zeal, etc. Thus, I tended to think
that the Rastafari Community in Ethiopia was the most
unified, the most organized and centralized, the most
full of love and livity, anywhere on earth. Surely,
such distinguished people would know how to behave,
having the most gratitude to our God and King Haile
Selassie (or Repatriating them. But as the Bible verse
shows, I was like them that dream.

Most Rastas would be abhorred to know that right next
to the Ministry of Justice is a restaurant called
Medoras operated by Twelve Tribes of Israel (TTOI)
members. Outside it is decorated with Rastafari
imagesred, gold and green, dreadlocked musicians
jamming, etc. However, right next to those images are
pictures of jerk chicken and fish. On Friday and
Saturday nights, one can go to Medoras and eat all
kinds of meat and drink all kinds of alcohol while
listening to live reggae music which, I have been
told, praises Jesus as much or more than Haile
Selassie. Not exactly the kind of establishment to
best represent Rastafari livity.

Not surprisingly, those associated with Medoras
happen to also be prominent in the organization called
the Jamaican Rastafari Development Community or
JRDC. It was reported in Rastafari Speaks newspaper
and has become a common idea throughout the Rastafari
Community worldwide that the JRDC has unified all the
houses of Rastafari and is the organization to support
for good works. Even today, as I check the Rastafari
Speaks message board, there are two messages appealing
for funds to be sent to the JRDC in Shashemane or
through its subsidiary in the United States, the
Shashemane Foundation, Inc. However, as I found out
during my seven months, TTOI and the JRDC have been
involved in a more than a few scandals, including
misappropriating $50,000 in CIDA funds, and allegedly
paying bribes to Ethiopian officials, especially at
the Ministry of Immigration. No one ever hears about
these things or the lack of real Inity and
participation in the JRDC by many Rasses. Instead, we
hear of the JRDC school which, is in itself, a good
project. Thus, we stay in the dream.

Recently, I wrote a letter to the JRDC, raising the
very serious issues about their ability to lead the
Rastafari Community in Ethiopia in light of their
compromised livity and alleged scandals. They did not
respond to my letter. However, the JRDC Chariman,
Desmond Martin, in a hail of thick, rapid patois,
shouted at me in Addis Ababas Le Notre Cafi, Ina
Jamaica . . . .Gun . . . Shot . . . Drunk I couldnt
make out all the words but the message was clear: Be
careful because we might shoot you! The reference to
drunk, I assumed, was his guilty conscioushe like
other TTOI members, do drink alcohol.

This same threat about getting shot was made by the
same JRDC Chairman to another Ras a few weeks before,
and again to another Ras a few weeks after. Many
Rasses in Shashemane remember when this same JRDC
Chairmen Desmond Martin marched into the tabernacle
with his gun. Not exactly the kind of behavior one
would expect from a Leader of the Rastafari
community! These things cause one to start to wake
up from the dream which starts to become a
nightmare when TTOI members reveal that some of their
real aims are to go to Israel and that they want to
put the former institutionalized (mentally),
cigarette-smoking Zara Yacob upon the Throne of Haile
Selassie. This they learn from their leader and
Prophet Gad who does not hail His Imperial Majesty
or recognize him as God. Of course, all this is
ridiculously blasphemous to Orthodox Rastas.
However, this mixed-up doctrine ceases to be merely
doctrine when it threatens the safety of the whole
Rastafari Community in Ethiopia.

The current government of Meles Zenawi has said that
the Rastafari Community is free to live in Ethiopia
like any other Ethiopian, as long as it stays out of
politics. Well, that is all right with most Rasses
because the Rastafari Movement has traditionally been
spiritual and non-political. Howver, TTOI insistence
that Zara Yacob is the millennial king to sit upon
the throne is an outright direct political threat to
the current government. Thus, when TTOI did not come
to the tabernacle to chant Ises for His Imperial
Majesty 111th earthday, but instead hosted a reggae
show at their headquarters and then introduced Zara
Yacob as their guest of Honor, it caused some Rastas
to begin to worry about their safety. Why? Because
here in Ethiopia, all dreadlocked people, be they
white or black, are lumped together under the title
Jamaican Rastafari. What will happen to the
Rastafari Community when the government puts its
foot-down on those who it believes are instigating
political intrigue against the government? Not
distinguishing between TTOI and other houses, all
Rasses may get caught in the deportation/imprisonment
net. I dont think the TTOI leaders are really
concerned about how their actions are affecting the
WHOLE COMMUNITY. Nevertheless, the situation has
killed the dream and reality has appeared, more
harsh than ever.

Some might say, You are just bashing the TTOI. What
do you have against them? Well besides their
misrepresenting Rastafari, their meat-eating, alcohol
drinking, their disavowal of HIM as GOD yet still
claiming to be Rastas, and their verbal threats to me
and other Rasses- other than, that, nothing except
that when the Ethiopian Reporter newspaper went to
Shashemane to investigate certain claims that the
Rastafari Community was suffering serious problems
with immigration, the journalist, upon arriving at
TTOI headquarters, was brusquely told that they (TTOI)
dont have any problems with immigration and that
their Chariman was in Addis Ababa. And with that, the
door was closed in his face. Yet, the truth is, the
majority of the Rastafari community DOES have various
problems with the Ministry of Immigration, as is
partially documented in the IRIE STAR ORDER REPORT:
Ethiopian Immigration and the Rastafari Family
Worldwide posted at www.rastaites.com. So, either TTOI
was speaking only for itselfand it may be true they
dont have problems with immigration because, after
all, they are alleged to be paying bribesor they were
speaking on behalf of the community, in which case
they openly lied. Not exactly the kind of Community
leaders I&I want or need.

Nevertheless, lest one dismiss me by saying I am
simply bashing the TTOI, I would add the other
realities which cause one to wake from the dream.
TTOI is not the only problem here in Ethiopia. To
those who have either lived or studied the history of
Rastafari repatriation to Ethiopia, it has long been
known of the real situation of The Ethiopian World
Federation (EWF) and what they have done. Of course I,
like many young Rastas, was only aware of the EWFs
glorious history preserved in books. Thus, before
arriving in Ethiopia I was an ardent supportereven
one of the leading forces behind organizing an EWF
Chapter. My EWF dream was burst, however when I was
presented with Rastafari oral history which is
richer and more accurate than the written history. As
most know, it was the mal-administration of the land
grant in the late sixties and early seventies that
caused the first serious problems on the Shashemane
land grant. Well, upon arrival I learned that the
majority of Rastafari non-EWF members view the EWF in
Shashemane today as a secret society at best and
gang at worst, mostly because of their closed-door
meetings. Although I wasnt an official EWF member
when I arrived, because I was known to be organizing a
chapter, I was allowed in to their meetings. Here I
learned that for the past three years they, the
Shashemane Local #14 have been dealing with the issue
of their charter, which is not recognized by EWF
Headquarters in New York. This is very strange because
the EWF International Organizer lives in Addis Ababa
and frequents Shashemane. So technically, the EWF
Shashemane local cant really do anything because it
is not recognized by EWF headquarters! To make matters
worse, the EWF members in Shashemane made it known
that, as administrators of the land-grant, they
decided everyone on the land grant must be members of
the EWF, forcing a sort of
organizational-gangsterism. This was quite an
arrogant offence to some who had been living on the
land grant for years. This prompted the Centenary
Committee for Rastafari (CCR) Newsletter, 11th Edition
Shashemane, Ethiopia April 2001to report that, at the
first ever public meeting of the EWF Shashemane Local,
In a series of hot exchanges from the floor, the EWF
leadership faced criticism for landlord tendencies
and exclusiveness that had limited its role in the
community. It was clear that changes would have to be
made in the vision, policy, leadership, and
constitutional interpretation of the present organ if
it was to represent I&I at the international level.
Needless to say, these changes havent been made, and
the EWF continues to stand alone. At the end of that
meeting, one Rastafari daughter said that if the EWF
was ready to come an evict her, then OJ, her grown
sons would be waiting for them with their cutlasses!
Moreover, one can not see any effect of the
highly-touted Rally Round Shashemane project in
which Morgan Heritage produced a cd and staged
concerts in order to raise money. One has to ask,
What happened to the money? So, the reality as
opposed to the dream is that the EWF does not have any
substantial land to administrate, nor any real power
to help its members get work permits and residence
permits, most of their projects, like the Marcus
Selassie Vocational Center, lay half-done and
abandoned, and there is a lot of bad history between
the EWF and the larger Rastafari community which
doesnt make for easy unity.

The Nyahbinghi House has had its share of
dream-busters recently, too. Many of the Nyahbinghi
in Jamaica are the Suffers of the sufferers, so it has
been most difficult for them, as individuals or as a
house, to forward members. As a result, there are but
just a few elders here, and these elders, under the
weight of so much pressures, have not held their
livity. While a tabernacle has been built (not the
original one used during the Centennary I-lebrations)
and a house, too, thedaughters quarters, though
started, hasnt been completed. Also, Congo Rocky and
Mama Baby-I have gotten themselves involved in several
controversies that have weakened their ability to
rally the house. It seems that they have gotten
themselves entangled with the TTOI and have accepted
their leadership. They (Congo Rocky and Mama Baby-I)
put out the Nyahbinghi youth who have been
contributing the most strength to the house, they have
built a stage and made Nyahbinghi Ilebrations more of
a show, and the Nyahbinghi Order during Ilebrations
is all out of order! Baldheads on the harps, no fire,
the Order just isnt right and the Ises dont ride and
reach the heights. It is even being said that the
Elders have been eating fish in the House! My own
experience has been very disappointing. I expected to
see hundreds of Rasses chanting Ises, not the few
eight to twelve just like in many other places! And of
course, I expected the Ises to reach much higher
states of IRIENESS because, after all, this is the
Nyahbinghi in ZIONwhat could be more IRIE than this?
Of course, that, again, was the dream. To be fair,
however, there are some Nyahbinghi Rasses and youth
who are struggling to hold it until such time as more
elders can forward to firm it up.

I would be remiss not to mention the other major
house, the Ethiopian African Black International
Congress (E.A.B.I.C.)/Boboshanti. Their presence is
the least visible, however their influence might,
perhaps, be the most important over the past few
years. Upon waking from my dream I learned that a
group of about seven Bobos were here and that
zealousness led them to some behavior that became an
offense to the government, who promptly deported them.
Government officials actually picked some of them up
and drove them to the Kenyan border they were so tired
of them! Only one of their members remained, who got
an inspiration to work with the farmers directly. This
led to a good relationship with the local kebelle
(farmers association/government) who allowed him to
get a piece of land in a new section not a part of the
original land grant. This became an opportunity for
Rastafari, who had lost all but 11 acres of the
original 500 acres. Today, about 70 Rasses have gotten
land through the certain Rasses efforts with the
kebelleRasses of all houses who pay a relatively
small amount of money (backpay) to the local farmers
who have held the land since the time of the Derg.
However, no land was being soldthe farmers who held
the land needed something to be able to return to
where they came from, and if they hadnt held the
land, it would have been seized by the government.
Unfortunately, some short-sighted Rasses thought that
land was being sold and fought against this
development, leading to yet another division. The EWF,
in particular, played a hypocritical role and was
accused of unfair, deceptive discriminatory land
administration, stating publicly that land is not
for sale while at the same time recruiting NEW EWF
members from Barbados to come and buy land in order to
inappropriately regain and monopolize control over
the land instead of administrate it legally through
the proper functioning of the EWF Constitution.

As if this wasnt enough, Priest Kenny was murdered in
Shashemane in April, 2001. When I arrived in Ethiopia
at the end of 2002/early 2003 I was warned about a
next Ras who was leaving the Nyahbinghi late at night
who was beaten along the road. Recently a next Ras was
beaten who later died in the hospital. Security is a
very serious issue here. During Empress Menens
earthday ilebration, one Rastafari daughter had her
house broken into and her luggage stolen. Two nights
before His Majestys 111th Earthday, a Ras had his
front gate stolen. The night before His Majestys
111th Earthday, his neighbors house was broken into
and the Rass laptop, passport, bank book and other
items were stolen. As if that wasnt enough, many
Rasses have been visited by officials who have
halted and/or sabotaged their work (building their
houses) demanding fees to continue the work. Much
construction has been stopped midstream for lack of
money to pay these fees. So, all in all, one can not
even rest in order to keep dreaming.

Now, I can already hear ones and ones ready to fight
against I for writing this article. I can hear the
criticismsWhy am I dissing Rasta? I am only giving
Babylon ammunition against Rasta! I must be a
Rasta-imposter informant for the FBI/CIA! I am
fostering yet more division and discouragement. What
can I say? I did not DO all those things which I am
writing about, neither was I happy to learn of them,
nor did I take them too easily. The last thing I
imagined doing was writing such things about Rasta in
Ethiopia! However, I am not here to serve men, I am
here to serve I God and King Haile Selassie which
means defending TRUTH and RIGHTS. So, if the real
situation, the truth, shatters the dream, well then,
I am to be counted as shooting down the dream!

And speaking of shooting, I can hear others saying,
Do you want to get shot? They will kill you for
writing that. Etc. etc. Well, all this may be true.
Truth-tellers have always been targets. Marley,
Malcolm, Rodney . . . . Werent the prophets of old
stoned? Wasnt Kiddus Immanuel crucified? Yet, what is
death to Haile Selassie? If the pen is mightier than
the sword, then I have fired a few shots already. But
I have fired these shots at the dream, to kill it,
not at anyone in particular, not even the JRDC
Chariman Desmond Martin. If there is an ounce of truth
in him, he will be offended, yes, for the truth is an
offence. But he will also be set free, for the truth
shall set you free

All those who know me know that I am a proud Ithiopian
of the Rastafari faith, devoted to serving His
Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I by using all
my talents and education, as each one of us must, for
the upliftmant of the Rastafari Family worldwide and
the fulfillment of Rastafari unfinished business which
is Repatriation. All who know me know I have devoted
my life since being called towards this fulfillment.
So why am I writing these things? Because right now,
Repatriation, the successful development of I&I, and
thence, the rest of Africa, through the successful
development of the Shashemane land-grant, is being
threatened by a number of wicked forces, chief among
them IGNORANCE. When the LORD turned again the
captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. We
must come out of the dream and understand what the
real situation is here in Ethiopia/Shashemane. Only
then can we confront reality with real solutions. And
what are the solutions? RIGHT NOW WE NEED A MASSIVE
put, that is the solution. Without a massive number of
strong Rasses who can hold a high livity and manifest
transformative works, the imposta-Rasta, the corrupt,
have an open field to operate, and this is making it
difficult for Rasses now and in the future. Theft will
stop when I&I numbers increase. Corruption will stop
when right overtakes might. Transformation and
prosperity will take place when heartical ises rise up
ina oneness. The Africa of Tomorrow will be built when
we, the creators of Shashemane, successfully build the
model city. Who will heed the call? I dont know.
However, TRUTH must be revealed, and it is hoped that
those who do heed the call will no longer be like
them that dream.

What Our country needs now is an increase in the
supply of trained and skilled manpower, men, of
professional integrity.

--H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, July 16, 1969

A qualified man with vision, unmoved by daily selfish
interests, will be led to the right decisions by his

--H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, July 2, 1963

A hungry person cannot be appeased by merely being
told about his hunger, similarly, what Ethiopia needs
is not a person who can talk about her problems but
someone who is determined to serve her with
enthusiasm, re-inspired by her long and glorious
history and spurred by the present gap. This can best
be manifested not in words but in deeds. Your
conviction to help the country must be demonstrated in
your determination to work. To do that, you must,
instead of working for personal ends, toil for the
community and common results. This would in turn call
for dedication to live, work and serve in the rural
areas where it is less comfortable. This again would
be seen in the fruits of your undertakings and not in
what others say about them or see in them.

--H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, July 6, 1970

Messages In This Thread

Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies
Re: Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies
Re: Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies
Baba Marcus
Re: Baba Marcus
Re: Baba Marcus
Re: Baba Marcus
Ashe Brotha Ras Nathaniel! Ashe Baba Marcus!!Ashe! *NM*
Re: Ashe Brotha Ras Nathaniel! Ashe Baba Marcus!!A
Baba Ras Marcus
Original Thread
give thanks Ras Adam *NM*
Humility Equals Strength
Re: Humility Equals Strength
Re: Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies
Is Ras Nathaniel still posting here?
Re: Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies
Re: Ras Nathaniel re:Shashemane Controversies

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