Monday, May 30, 2011
THE ROLE OF RASTAFARI YOUTH IN THIS TIME
THE ROLE OF RASTAFARI YOUTH IN THIS TIME, LOOKING BACK AT THE ROLE PLAYED BY THE ANCIENTS PLAYED AS YOUTH IN THE MOVEMENT. WHAT DID THEY GET UP AND HOW HAVE WE CONINUED THEIR WORKS (if at all?). 22 PROPOSALS.
Rastafari movement and consciousness has been developed and kept alive from that time until this time by the courageous militant Black Youths who form the core of the movement. These are the youths who stood up against the colonial forces and free themselves from spiritual and physical bondage, a condition which we were forced to it by European colonial forces through colonialism and enslavement of Afrikan people.
This strength and power was within Qadamawi Haile Selassie I who show great wisdom at an early age, a rear quality which lead Him to take responsibility of being a governor at the age of 14 in Harar. Through HIM we can really see the role of youthfulness in the development of Rastafari consciousness. Leonard Howell (Gong guru Maragh) who is known as the first Man to declare the divinity of Qadamawi Haile Selassie I, who went to Ethiopia to witness the coronation of His Majesty on 2nd November 1930 in Ethiopia, coming all the way from Jamaica, was only 32 years at that time. It is no doubt that the youth were and are still the key in the development of the concept and livity.
Rastafari consciousness has been the most appealing to the young blood who accepted the truth about the divinity of the Ethiopian Kings and Queens, filling the ranks of the movement immediately after the coronation of Qadamawi Haile Selassie I and Empress Mennen Asfaw. Hence the first Rastafari adherents who followed after Howell, were also young African blood warriors. Rastafari community of The Pinnacle in Jamaica was also an establishment which attracted young Africans who were willing to abandon the colonial society, rebelling against the colonial establishment to build a self-reliant and self-sufficient Afrikan centred community.
The Youth Black Faith which formed nucleus of the Nyahbingi Order in Jamaica was one of the important organized structure by the Youth within Rastafari, which elevated Rastafari and uphold the warrior tradition within the movement. Rastafari elders like Elder Bongo Watto, Bongo Dinermite, Bongo Floyd, Bongo Tyme to name just a few, were among the youth in the 40’s and 50’s who were part of the Youth Black Faith, became the militant Revolutionary Order of Nyahbingi following in the ancient Afrikan warrior tradition of Nyabinghi which was under the leadership of Qadamawi Haile Selassie that time.
It is clear to me that it was the youth who kept and uphold the mission of Rastafari vision during the early days in development of Rastafari culture. Even here in Azania and everywhere in the continent, youths are the drivers and keepers of Rastafari consciousness and culture, as it manifest in all colonial societies where elders are more tolerant and afraid of the white colonial system. The youth maintained and sustained the anticolonial stance with no fear of the colonial and neo colonial establishment which was, against anyone who rebel against their machinery. I have no doubt in my mind that if the youth never took the responsibility of organising Rastafari, we wouldn’t be here with our heads high, declaring with the confidence of the divinity of Qadamawi Haile Sellassie I and Empress Menen I.
This brings I to the importance of the responsibilities of the Youth within Rastafari. As Youths of Rastafari this time, we a faced with different reality within Rastafari. We have our own challenges which are not the same with the ones that were once faced by Rastafari youths of the 40’s and 50’s.
The movement has grown to a level where we can no longer, classify it as a youth movement because now we have Elders within the livity, who are the custodians of Rastafari tradition and culture, something which require a different approach than the one of the youth during the rise of Rastafari. There are also changes socially, economically and politically universally which forces everyone to be in line and in tune with the conditions of the day.
The Social forces which were driving and influencing the consciousness of Rastafari are still with us to this day. Africa is still controlled by the same Arab and European colonial imperialist vampiric forces who are hell-bent to destroy us, continuing their greediness and blood sucking of Afrikan people, profiting in our destruction, though we have new Black managers who protect the interest of their masters. The current environment forces us to continue sounding the trumpet against colonialism, neo colonialism and any form of exploitation by a man to another man. Black people are still fighting to reclaim and retain Mama Africa, which is still in the hands of the white man. Our brothers and sisters in the foreign lands are still crying, agitating for repatriation of African people who were taken away from Afrika by white enslavers by force. Within Afrika we are also struggling and fighting to get control of the continent which still suffer from the same exploitation after 500 years of colonisation of Africa by Europeans and Arabs.
As Rastafari youth in this time here in Azania and in the whole continent of Africa, we have a responsibility to liberate the minds and our land from colonial and neo colonial rule, which put us in servitude. The liberation of Afrika is central and critical to the thinking of Rastafari, as we only have Afrika to build the strong and lasting foundation for Afrikan people universally. The repatriation of Afrikan people back to Afrika will only be a dream up until Afrikans Liberate Afrika and establish an Afrikan centred Pan Afrikan government to serve the collective interests of Afrikan People. It is then that we’ll be able to have a government who will listen to our African collective interest and to our demands as African People.
The first priority must be the liberation of Azania and Afrika from this settler neo colonialism which perpetuate the exploitation of Afrikan natural and human resources This is where the youth must focus this time so to realise our aspirations as Rastafari and as Afrikan people. We need our land for our advancement socially, economically and spiritually, to maintain our collective existence, and also to give us security.
For us to achieve this goal of total liberation for the restoration of Afrika, the youth must dirty themselves and be part of the revolutionary force that seeks to overthrow white colonial domination here in Azania and elsewhere. Rastafari is not a fence sitter, who glorify laziness, ignorance and irresponsibility. We cannot sit behind and allow ourselves to be at the back of this revolutionary train. Rastafari must be at the forefront of Afrikan Struggle as a leader of a revolution. We cannot allow other people to do it for us, without our involvement and participation in the cause. Rastafari youths must set an example in every field of life and advance the struggle to its final conclusion. Rastafari has been involved in the struggle against colonialism from its inception, as HIS Majesty lead other Afrikans and form the Organisation of African Unity, in Addis Ababa 1963 for the liberation of Afrika and Afrikan people. Rastafari Sons and Dawtas Grenada saw the need and importance of struggling with the people against the injustices perpetuated by the white man, when they took part in the revolution against colonial imperialism and exploitation of Afrikan people in Grenada.
Our Programmes must be clear to all, we can’t be beggars and squatters in our own Land. We must put an end to this colonial madness that kept us in bondage for over 500 years. If we ignore this reality and run away from our responsibility, we’ll be no better to the traitors and sell outs who sold our land, gold, diamond, platinum, uranium, iron, forest, rivers and other resources to de beers, oppeinheimer, rockerfellers, anglo American, rino tinto of this world who still continue to use our people in their thiefing and robbing of Afrikan resource. We must learn from the works of HIS Majesty on how to deal with the imperialist vampires like he did to the fascists beasts Mussolini the devil.
As the youths we must rise up from the dust and take the lead, as this will bring the lasting peace and progress within our Afrikan family. So long as our Afrikan resources are foreign controlled, we won’t be able to advance and fulfil our goal and attain the envisioned self. The role of the youth will always be critical as we constitute a power which can bring change by virtue our strength, versatile and youthfulness.
History has thought I that the real revolutions all over the world were driven and lead by Youth leaders. For example, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Muammar Ghaddafi of Libya, Thomas Sankara of Burkina faso to name just a few.
Many of the great African revolutionaries who were killed by white supremacists within the Black world like Biko, Marley, Sankara, Malcom X, Frantz Fanon, Walter Rodney and many others were killed at the young age but with immense contribution in the struggle for total liberation of Africa.
Essentially Rastafari is not about locks, ganja and Ital food. Rastafari is the total commitment to one’s responsibilities as a man, and as an African. We must be responsible people, who always shows commitment to our Afrikan people with the aim to free our family from the white man colonial bondage. Let us be agents of positive change and allow ourselves to be the servants of Afrikan people, subjecting our individual interest to the one of the collective. Afrika awaits its creators. Hotep! Rastafari!