Minister Grange Welcomes Prince Sahle – Selassie to Jamaica on the 50th Anniversary of His Grandfather’s Visit

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, at a press conference at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA), welcomed His Imperial Highness, Prince Ermias Sahle - Selassie and his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, to Jamaica on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the State Visit of Emperor of Ethiopia, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, to Jamaica on April 21, 1966. 

“We wholeheartedly welcome the grandson of His Imperial Majesty, His Royal Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie to Jamaica to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of his grandfather and to tread the same paths that His Imperial Majesty did in 1966,” the Culture Minister said. 

In welcoming Prince Sahle - Selassie and Princess Saba Kebede to the island, Minister Grange said 

Rastafari culture in Jamaica, which was greatly influenced by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie, represents one of the most articulate voices within this history of resistant expression following the tenets of Black leaders such as Paul Bogle, Alexander Bedward and Marcus Garvey. She also explained that the Government is committed to ensuring that Rastafari and other indigenous groups are equipped to adequately safeguard their traditions. 

“Rastafari today is a global community that spans the continent of Africa, the African Diaspora and beyond. My Ministry and by extension the Government of Jamaica is committed to providing funding for cultural communities such as Maroons and Rastafari to promote and grow their observances to international standards,” she explained. 

The Minster also announced that as part of the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie to Jamaica, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, through its agency, the Institute of Jamaica, supported and assisted the Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement Committee with the planning and mounting of an exhibition titled, ‘Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement’ in Jamaica; an exhibition that was previously mounted in Ethiopia and England. 

“Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement is timely as it highlights aspects of the development of the Rastafari movement in the world and it contextualizes and interprets the contributions of His Imperial Majesty toward a pan African Movement,” the Minister highlighted. 

The Culture Minster was joined by colleague Minister, the Honourable Mike Henry who also gave a warm welcome to the Prince and his delegation upon their arrival. From NMIA, the two joined the Prince at the National Heroes Park where he laid a wreath in honour of late National Hero, the Right Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey. 

Minister Grange also accompanied the Prince and his delegation to the Mico University College, Jamaica College and the University of the Technology Jamaica. She will rejoin the Prince at the Inaugural Haile Selassie Lecture at the University of the West Indies, Mona tomorrow at 6pm and on Sunday, in Montego Bay, at the viewing of the travelling exhibition, Ras Tafari: The Majesty and the Movement at 4pm. 

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Olivia Grange

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