By Shontel Vanterpool
Basseterre St. Kitts-
The Rastafarian Movement ‘Nyabinghi Theocracy Order’ in keeping with their mission of helping people to embrace their black heritage has once again staged their annual ‘African Liberation Day Celebration’
The event took place at the Independence Square on Saturday 26th May 2012 and was well attended by the general public.
“Rastafarianism is synonymous of black consciousness and black pride, identifying with our past and with our Gods and Goddesses and establishing our proud black identity,” explained the group’s public relations officer Ras Dabo Penny.
Ras Dabo Penny, who was the host of the event, appealed to the crowd to accept our black heritage as gods and goddess, inventors and doctors in order to move forward as a people.
The Rastafarian Movement like many Rastafarian groups follow the Ethiopian creed, that the aged be protected, the infant cared for, the sick nourished, the hungry fed the naked clothed and the shelter-less sheltered, so in respect to that creed have year after year dedicated their efforts to promoting self worth and black pride to the community.
The event was a celebration of African solidarity and liberation and the organiser invited a wide range of individuals to give addresses at the event. Speakers included Junnie Liburd, Ras Idren and various positive role models from throughout the country.
Featured speaker was local historian and activist Washington Archibald (Washy). Washy explained as Kittitians and Nevisians we must let our views be heard and rally together in unity to promote positive change.
“We must ensure that our land is there for the future generations of Kittitians and Nevisians,” he explained, “When we do not own our land, we become like mere slaves.” Washington Washy Archibald
The 2012 liberation day festivities included children modeling of African wear by ‘Empress Shakki’, local craft and natural products exhibition, poetry reading, inspirational speech presentation and lot of Ital food and drinks on sale.
The celebration climaxed with energetic performances by local reggae artists including, Ashkenaz, Ras Khalid,Sankofa Lion and was completed with Nyabinghi drumming.
African Liberation Day is celebrated annually on May 25; it was in 1963 on that date that the leaders of thirty-two independent African States convened in the city of Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia to form the Organization of African Unity (OAU).