There was a Natural Mystic in the Air, as regional members of Ras Tafari communities, local Pan African organizations, the President and members of the Ethiopian Crown Council, Ethiopians, and members of multiple national, ethnic and religious persuasions converged at the Ethiopian embassy. The occasion was the 89
th anniversary of the Grand Coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Menen Asfaw.
The event was historic and memorable! It was the first time that a Ras Tafari organization was granted access to use the Ethiopian embassy for an occasion
— And oh what an occasion it was!
Previously, on July 23, 2019, IDOR collaborated with Tefera Hailu of NFSP & CALDAN Communications to celebrate African Heritage, Pan African Leaders Day, and the 127th birthday anniversary of Lij Tafari Makonnen at the embassy of Ethiopia. That event was also a “first” in the annals of the embassy and an increment in the growth trajectory of regional Ras Tafari organizations. For that event, IDOR provided logistical support, mobilized Ras Tafari attendees, and was invited as a guest speaker.
The November 2, 2019, event was all initiated, organized, managed and delivered by the Iniversal Development of Ras Tafari, Inc., (IDOR). The event garnered support from multiple organizations, and the attention of local and international media, including Jamaica’s BESS and IRIE FM radio stations. Sister Kabu Ma’at Kheru along with her IRIE FM Running African production team attended and covered the event. Ras Jomo of Power 965 Radio, Buffalo was in attendance and also participated on IRIE FM’s Running African program hosted at IDOR’s Administrative Office, the day after the embassy event.
The embassy was gorgeously decorated by Sister Fayola Whyte-Manco, and was transformed, as best as appropriate, into the St. Georges Cathedral, Addis Ababa. The optics were beautiful. The delivery from the speakers, commentary on the original 1930 Coronation footage, and Nyabinghi chants were ‘spot on.’ Guests were riveted by every detail of the program and offered many compliments on the structure and management of the program. Also, the ambience and cosmic space-Ethiopia synced the energies of all attendees into ONE humanity. It foretold the dawning of the Members of a New Race.
IDOR was honored with a Congratulatory Proclamation from the Mayor of Washington D.C., the Honorable Muriel Bowser, and a Citation of Honor and Recognition from Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell and President Darrell L. Clarke of Philadelphia’s City Council. The organization also issued its Haile Selassie I Leadership and Community Services Award to several members of the Ras Tafari, Pan African and Caribbean communities. Awardees included Ras Nyah and Ras Melku for their selfless contributions to regional Ras Tafari initiatives, especially services administered to the ailing Baba Ras Marcus Reid, a Founding Member of the organization. Ms. Erica Blake-Dennis was honored for her countless ‘behind the scenes’ initiatives in opening access to Baltimore City resources to IDOR. Empress Fetlework Daley and Sister Fayola Whyte-Manco were both awarded for their work and sacrifices specific to the 89th Coronation celebration.
Among IDOR’s most honored guest was Elder Ras Irice. Over the past 2 years, Father Irice, a Founding Member and first President of IDOR has been afflicted with multiple health challenges that prevented him from participating in community events. However, with the aid of Dr. Ras Peter Bryan, Ras Michael Mills and Ras Nicolas Pelicanos, Father Irice was able to attend and participate in the Grand Coronation event. He was overjoyed and expressed his gratitude as he received IDOR’s Haile Selassie I Leadership Award.
In the words of 87-year-old Pan Africanist giant, Dr. Acklyn Lynch who attended and stayed the duration of the program,
“IDOR delivered a performance at the highest level. It was what our community needed at this time…a reminder that in the midst of the noise and turmoil of our times, Ethiopia, the origin of our humanity, can bring nations, groups, and people of diverse persuasions together in peace, love, and harmony for a celebration of the epitome of goodness.” To that InI simply say ALL Praise to Ras Tafari.
IDOR is most thankful to Ambassador Fitsum Arega and his very professional staff for their kind indulgence. God and history will judge their actions on this issue as righteous all together.
It also is prudent to mention the individuals and organizations who provided material support enabling the success of our event. Special thanks to Fetlework Daley, IDOR’s Ethiopian Liaison. Empress Fetlework worked tirelessly to engage the Ethiopian Embassy, harnessed support from the Ethiopian community, and provided planning, logistical and organizational support. She, along with her Kingman, Kingsley ‘Natral’ Daley also ensured that the embassy was restored to its administrative order after the end of our program. Brother Tefera Hailu gave us encouraging words and the initial contact details for the Embassy of Ethiopia staff. Sister Barbara A. Simmons, Esq. engaged multiple members of the Pan African Communities to attend and support the event. Dr. Goulda Downer engaged members of the Caribbean PAC and African American communities. Ras Shamou Pusey and his Phallu Ras Sound, along with brother Yibekal Chaka provided sound and music at the event. Brother Jake Homiak mobilized and invited former member of the Haile Selassie I Military Academy. Sister Fayola Whyte-Manco and her company, “Creative Motions by Fay” sponsored and provided decorations and technical services for the event. Sister Gehnet and her crew of volunteers from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Mona Baguira, Taaj Clark, and Najah McDonald rounded out our teams of support individuals. IDOR is grateful to all!!!
The event was also blessed by sponsorship from various businesses. Special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Donovan Murphy and their Island Quizine staff for providing and serving Caribbean inspired vegan dishes. Thanks to Habesha Market, Dukem, Dema and Tsiona Ethiopian restaurants for providing Ethiopian vegan meals, and thanks to Sister Pauline and Brother Johnny of Spicy Delight for providing an array of ‘finger-foods’ and refreshments.
The people, the space, the decorations, the presentations, the music, the food, and of course Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress Mene Asfaw made the event memorable, glorious and majestic!!!
Plans are already being discussed for the 90th anniversary celebrations scheduled for November 1-2, 2020. Suffice to say, they will be as marvelous and meaningful as the 89th anniversary events.
Goodness is rising, Ras Tafari is WINNING!!!
(Ras Wayne A. Rose)