Rastafarians breathe fire

LOCAL reggae artistes, who claim to be true Rastafarians, were left bitter with the promoter of the Jamaican international reggae family, Morgan Heritage’s show.

The artistes claim that the promoter of the concert — 2 Kings — were supposed to hire different reggae groups or artistes especially from Nyabinghi house of Rastafarians as supporting acts to Morgan Heritage’s Strictly Roots concert held at Harare International Conference Centre on October 8.

“We know the promoter was driven by the love of money, he was looking for crowd pullers but it was not fair to us true Rastafarians for him to hire artistes who are not part of our culture to participate in our event.

“The concert was going by the theme Strictly Roots but the promoter chose to hire Oliver Mtukudzi, Freeman and Winky D who we accuse of contaminating our culture.

“We view Winky D as a fake rastaman who is trying to smuggle elements of Satanism into the religion. Some of his lyrics like ‘rudo rwedu rwapisa kunge kumba kwaLucifer’ are not in line with our culture,” Ganja Fire said.
“We would like to see artistes such as Mic Inity, Jah Bless and even Cello Culture among others who all know norms and values of Nyabinghi.”

One of the High Priests of Nyabinghi clan, Godfrey “Jah Fire” Chikonese said Nyabinghi was a legendary Ugandan tribe queen, who possessed a Ugandan woman named Muhumusa in the 19th century.

“Muhumusa inspired a movement, rebelling against African colonial authorities just like Mbuya Nehanda in Zimbabwe. Like Nehanda, Nyabinghi was captured in 1913 and we believe her spirit is still playing a crucial role in the modern world,” said Chikonese.

Nyabinghi is the oldest of the Mansions (different groups or movements) of Rastafari. Some of the Rastafarian movements include Bobo Ashanti, the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and several smaller groups, including African Unity, Covenant Rastafari, Messianic Dreads, and the Selassian Church.

Nyabinghi Rastafari are said to be the strictest out of all the major groups of Rastafarians. They preach the gospel of “love to all human beings”, and they do not believe in violence as they believe that only Jah (God) has the right to destroy.

“We are non-political, non-violent and strictly vegetarian. We believe love conquers all and we resist the system of oppression through reggae music,” said Chikonese.

Chaminuka Rastafari house in Chitungwiza is believed to be the oldest shrine of Rastafarians in the country which include Murahwa Rastafari House in Mutare, Dzimbadzemabwe House in Glen Norah, Harare; the Marcus Garvey Rastafari House in Epworth, Harare; the Chirorodziva Rastafari House in Chinhoyi, the Joshua Nkomo Rastafari House in Bulawayo and the Mwenemutapa Rastafari House in Kwekwe among others. —Vasco Chaya

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