KINGSTON, Jamaica – Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, grandson of the man at the heart of Jamaica’s Rastafarian movement, is on a nine-day trip to the Caribbean island, half a decade after the state visit of his late grandfather, emperor of Ethiopia Haile Selassie.
The prince, accompanied by his wife Princess Saba Kebede, will stay in Jamaica for the rest of the month in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of his grandfather’s visit.
Speaking at Haile Selassie High School which he said would receive a J$600,000 (US$4,906) donation, he said he felt blessed to witness the fruit borne by the educational institution, for which ground was broken by emperor Selassie when he visited Jamaica.
He commented on the academic achievements of students who have graduated from the institution and its successes in the sporting arena, as he recalled his grandfather’s desire to see his people educated.
“His majesty saw education as an advancement. We weren’t his only children; there are many Ethiopians who he sent abroad to study, (and) they all started out from humble backgrounds. So his vision and foresight has extended to Jamaica,” he said.
At a press briefing held at the airport to welcome him and his wife the previous day, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange noted Rastafari culture has made an indelible impact on life in Jamaica and across the world.
She said the Rastafarian movement, which started in Jamaica in the 1930s, represents one of the most articulate voices of resistant expression and pledged the government would continue to do its part to ensure that Jamaicans “never lose sight of Rastafari as an important sociocultural movement in our history.”