BY Nelson NseAbasi

Forty years after the demise of the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, ?Conscious Vibes?Entertainment is putting together a grand concert at Freedom Park, Lagos to honor his prot?g?e.
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On Sunday 26 July, 2015, from 6pm Central African Time Rastafarians and music lovers from all walks of life will be served a good dose of Live REGGAE music, spiced Disc Jockey session DJ Valentino and exclusive performances by Gen. Pype, South African based Dear Kelly, Captain Blazee, Benny P, Diana Bada, Veronny Odili, King Cobra, Folusho Clarke, Janatty while iGroove Radio’s Mc Raybee Brown will be holding it down on the mic all in his honour.

Bob Marley is certainly a Rastafari icon, but there is another man at the heart of the Jamaican movement. He is Ras Tafari: that was
the birth name of Ethiopia’s 225th and last emperor, who was born on 23 July 1892, and took the regal name Haile Selassie I when he was
crowned. For Rastas, he is God (or Jah) incarnate – the redeeming messiah.

Nearly 8,000 miles separate Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and Kingston, Jamaica, but a link between them was forged by a number of
poor black Jamaicans who believed Ras Tafari?s coronation was the fulfillment of a prophecy and
that he was their redeemer, the messiah written of in the Bible?s Book of Revelation: ?King of Kings, Lord of lords?. They believed he would
arrange for a deliverance, which, as they saw it, involved a miraculous transformation. They would
be spirited away from their lives of poverty in the Caribbean and relocated in Africa, the land of their
ancestors and their spiritual epicentre.

Tafari (Haile Selassie 1) was a son of a chief adviser to Emperor Menelik IIl, one of Ethiopia’s greatest rulers. Since childhood, his intelligence impressed the Emperor, who facilitated his political career. When in 1930 Menelik II’s daughter Empress Zauditu died, Tafari was crowned emperor.

Haile Selassie’s coronation was a lavish event attended by royals and representatives from all over the world. The New York Times reported on the expensive gifts received by the attendees and speculated that the celebrations may have cost more than $3,000,000. Time Magazine dedicated
its iconic cover to the Emperor: it was a world sensation.

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