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“The Rastafari Movement and its Presence in Ethiopia” was the topic of discussion at the Italian Cultural Institute on June 1st. The event was filled with different activities such as a short conference, a film screening and a concert.
Ras Tewelde was a star present at the event, participated in the conference and then entertained attendees with a live reggae concert. Ras Tewelde, born in Italy, started his artistic experience at the age of 14 with one of the first Italian reggae bands – Living in the Ghetto – where he was one of three singers. Through the years, he came closer to the Rastafari faith and ultimately the ancient land of Ethiopia. In 2004, Ras Tewelde came to Ethiopia for the first time, where he collaborated with singer Dawit Geletu in the song and video clip “Belsrà”. Ras Tewelde has worked the stages in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Besides making music, this artist has also written two publications on the Rastafari culture and language in the Caribbean and Africa.
It is said that the multi-talented artist’s songs have distinct messages they try to get across, which are: the Continent of Africa shelters the roots of humanity, and Repatriation has to be the new Re-birth for Ethiopia. It is a vision, vibrating in the essence of love, with a constant spiritual link to his primary source of inspiration, Haile Selassie I and the land of Ethiopia. The road map followed by the songs is a spiritual and emotional journey from Africa to the New World across the Ocean and then, back again to Africa.
These messages were also echoed at the event by the artist himself as well as other representatives from the Rastafarian community in Ethiopia. Rastafarianism is a culture that has become popular with people from different countries. The community has been in Ethiopia since the time of the last emperor.