August 1996, was the first time I went to Jamaica. Being a Reggae Artist and young Rasta then, that was a dream come true. As it turns out, it was an epiphany.
On arrival and during my stay, I distinctly established how much there was a yearning, a dream and sheer obsession with all things Africa(n) in Jamaica.
It was overwhelming, how many questions I had to answer from so many people. At the time, not that many Jamaicans, Musicians inclusive, had ever been to Africa before. All the knew was what they read in books and what was on TV.
On the several subsequent visits, I continued to try and overstand what this deep yearning they had was for. I realized it was all about SELF REALIZATION, IDENTITY and A SENSE OF BELONGING. These were a set of people who had only heard about their Roots, but had never experienced these; EVER.
This is when I realized how painful it was, for MILLIONS of people, not to know exactly where they came from, had no tangible attachment at all of who they were, for hundreds of years!! That is such an empty feeling!
Going through life without knowing what your original lineage was, nor your exact origin; traceable by at least a couple of hundred years, is the equivalent of a person here who has no known family and is buried in what we call; “mu Limbo”.
When my Elder Ibo Cooper took me to the hills in Jamaica to visit a Priesteses called Sista Fea, a lot of things started making sense to me. On hearing I was going to see her, she had drawn a picture of a vision she had.
It looked like some kinda battlefront with people holding spears under a huge cloud. Over the people, she drawn a cloud, with a big word ‘SUUNA’ written in the cloud. She said that’s the name she heard in her dream/vision.
I told her we do have two Kabakas called Ssuuna at Nnalubaale. Her interpretation was that this Suuna she saw in the clouds was fighting for His people. I still have that picture somewhere.
Ten years later, this is when I started realizing that my Rastafari journey was only a vehicle to carry me where I need to go; the discovery of Roots & Culture; Self-realization and identity.
This is what the original Back to Africa and the Rastafari movements started out as; a set of people yearning to go back home, to be identified as descendants of Africa. They had totally lost their names, Spirituality, Culture and language. Generations of people lost.
Since then, I’ve made it my mission in life to know who I am and where I come from. We are a set of highly privileged people, who are still here at home with family and easily traceable Roots!
We still have our languages intact, clans, totems; we belong somewhere. Our brothers and sisters who were taken into slavery are virtually orphans in this regard!
Now that you are privileged to be here, have you taken the time to know who you are and where you come from? What does your name mean?
Do you know where your grandparents are buried, beyond the three immediate ones aba jjo jjuuzi that you know? In what state are the graves of your fore-parents who lived here say six hundred years or more ago?
There have been at least, Ninety One Kabakas at Nnalubaale, who ensured that they kept this promised land for thousands of years, for their descendants. They fought battles, never sold an ounce of it, so you and I can be here. Where were they laid to rest? In what state is their final earthly resting place?
In that video clip, that tree is called “Mboneredde”. Nearly One Thousand years ago, it was the ‘High Court’ where cases were brought in front of Kabaka Kintu Kato. Mboneredde literally means; Penitence.
This tree still stands and is so huge, it’ll take about thirteen grown men holding and wrapping themselves around its stump, to get it all in. You need to see it to believe it. With no heavy traffic, it will take you about thirty minutes to get there.
One day, trying using some of this time you spend watching fiction and enjoying hobbies, to go find out who you are and where you come from, and to pay your respect to these great foreparents who blessed us with life, left us this great land at Nnalubaale, left us a language, a culture, a way of life and Spirituality.
The next time a preacher tells you to forget about your Roots & Culture and focus on Christianity, tell them to read Matthew Chapter One.
Even with all His might, YHWH the God of the Hebrews, chose to respect their culture, and sent Jesus through CULTURE; LINEAGE. He could have just imposed him on the people, like Super Man who fell from the sky, He did not.
MATTHEW Chapter 1
1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
1:2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
1:3 And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
1:4 And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
1:6 And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
1:7 And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
1:8 And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
1:9 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
1:10 And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
1:11 And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
1:12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
1:13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
1:14 And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
1:15 And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
1:17 So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
Our only liberation Spiritually, Physically and the emancipation of our Minds will come through knowing, respecting and living our Root & Culture.
You, my dear brother and sister at Nnalubaale, can you trace back Twenty Eight generations of your lineage, like Jesus could? He knew where he came from and through whom, DO YOU know likewise?
If your Savior did, what is stopping you?
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