RASTAFARI HOUSE OF MAMELODI
The Rastafari House of Mamelodi, (formally known as Mamelodi House of Rastafari) is one of the primary and leading Houses of Rastafari to be born in South Africa. The House was officially inaugurated in 2001 under huge pomp and ceremony, at the now revamped Solomon Mahlangu Centre.
Even though there was no name attached yet, a Rastafari movement originated during the heydays of the early 1980's under the repressive domination of the apartheid Babylon regime. Then stalwarts with the caliber and competency of the likes of Ras Boetie Judah, Papa Justice "Sticky" Tshabalala, Papa Sejamagapu "Joey Asher" Radebe, Papa Jabu, Elder Mickey "Simeon" Papa Rico, Papa Shuga, some other Elders, with the indomitable Elder "Jah Rootsman" Johnny Mash from nearby Eersterust, who had already been an institution in Rastafari for being one the forefathers and first Proclaimer of Rastafari in South Africa; the movement initiated the foundation for the Rastafari House of Mamelodi's formation.
These protagonists mingled extensively and tirelessly with each other, regularly visiting and meeting at their various houses but predominantly at Jah Rootsman's, where policies, guidelines and programs were developed in crafting the groundwork that would culminate in eventually, not only the Rastafari House of Mamelodi, but influence the course of progress of the unmitigated Rastafari formation of the entire country; subsequently extending its reach beyond the borders of South Africa, into the depths of our beloved Mother Africa, as well as enticing the diaspora in the west, the Caribbean's, Europe and Asia.
The House withstood strives, breakups, disappointments, potential stagnation and relocations of some of its dependable allies and members either through death or personal circumstances. The biggest two threats to the foundation and formation of the House in those days were, (1) the Babylon oppressive regime fronted by their police and unexpectedly, (2) the family members, of these warriors. It was always safer to congregate at the various homes of Elders, notwithstanding the fierce resistance experienced from mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors; as opposed to the harassment and possible incarceration by the Babylon police with their infamous "vang kettangs" (big yellow police vans), than if we had to congregate in nearby open fields, which incidentally, were the ideal, secluded venues for meetings like ours.
In those days, invariably, most Elders were either married (ina Babylon style) or in some concluded relationships and the gradual transformation and metamorphosing of their loved ones into the perception of an extremely radical lifestyle of ganja smoking, dreaded warriors, calling themselves Rastafari and the followers of an unheard of Ethiopian Emperor in Africa, truly became an anathema and a censure in their lives. For Jah Rootsman, it was even more difficult, coming then from the conservative community of so called 'coloreds'. But those Elders persisted, persevered and endured.
Consequently, Rastafari awareness became a reality and idrens in their conscious awakenings, slowly rose up, mobilized and eventually found the door to the Rastafari House swinging open to their knocks. As more and more stepped through, their lives were irrevocably transformed and renovated by ultimately being validated and confirmed in their peers and fellow followers of the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Emperor Haile Selassie I the First, Ilect of Himself, Emperor and King of Kings; as our Rightful Ruler and originator.
His Imperial Majesty became the substance of our beings and Rockstone of our faith. Illuminating our status from ordinary black men and women, to that of Royal Kings and Queens. Provided that they abide and adhere to the teachings and disciplines inculcated by His Imperial Majesty; as guidance and regulations of the lives of each and every Rastafari.
It was on this concrete and unyielding founding that the Rastafari House of Mamelodi was constituted.
The sterling and exceptional succession of leadership that emanated from the residing Elders of all generations that followed, consistently proved to be nothing but remarkable, extraordinary and extremely impressive. Steadily, dependably and unswervingly guiding the House to ever greater achievements than any other House in the country. It still is that same awesome, incomparable quality of management that continues to conduct the steadfast course and events of Rastafari, locally, nationally as well as on the wider African continent.
In 1995, these same august leaders came to a conclusion and agreement, and the First ever National march of Rastafari for our emancipation in the effort to have ganja legalized, was launched within the streets of Pretoria. This was followed by another sanctioned and last march in 2001, in support of the plight of our brother, Elder Gareth Prince.
Long before, as a reflection of our zeal and advancement of Rastafari, current in vogue events like Bob Marley Week, Black History Month, Marcus Garvey Day; the Rastafari House of Mamelodi had for years hosted them as part of its annual itineraries. These included providential jubilees and commemorations like the Queen Menen, Coronation and Rastafari ceremonial celebrations and were always outstandingly spearheaded by the presently ailing Lion, Jowie "Dan" Matlala together with Papa Vincent.
In 2006, through persistence, a group of artists and members of the Rastafari house of Mamelodi, led by JahRod, Justice aka Sticky and Asher Radebe as Rastafari Inity Foundation (R.I.F), identified a farm / piece of land in the Magaliesberg mountains in Mamelodi west for agricultural and development programs. Three chiefs representing the tribal authority, were approached by the R.I.F for the usage and ownership of the said land/farm for the above-mentioned purposes. In 2007 the land was officially handed over to R.I.F. by Chief Mahlangu and later the land was named King Haile Selassie Camp. In 2008 R.I.F and the Rastafari house of Mamelodi invited all the Rastafari Mansions and structures in and around Tshwane to come and help to lay the foundation.
However, as this property which contains such huge and enormous potential, remains barren due to its location and the unwillingness of the Babylon authorities to assist in its upliftment.
The pinnacle achievement of the Rastafari House of Mamelodi came in the form of the hosting of the 2012 Africa Liberation Day Festivities at the King Haile Selassie Camp. Coordinated, again by the present superb and tremendous leaders of the House; on behalf of Tshwane House of Rastafari, Gauteng House of Rastafari, Azania House of Rastafari and the Global House of Rastafari. This sensational occasion attracted imposing and distinguished guests from the Diaspora, comprising of respectively, various delegates and representatives out of Atlanta Georgia in the USA, The Matriarch Nana Farika Berhane from Ghana, Mere Jah, Ambassade Culturelle de la Diaspora Benin, Guadalupe, Elder General Salem (President of R.Y.I.), Priest Jah B (Boboshanti- Ghana/Jamaica) The Barbados Nyabhingi Sisters Council and Bhingi Shawn (Nyabhingi-USA) amongst other dignified notables not forgetting the irrepressible Dr Q.M.Moses (sista Palesa) representing the Caribbean Rastafari Organization, CRO. It must also be noted that the Dr QueenMother Moses also became the main patron of the King Haile Selassie I Village.
In 2016 the Rastafari House of Mamelodi finally registered as an NPO under the stable and responsible leadership of the ever-formidable chairperson Elder Themba "Asher" Mabuza and his deputies.
With the advent of online Social Media, again the Rastafari House of Mamelodi catapulted itself to the forefront by corroborating its internet and global footprint as a Rastafari colossus. Now once more in keeping, 2017 witnesses the Rastafari House of Mamelodi rise up as a predecessor, precursor and progenitor in consolidating that impression for growth, maturity and discipline, by showcasing its own website, stamping yet a further footprint in the sands of the Rastafari universe.
In retrospect, assumptions of the slow growth of the Rastafari community is compliant with the graduation of time, inferring that no regrets should be expressed and experienced. The Rastafari way is an evolution and development that cannot be scuttled or accelerated except by the time and period it finds itself in. Rastafari is not as static as other religions and movements that are bound by inflexible and unbending dogma. Rastafari sculpts itself around its adherents and bends and grows as much as the individual progresses.
Heartical and humble thanks to all Rastafari in and around Mamelodi, Eersterust, especially the esteemed Dr QueenMother Moses, the broader Tshwane Structures, Houses and Mansions across South Africa and those in the Diaspora, for the continued strength and support provided during the evolution and progress of the Rastafari House of Mamelodi. It is with respectful and deferential humility to note that any of your contributions, no matter how small and insignificant, formed the cornerstone upon which this mighty rock now stands on. Individually and collectively, you are indeed Rastafari and Rastafari is you.
From the Rastafari House of Mamelodi's Elders, the Sister's Council, the Nyabinghi and Churchical Order, Bobo Ashanti, the Youth and all those who continue volunteering irrespectively:
Much love, much respect, irie blessings evermore
RASTAFARI HOUSE OF MAMELODI
KING HAILE SELASSIE I VILLAGE
Mamelodi West, Magaliesberg Mountain
Pretoria 0122, Gauteng
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Copyright & copy: Jah Rootsman 2017 All rights reserved. Website created for Rastafari House Mamelodi and updated monthly by Jah Rootsman