Undoubtedly, the Ubuntu Movement’s 28-Day Justice and Healing/Judgement and Heaping Nyahbinghi Initiative (JAH JAH NI), rejuvenation programme is much more than another rolled-out project—it is an opportunity for spiritual cleansing and raising the consciousness of humanity to negate against its frailties.
Ras Dr. Wayne Rose, secretary general of Jah Jah NI notes that the movement is a ‘call for justice’ and a push towards eradicating the rule of colonial governments in the region.
He noted that the module of this justice drive is designed for people to live together in harmony, thrive productively and generally to uplift the human spirit.
“It is a call for a conversation…in restoring for ourselves, our self-worth,” says Dr. Rose.
The purpose of the project, Ras Wayne explained, is that “all of us seek leadership, we seek to have someone who will assist us or something …a movement, an event, an occasion and so we are now situated in St Lucia with the newness of both governance and the people and the energy.
“And so, we are seeking to liberate ourselves and we are doing this in the Emancipation month …a month where we are focused on not just a legal act of emancipation, but we are talking about as free-thinkers, as free people, and what is it that we need to do to liberate ourselves economically, politically, socially, and spiritually.”
He adds, “All of these things are intertwined or interwoven into our actions in the rituals that we’re doing, in the planning that we’re doing …such as the hosting of a Maritime Initiative, whereby it can encompass the issue of transportation within the Eastern Caribbean – between St Lucia and its Eastern Caribbean neighbours. ”
Ras Wayne also underlined the significance of food security. He quipped: “What happens if the high seas are closed down if the world goes on a lockdown again …and China, North America and Europe decide that they cannot export food to us. Don’t we have resources to mitigate against those things…what are our resources, transportation-wise or whatever?”
He queried as to what increments can be taken at action points, “in the same way that Marcus Garvey did over 100 years ago, when he started the Black Starliner Shipping Company.”
Ras Wayne said though Garvey’s ideas were in essence an “excellent initiative”, yet it was rife with deficiencies. “So we are looking at what those deficiencies were, how we gained an upper hand on those things through proper planning, proper personnel, and proper organizational and strategic approaches to ensure that we can enfranchise the economy of the New World, because the Old World is dead,” he declared.
Dr. Rose proposed that it’s the ‘people of African ascendancy’ coming out of the continents of Asia and Africa who are going to revive the world. “It is within that image that has to be rebirth …so, St Lucia is a leader in that space because we are acting in St Lucia together in consort,” he said.
Maritime Justice is one of the key subject areas covered in the project as it has an inherent lineage to the history of the Black Star Liner movement undertaken by the late Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
The Maritime Economic Symposium and Documentary Screening was recently held from August 2 to 4, as a ‘hallmark event’ featured in the 28-days activity.
The event specifically focused on maritime opportunities, trade, and interregional/continental commerce. “The establishment of a Maritime economic symposium is consistent with the vision of The Right Honorable Marcus Garvey who established the Black Starliner Shipping Co-operation in the 1920s,” noted an Ubuntu official.
Another highlight of the project, was the public screening of the documentary “Revelation, Revealing the truth: Cases for Rastafari Restorative Justice,” which was held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC), on August, 3.
On August 1, in continuation of the rituals celebrating the 13th decade in the life of Haile Selassie I , the 28- days event highlighted – The UBUNTU Ras Tafari Cultural Center, in collaboration with Cultural Development Foundation (CDF), commemorating Emancipation Day with a symbolic ‘Good over Evil March’ to the Governor General’s Mansion.
The gathering presented a list of ‘Righteous Demands for our people’s Restorative Justice’; while the March included local and international representatives from multiple ‘Houses and Mansions’ of the Ras Tafari faith, among other righteous people and cultural groups. The march was led by the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC).
Most notably, says Ras Wayne, is the call for more recognition to be afforded to the Rastafarian community for their humanitarian works and proficiencies in contributing meaningfully to the development of society.
He said representatives of the Rastafarian community met with political leaders to discuss these pertinent issues “and what we are saying is not to give us something”.
Ras Wayne adds, “We are saying we have value …use our value for the benefit of the people.”
He noted that the St Lucian people have “high values, if it is tapped into and if a new framing is given to them …if a new vision is given to them. And that comes through sometimes books (acquiring knowledge) and re-educating ourselves about who we are, reasserting ourselves and increasing our value.”
Ras Wayne sees the role of the Centre as a unit to “assist people in seeing their full potential through the literature, through communications, through seminars and webinars and the conversations that are constantly happening.”
He highlighted the events that are happening on the ground, “where we go into the schools…into the community centres and we talk with the young people about their possibilities and then to have them optimized their values.”
Ras Wayne underscored the ‘exceptional qualities’ embedded in the St Lucian community, in producing two Nobel Laureates. He added that though this occurrence may have occurred during ‘their time’, yet it is “the same geniuses in the St Lucian people and in our Caribbean.”
The Jamaican native also spoke of his country’s contributions to regional development, stating that “Jamaica has done its worth, to the extent where perhaps it has lost focus in terms of leadership …sometimes it’s a brother or a sister country that can reassert and help in the direction.
“So, Jamaica has value but St Lucia also has value …and we are saying let us complement each other by using a new leadership.”
He noted that in the memberships’ recent dialogue with Prime Minister Phillip Pierre, the country’s leader underlined the significance of “education and African history as part of his educational strategy.” He said the prime minister also wants to ensure that at the end of his term “at least one member in every household is pursuing an upper tertiary education.”
In pursuant of the government‘s youth economy, Dr. Rose asserted: “You have to have the youth trained in the areas of new technology, in the possibilities that no one else has told them about yet. You have to allow them to blossom and giving them the shell, giving them the canvas to let them paint their ideas of the next and the new”.
He added: “So all we have to do is facilitate it through information and the types of services, or infrastructures that will help young people to maximize their potential.”
Summing up the endless possibilities that lie ahead for Caribbean people to build a progressive nation, Dr. Rose declared: “August, should really be the month of African people’s history. Especially, the African- Caribbean people…and the St Lucian government is focusing on three months (July to September) of activities for Emancipation for this year.
“So we salute those things …in fact we feel empowered and as if we have helped in empowering that.”
He noted: “Because it’s not what the government can do for us, it’s what we can do and we have a great deal of potential. Even in the Rastafari spaces, both the educational, cultural, spiritual, and economic sphere we have a lot of potential.”