A plea was issued today for the Rastafarian community to come together, as the Justice Committee of that group recognised the anniversary of I’Akobi Maloney’s death.
Priest Geuel Christopher (Griffith) told a group at Landlock, St. Lucy, near the site where Maloney died, that it was up to them as a community to unite and to ensure that a death like their rasta brother was not in vain and never happened again.
“Rastas have to organise, centralise and work as one to eradicate any injustice that is being done to us. We cannot eradicate it any other way except by unity, except by working together, except by focusing individually and stop seeing ourselves as a real and true people.
“This is the 21st century. Rastafarian people need to modernise, … traditions must be modified in order to ensure our continuity. The 21st century is upon us. Let this be the ending point of injustice towards us. Our children are coming up. You must safeguard their future. All of us are elders. Our time is over, it is now their time,” said the Rastafarian priest.
He was speaking moments after conducting a consecration ceremony on a spot at Landlock, near Cove Bay, where the group laid a plaque in I’Akobi’s honour as his mother, Maggie, brother Mandela, and dozens of others looked on.
Member of the Justice Committee, Ayesha Nura, explained that each year on June 17, the anniversary of I’Akobi’s death, the group gathered to host a family day to commemorate “his life and transition”.
Oneka Small, another member, said they were working to erect a monument to I’Akobi on the site; had already sought and received permission of the land owners and were now about to apply to Town and Country Planning for that requisite permission.
She said it was hoped that they could erect the monument, which was being designed but would feature an obelisk with four symbols on four sides with the star of David, Sankofa, the image of Haile Selassie and the image of I’Akobi, along with a dedication to him.
The group is hoping to have this done by I’Akobi’s next birthday on March 17.
Guest speaker Lynette Eastmond told them she hoped they would open to become a group that did not only represent the interest of Rastas, but all persons suffering injustice in the island. (LB)