Rastafarians are not just a bunch of knotty headed people or weed smokers but are cultural and spiritual people that are gathering to repatriate to Ethiopia, says Clyde Noel, chairman of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (TTI).
Noel said this yesterday as the TTI marked their 40th anniversary of the Coronation of the founding leader of the Rastafarian movement, Haile Selassie, at their headquarters in Sea-Trace, Bagatelle, Diego Martin.
He said Rastafarians have been given a raw deal over the years with all types of stigma being placed upon them, but said they survived the task, and will continue the good work of the founding leader of the Rastafarian movement, Haile Selassie.
“This is our time to showcase to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the world at large the work we do. I give thanks to all those who steer the course and hold the faith because in this time of trial and tribulations it is very hard to stand firm as a Rasta man, and living is not easy. We employ our members to educate themselves to find a trade. We teach our members to live a better life. To live with their fellow man. As we say, our main goal is repatriation.” He continued, “We are in our 40th year of our anniversary and we have invited people from around the world to celebrate with us, so we are also playing an integral part in Tourism in Trinidad and Tobago. We intend to protest and let all know, it is equal rights and justice for all. Our plight must be highlighted and we would be going in Woodford Square on September 17 with a load chat to wake up the nation, because life is a serious thing.”
Noel said according to TT constitution, “every creed and race find an equal place,” they too needed their equality and justice.
He said Rastafarians deserve to be highlighted not only when it is heard in the news cast, “Rasta City and Muslims in war, and the source of the whole issue are never reported.”
“The TTI created a live band studio to encourage the talented youth giving them the opportunity to develop their musical skills. We have accomplished a state of the art studio. We also host calypso competition yearly. There is an active youth group that hosts three-day, weekly homework centre classes to assist the youth. These classes along with many other activities including bible studies. These activities were created to encourage the youth to be positive and productive in society.”
Noel said the TTI is a spiritual and peaceful entity within immediate and wider communities of TT, promoting peace while edifying the youth on positive outlooks on life, giving them a peaceful option against crime and violence.
He said the TTI has sent more than 26 people to visit Africa and in turn they have to give a report of the experience while sharing the word of God.
“We are spreading the word all over. Right now we have 60 people from Trinidad and Tobago living in Ethiopia. We are a progressive people in our community. We open our doors to the community in whatever way we can. We also try to teach them by example to live well within the community, and instil trade and skills in the youth of the community.”