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Prince Ermias Sahle Selassie, grandson of the late Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selassie, is in Jamaica as the country’s special guest for this year’s Heritage Week celebrations. National Heritage Week is observed annually during the week leading up to the third Monday in October, ‘National Heroes Day.’
Selassie arrived Thursday and will also be part of the island’s ongoing celebration to mark its 60th Independence Anniversary. Jamaica won its independence on August 6, 1962.
The prince, who is also the President of the Crown Council of Ethiopia, last visited Jamaica in April of 2016. For his second visit, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange said Selassie will be involved in a week of official engagements. Among them are the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House and the National Heritage Week Interfaith Service.
On Friday, Ermias paid a visit to Liberty Hall, The Legacy of Marcus Garvey, at King Street, where he toured the facility and viewed artefacts on the life and work of the National Hero.
According to Minister Grange, it is “significant and momentous that Prince Ermias should visit the headquarters of Marcus Garvey, who dedicated his life to promoting pride in our African ancestry.”
He also paid courtesy calls on the Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen; the Deputy Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr Horace Chang; the President of the Senate, Senator the Honourable Thomas Tavares-Finson; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.
During his stay he will also meet with the other national leaders, including the Leader of the Opposition, as well as members of the Ethiopian and Rastafari communities and the National Council on Reparations.
The minister said the Prince’s visit is a “stark reminder that our ancestors were kings and queens in Africa prior to enslavement and that this royal ancestry continues to this day.”
Heritage Week will culminate with National Heroes’ Day on Monday, October 17, which will be celebrated under the theme, ‘Reigniting Greatness through our Heritage’.