BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (PLP PR Media Inc.) -- Through the instrumentally of the Nyabinghi Theocracy Order, those in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis were on Saturday May 27, at the Independence Square in Basseterre, able to stand in solidarity with people on the African continent in celebration of Africa Day.
Africa Day, formerly Africa Freedom Day and African Liberation Day, is the annual commemoration of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU - now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963. It is celebrated in various countries on the African continent, as well as around the world including St. Kitts and Nevis.
One of the two masters of ceremony of the St. Kitts and Nevis celebration Ras Iran Williams noted that Africa Day was observed on Thursday May 25 which was the 54th anniversary but added: "We had a week of activities to celebrate the Africa Liberation Day, but when the actual date falls on a weekday, we carry it to the Saturday to allow more people to participate."
In the meantime, Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris and also Political Leader of the Peoples Labour Party (PLP) has lauded members of the Nyabinghi Theocracy Order for their tenacity in standing in solidarity with the people on the African continent following in the steps of one of the West Indian founders of the Pan Africanism movement Mr George Padmore.
According to the Prime Minister, George Padmore who was born in Trinidad was a key figure in the organisation of the influential 5th Pan African Congress held in Manchester in 1945 and was an adviser to Kwame Nkrumah before and after independence of Ghana, the first Black African country to gain independence in 1957.
Dr Harris who could not attend the function as he was overseas on official government duties said that the members of the Nyabinghi have shown an attachment to the continent of Africa, which he said is a good thing adding as one cannot forget their own roots as the majority of the people in St. Kitts and Nevis and other Caribbean countries have their roots in Africa.
"The Team Unity Administration in the short time it is in office has extended our diplomatic footprints on the African continent through the efforts of our Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon Mark Brantley," said the Prime Minister. "More countries on the African continent are closer to St. Kitts and Nevis.'
He advised that the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis has, since the Team Unity Administration coming to office, established diplomatic relations with Ethiopia, which is the seat of Africa Union, Kenya, and Mauritius to the east, and Senegal and The Gambia to the west, while holders of the St. Kitts and Nevis passport have visa-free entry to Seychelles and Rwanda all on the eastern side of the continent.
The celebrations at the Independence Square were characterised by speeches from different persons, songs and music. Ital food prepared by Ras Shafica Reid was available, as were natural beauty products for the Black people that were made and displayed by Ms Winnielle Pereira.
"Our mission is to awaken the people, heal the mind that the people in Africa can do it together," observed Ras Iran. "It is a collective responsibility - a unity of Black people together. Whatever corner of the earth you are from, as Black we have to come together and heal. We have to put aside our differences - that is what is setting us apart as a people."
Looking at the current situation on the African continent, he added: "African countries are free politically but I would want to see my brothers get liberated entirely including economically. I big up all the brothers and sisters in Ethiopia for bringing back the country to its original glory. I am glad for all the African nations that are rising up."
Ras Iran noted that the importance of holding the celebrations at the Independence Square was the fact that the area used to be a slave market at one time "and we have the option of coming here to remind ourselves of our past. Here is a spiritual place, and we use here to educate people about themselves. Here is like a university on this specific day."
Ras Iya Reid, who was the other masters of ceremony, thanked all the individuals and organisations that contributed financially or otherwise to make the celebrations the success they were. He thanked FLOW for being their major sponsor, and members of the McKnight community.
Others thanked were the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr Antonio Maynard the Secretary General of National Commission for UNESCO, St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank, Hobson Enterprises, and TDC who gave a contribution for Elder Washington 'Washie' Archibald whose 85th birthday was Sunday May 28.
"We the members of the Rastafarian Nyabinghi Theocracy Order thank all of them and those not mentioned for the support and we will never be ungrateful for that. Even if they are not here physically, they are here spiritually because they know what the purpose is about," concluded Ras Iya.