Yohannes Woldemariam trawls through the history books to expose the truths of Haile Selassie’s 44-year reign over Ethiopia.
Emperor Haile Selassie, who ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, died in 1975, but he lives on through the romantic lyrics of the late Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and Ethiopian pop star, Tewedros Kassahun, better known as Teddy Afro.
Yet there is a wide range of views of the man whose full official title was: “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God.” Some remember him as a benevolent ruler who resisted Italian colonisation. For others, he is a god, yet others view him as a tyrant.
Marley’s portrayal of Selassie is strongly influenced by the Rastafarian belief that he is God incarnate, as allegedly “prophesied” by Marcus Garvey. On the other hand, Teddy Afro, an Ethiopian, is promoting his version of Ethiopianism (Ethiopiawinet).
The Kebra Nagast (also known as the Glory of Kings) is the ancient text from which Selassie’s mythology stems. It narrates the relationship between King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and their son Menelik I, who allegedly hid the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. Like Menelik II (1889-1913), Haile Selassie, a distant relation, claimed descent from the Solomonic dynasty. Inspired by this ideology, Ethiopian kings and emperors have conquered lands and enslaved ethnic groups. In this sense, the Kebra Nagast can fairly be compared to the 19th century expansionist white American ideology of the Manifest Destiny.
Those who have solely learned about Selassie through the music of reggae stars and Teddy Afro may well have developed the impression that Selassie was a fatherly benevolent ruler and a champion of blacks. However, this portrayal of Selassie and his predecessor, Emperor Menelik II, is grossly distorted. Clearly, even though the last Ethiopian monarch was overthrown in 1974, undercurrents of the Kebra Negast still reverberate in the discourse of Ethiopian nationalism. While the majority of the Ethiopian people do not subscribe to this belief system, some Ethiopians look for aspects of the Kebra Nagast narrative for Ethiopiawinet. Yet this mythology, or elements of it, creates huge divisions through its implicit expectation that Ethiopians accept this version of identity politics.
Rastafarian representation of Selassie
For Rastafarians, Ethiopia is Zion and the Promised Land and in 1948 Selassie granted them land in the Rift Valley for a settlement in Shashemane. The settlement has never been big, with no more than a thousand Rastas at its peak and now about 400. There was never a mass exodus of Rastas to Ethiopia, and they never assimilated. They live in isolation much like the Amish in the United States.
The Rastafarian connection with Selassie is made with a tenuous understanding of Jamaican Pan Africanist Marcus Garvey’s famous prophecy: “Look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned for the day of deliverance is near!” This reference to “Africa” was reinterpreted to mean Ethiopia and the link to “a black king” was the coronation of Selassie in 1930. The travel writer Bill Wiatrak claims that the Rasta movement originated in Ethiopia but it actually began in Jamaica through the misinterpretation of Garvey’s message.
Garvey exhibited no admiration for Selassie. He condemned him as a “great coward” for fleeing Mussolini’s troops in 1935, when Italy invaded Ethiopia. He also criticised Selassie’s practice of slavery, which was not abolished in Ethiopia until 1942. In Garvey’s own words:
It is preferable for the Abyssinian Negroes and the Negroes of the world to work for the restoration and freedom of the country without the assistance of Selassie, because at best he is but a slave master. The Negroes of the Western World whose forefathers suffered for three hundred years under the terrors of slavery ought to be able to appreciate what freedom means. Surely they cannot feel justified in supporting any system that would hold their brothers in slavery in another country whilst they are enjoying the benefits of freedom elsewhere. The Africans who are free can also appreciate the position of slaves in Abyssinia [Ethiopia]. What right has the Emperor to keep slaves when all the democratic sections of the world were free, when men had the right to live, to develop, to expand, to enjoy all the benefits of human liberty? (1937, p.741)
While few reggae aficionados realise the wide gulf between Selassie’s mythological representations in popular culture and the reality of his tyrannical reign, the perception that Selassie was a proud African and a champion for black people is not supported by the facts. He only reluctantly later embraced the Rastafarians because he understood their public relations value for his cult of personality. Some of his dedicated followers would be dismayed to learn that Selassie revered not his “own people” but the Ferenjochu (Europeans) and Americans, who were routinely invited to his lavish parties in his palace.
His overthrow in 1974 and subsequent death caused “a crisis of faith” in Jamaica among the followers of the Rastafarian faith. The religion does not accept the former emperor’s death and instead depicts it as a “disappearance” similar to the belief held by the Shiite branch of Islam when “the Hidden” Imam Hussayn was martyred in the seventh century. Bob Marley’s 1975 song called Jah Live seeks to refute the fact of Selassie’s death by insisting that a deity could not have died.
Teddy Afro and his reverence for Ethiopian monarchs
Teddy Afro stylistically mimics Bob Marley when singing the praises of Selassie and even of Menelik II who claimed to be a descendent of Menelik I. In his songs, Teddy Afro proclaims unity and love for all Ethiopians. It is worth asking how Ethiopian unity is served by his praise for these monarchs. If his objective is to promote a unified pan-Ethiopian nationalism, it seems to have backfired by provoking ethnic nationalism among the Oromo who do not share similar conceptions of these rulers – and rather view them as the reason for their oppression and suffering. A selective reading of history does little to build a strong national foundation. Rather, a new social contract is desperately needed which respects the pluralism and diversity of the country.
Historical accounts of the reign of Menelik II show him as contemptuous of blackness, an expansionist, an enslaver and cruel. As a case in point, Eritreans made important, though little-acknowledged contributions to the Ethiopian victory over the Italian colonisers in Adwa in 1896 by gathering crucial intelligence on Italian war strategy. Emperor Menelik II returned the favour by savagely amputating the arms and legs of Eritrean war prisoners. Never mind that these poor Eritrean peasants were violently forced to fight under Italy, just as other European colonialists used Africans, Indians and other colonial subjects as cannon fodder for their wars of conquest everywhere. Nevertheless, Menelik II, the so-called “champion of a black victory,” decided to set free his Italian and Libyan war prisoners while mutilating the Eritreans.
In fact, Menelik II’s reconstructed image as a historical agent of black liberation does not fit recorded events. For instance, his state of mind was revealed through a comment to a Haitian dignitary that he did not consider himself to be a black man. Therefore, Teddy Afro’s celebration of Menelik as the “Tikur Sew” (“Black Man”) lacks historical basis. Invoking Selassie or Menelik II as Teddy Afro does polarises communities because it insults those who do not share this interpretation of history and the terrible legacy of these monarchs.
Haile Selassie as an international statesman
It should be noted that Haile Selassie’s global prominence was due to his position as a very loyal client of the West – much like the Shah of Iran and Mobutu of Zaire. These clients maintained power through repression and the murder and silencing of true patriots. Unlike Selassie however, history accurately remembers Shah Reza Pahlavi and Mobutu Sese Seko as tyrants. Yet, efforts are underway to depict Selassie as a pan-Africanist and a visionary. Some have campaigned vigorously for his statue to be erected in front of the African Union building in Addis Ababa. Sadly, the African Union has acceded to the request.
Selassie often took undeserved credit for others’ contributions. One example was Lorenzo Taezaz, an Eritrean, who enhanced Selassie’s image during the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. While the emperor was in exile in Bath, England, Taezaz secretly slipped into Ethiopia and organised the Arbeghoch (patriots). He recruited 2,000 or so Eritreans who had fled Italian colonial rule to fight for Ethiopia from their refugee settlements in Kenya. He also smuggled weapons for the Arbegnoch. A famous speech delivered by Selassie, famed for developing his aura as statesman and defender of his people, at the League of Nations in 1936, is widely believed to have been written by Taezaz. The emperor eventually repaid Taezaz by demoting him from his position as Foreign Minister. He died soon after in 1947 in suspicious circumstances.
Selassie “demonised as a dictator”
Does Selassie deserve to be depicted as a dictator? The historical record provides a decisive answer.
First, it is well-established that he spent $35 million for celebrating his 80th birthday during the Wollo famine. He travelled widely, visiting the United States many times, only stopping once in Jamaica in 1966.
Perhaps less well-known are Selassie’s crimes and his associates, such as Asserate Kassa in Eritrea. These are too numerous and ghastly for the scope of this piece. For further reading on this, I recommend Michela Wrong’s book titled I Didn’t Do it For You. How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation.
Similarly, the autocrat is remembered in Tigray for inviting the British Royal Air Force to bomb the region in 1943 to quell what came to be known as the first Woyane Rebellion. He consolidated his power by weakening the provinces after Italy’s defeat by the British in 1941.
He was also harsh towards those Ethiopian patriots who fought against the Italians while he fled to Britain. For example, Belay Zeleke, a national war hero was hung on his orders. Unfathomably, Teddy Afro recently praised both Selassie and Belay Zeleke during an appearance at the Millennium Hall in Addis with the Eritrea President Isaias and Ethiopia PM Abiy in the audience. It seems unconscionable to praise a murderous traitor and his victim, too. The parable of Polish writer Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Emperor, Downfall of an Autocrat is an accurate depiction of the real Selassie.
Why bother with Selassie at this time?
The romantic rewriting of Selassie’s legacy, and the distorted history of other Ethiopian monarchs have significant relevance for current Ethiopian politics. Selassie’s legacy needs to be exposed in light of attempts by musicians, historical revisionists in the diaspora, foreign beneficiaries and politicians to control the narrative through false representations.
This cannot be dismissed as benign and harmless because of the role music plays in creating what the theorist of nationalism, Benedict Anderson, calls ‘imagined communities’ and its crucial role in political organising. Music heightens and releases endorphins creating a sense of belonging among people with shared sentiments which can lead to collective action. The misplaced form of black nationalism created by Rastafarians, in giving reverence to a man who never deserved it, is therefore harmful.
Still, I celebrate the addition of reggae to UNESCO’s ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’ list while taking exception to the claim: “its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity underscores the dynamics of the element as being at once cerebral, socio-political, sensual and spiritual.” The record of reggae is rather more nuanced and mixed, particularly in reference to the place given to Selassie.
It is often said that the victors or the powerful are the ones who write history. History is ill served when popular celebrities and musicians motivated by religion or some kind of hyper-nationalism misrepresent the past. This is offensive to the victims and divisive for communities who need genuine solidarity.
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Dr Yohannes Woldemariam is an academic who attended high school in Ethiopia. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of the Africa at LSE blog, the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa or the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Imam Hussein is NOT considered the ’hidden imam’, you’re mixing him up with Imam Muhammad Al-Mahdi. Hussein’s death is very much accepted and mourned every year.
Good article otherwise though.
Great and constructive comment.
Because God is the the final judge, we should consider abandoning our own opinions, as that is the only way Truth can be seen. Furthermore, had it not been for the monarchy, Ethiopia not Eritrea would have their Orthodox Christian Faith.
Ethiopia has many religions including at least 50% Moslems, unless you decide Moslems cannot be Ethiopians. Even Haile Selassie’s mother was a Moslem.
A carefully hidden secret!
Oh really 50 % how is that be? We dont really care if hailesellasie mother is Muslim or not but she wasn’t tho. Do we have Muslims in the country? Yea we do but they are not 50%.
They’re probably more than 50%.
Please don’t pretend, there has never been a respectable statistics in the country.
with all that’s happening in Ethiopia now this is extremely petty. Lets look at Ethiopia since 1974 and all that the country has faced since then and tell us that it was worse when HIM was the leader and began to develop a constitution for the masses .HIM was never the one to be caught up in the everyday ruling of people as a monarch and moved to get professional administrator to run the country. He created enemies in the aristocrats, the church, the army but he had a loyal following who would have gone to war after the dirge but he did not make that decision and suffered for the integrity of Ethiopia. Blessings
Sellasie’s brother, Yahya, was a Muslim. Sellasie imprisoned him for life!
Wrong! Only 2.1% of the Ethiopian population are muslin. What are you?, some kind of right wing conservative that pops off at the mouth with false statistics!
Nope you are the one lying here. Official sources stated that Ethiopian Muslim population in 31.2
Haile Selassie came to power by staging a coup and accusing the legitimate heir of the throne Iyasu of apostasy. He was assisted in this by the Orthodox Showan nobility. His life was characterized by intrigue and betrayal. Even his own son Asfa Wossen was a victim of his own father.
No body is Respected like King Haile Selassie all over the world except his animal people. God bless Queen Elizabeth rest in peace
If we wait for God to give us the verdict, I fear we may have to wait for eternity. Humans right history. Let’s keep it that way!
So correct, bravo!
One of the good things is that Haile Selassie’s birthday was a non event this year.
He spent millions of dollars to celebrate his 80th birthday while the Wollo famine was killing millions.
Though I’m not from Africa and don’t know anyone who is, that’s a reality check for me. It totally sums up Selassie’s character as a man more concerned with appearances.
You go any which way someone moves you.
I presume the author is educated to understand that during the reign of Haile Selassie, most of the countries of the world were ruled by dictators; HITLER, STALIN, MAO, COLONIZER BRITAIN, RASCIST AMERICA , SPANISH DICTATOR, SEGRIGATIONIST S. AFRICA, IAN SMITH ETC ETC. If you are not pseudo intellectuals, tell us who were more democratic and more human leaders than HAILE SELASSIE FOR HIS TIME?
Your observation is brilliant dear Getachew and your desire for facts admirable. But I feel you missed the message that the author was trying to communicate. I got the impression that he would agree with you that the world was and is full of devilish politicians and very short on angels and democrats. Since you’re interested in facts and verifiable empirical evidence, I implore you to address the main point of the message here. That is, not to misrepresent historical memory in order to construct revisionist narrative with the sinister intention of continuing the oppression. We don’t hear Italians crying out loud in praise of Mussolini and trying to revive fascism nor Germans doing something similar with Hitler. The fact is Germans and Italians are ashamed of this legacy to the most part except for some lunatics. To my knowledge very few want to remember them much less construct statues for them. The message is to relegate these tyrants including the despicable Haile Selassie to the dust bin of history and not make fabricated history out of their legacies. Dear Getachew, while your passion and engagement is appreciated, please read what is written and not respond to what was not written.
Let’s build a new world and Ethiopia is the point rather than creating gods out of mortal and immoral historical figures.
Let’s learn something from Trump’s niece who is telling the truth about her corrupt uncle even at the expense of being ostracized by him and his family.
Facts and truth should not be adulterated to serve a fantastical political or religious agenda. Otherwise we will lose the baby with the bath water. Sadly, I think we’re losing Ethiopia as we speak.
Did Selassie do any good???
words of the Emperor “ That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned everywhere is war”. The blogger is trying to tarnish the emperors name why wasn’t the double invasion of Ithopia by italy not included in the blog? or how
how germany tried to get Ithopia to fight with them in WW1 this blog was written in the UK why don’t you discuss your history of how your queen is keeping African monuments in her museum till this day what you can’t blame the person in charge for the actions of the people. Haile selassie didn’t have slaves he was born in a state where the peoples practiced slavery and he abolished it… We will not sleep.
He went to Bath England. That was good but then he returned after five years and things became miserable in Ethiopia.
He should have continued to live as a clown in Bath. Perhaps visiting all the pubs…
I’m in agreement with Quademali. The blogger is trying to tarnish the emperor’s name.
His Highness has united Africa- won the Italians in their own game – he took care of the invaders after they lost the war. he protected them from the British be enslaved – he made the league of nation think and made them act with his compassion. he is a thinker and strategist . he loved being Ethiopian and Orthodox GOD save the king !
Thank you for your input. BUT this is where I differ with this current narration of nations and nationalities or to that matter, related ideas. Haile Selassie, Minilik are not saints they are leaders who lead Ethiopia in the past, and tried their best.
What we as Ethiopians need to realize is our country, just like others, had its own ups and downs. Our history books are filled with war stories. Wars are bad, people die. The Oromos died the Amharas died and so forth. During the civil war in America the Unionist destroyed towns and killed a lot of Americans, but history takes the good that came out of it. Great Britain saw several blood baths before it emerged as a nation, again they take the good that came out of the carnage. In Ethiopia, in more recent times, Tewodros massacred left and right, Yohannes II did the same, Minilik had his share. Mengistu killed many, Meles and TPLF are no exception. Do you get the gist….why do we compare wounds, mine is deeper than yours kind of talk?
Let us focus on the positive aspect, the bad side of our history can be revealed later when we are in a more stable situation. And even then, let the professionals historians deal with it.
On a final not, let us not forget that there are close to 80 ethnic groups in Ethiopia. Not just Oromos, Amharas and Tigrians. There are 9 Kilil’s today, which were drawn by the Italians during their 5 years occupation of Ethiopia (Its not the TPLF’s idea by the way, they dug up the old Italian files or external powers handed it to them) these ethnic groups have also paid a price to be Ethiopians and have a wright to exist.
Well put, Mesfin. People like you give me hope that the short-sighted drivel of so called “academics” will be challenged with honest and evidence based feedback. The author of this poorly written article has a history of anti-Ethiopian rhetoric (take a moment to read some of the revisionist contributions he has made to supposedly reputable outlets). Haile Selassie made incredible contributions to pan-Africanism and setting a solid foundation towards positioning Ethiopia (and by extension, Africa) to prosperity and political prominence on the international stage. Was he a saint, no, but as you aptly mentioned, he was a LEADER; a respectable/ honorable one at that. Ethiopia (as well as Africa) would have certainly been in a much more powerful and dignified position had the the current trajectory not been taken. May Kissenger and all the historical enemies of Ethiopia (internal and external) fall.
Your propaganda is widespread, your words are as smooth as silk, but your agenda is obvious to those of us who are truly vigilant as His Majesty instructed us to stay. The Socialist collapse of Ethiopia was orchestrated by the same insidious group of apostates that engineered the collapse of Russia, the collapse of the World Trade Center, and is presently hard at work to collapse the World Economy and yes, even our biosphere. But your plan shall fail. Your works of evil shall doom you to your final judgment. As it was spoken, “Let Not one stone be left standing, they shall all be cast down.”
Thank you Ras Elias! Thanks for standing up and speaking out against the author of this blog, Yohannes Woldemariam, who obviously has a negative agenda. We must fight misinformation and disinformation on all fronts. Rastafari Breden!
Thank you Yeshimebet, for chiming in,
One thing that we Ethiopians need to understand with regards to our history is that history is not perfect, it has its ups and downs. As mentioned, past world leaders like Hitler, Mussolini, Colonial Britain…etc were bad actors because they were venturing out to conquer other countries and destroy other cultures. Past Ethiopian leaders were defending their way of life and culture. I know, at this point there will be people who would bring up Minilik’s expansion to the south. It would have been ideally nice if the whole expansion was carried out using persuasive means like Minilik did with Abba Jiffar, but unfortunately, life is not always as simple.
In short, our leaders had faults we should not ignore, however, the bigger picture is, it is part of the long history of Ethiopia that is unparalleled.. There is no nation on earth that has a clean slate. By comparison, ours, as a country, is way better. In retrospect, and with calm contemplation, we will realize that the bad aspect in our history is actually the price we paid for being an independent nation. When we say, we are the only country in Africa that was never colonized, there was a price that was paid by our leaders and common Ethiopians. It wasn’t handed to us for free..
Never forget that the most costly price we paid though, was the internal fighting amongst ourselves that continues even today. The root cause of these internal conflicts where to a large extent is the poison that was placed by external historical enemies of Ethiopia.
Oromos, the overwhelming majority nation in Ethiopia, whose cultural norms, language rights his Imperial reign destroyed had a politically democratic self-governance called Gada System. He actually destroyed that and converted it into a Feudal exploitation with Amharanization (forced Amhara identity and language imposition if one is to survive in Ethiopi) policy to suppress and thwart their socio-cultural proliferation.
And yes, even the Western autocratic systems of his time were better. Haile Selassie, long after Europe and the Americans outlawed it, kept the horrible practice of black Slavery in Ethiopia. He was threatened with an invasion by European powers and expulsion from the League of Nations unless he ended Slavery in his own empire (which enslaved non-Amhara groups like Oromos, Gumus, Anyuak, etc). Only then, and even that gradually did he move to stop the practice in Ethiopia. Just imagine, the irony of a black leader being forced by European and White powers to end slavery of blacks. What a Shame!
Thank you for that enlightening comment. Yes, Haile Selassie was the ultimate crook par excellence. To describe such a self hating and corrupt ruler as a pan Africanist is misrepresent history and tell the young generation a cruel fiction.
He practiced slavery even after formally “abolishing” it. He was ashamed of being identified as an African.
He privileged, bribed and hired western “academics” to write a distorted version of history adulating him as modernizer, liberator, humane and you name it. Everything he wasn’t masking the extreme tyranny he practiced.
In Eritrea, he massacred women, children, farmers and peasants.
And as you eloquently put it, he destroyed an advanced Oromo indigenous democracy (the Gadda system) to replace it with his archaic feudal order. Very sad indeed!
Where’s is the evidence of him being self-hating? This blog post doesn’t sight any sources other than Marcus Garvey’s bias quote.
-Oromo are not the majority in Ethiopia, they make up one third of the population. No one is a majority.
-. Haile Sellasie is a founding member of African Union, and fought to have the OAU headquarters in Addis Ababa. Does that sound like he was ashamed to be an African? He was a committed Africanist who put words into action!
-Slavery has existed in Ethiopia for 2 thousands years, including among Oromos. Slavery preceded Haile Sellassie. He never owned personal slaves but slavery was so entrenched, the ruling class as well as private citizens, including Oromos owned slaves. For example, one of the largest slave owner was the Oromo king Abba Jiffar of Jimma.. It was Haile Sellassie who ended slavery in Ethiopia once and for all.
-The best books written about Haile Sellasie by Westerners were written decades after he died! Is he bribing them from the grave? Also, just because they did not demonize him to satisfy your tribal agenda does not mean he bribed them. They wrote based on their research and had to meet the standards of their universities.
– Gada system was already being abandoned by Oromos as they converted to Islam and Christianity, and as their life style changed from nomad to farmers. The Borona still practice gada because they are still nomads. In either case, Gada was a traditional system that was inadequate for the modern era, It was was not a fair system because considered non Oromos as inferior, and had a caste system. It was highly militaristic system because men could not marry until they have gone to war. Women cannot hold office. Not everything was bad about Gada, but it was not a just system.
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I had a Constitution written within the first decade of His reign, enshrining into modern Ethiopian law the illegitimacy of slavery in the Kingdom. The author clearly does not know that His Imperial Majesty was aware of the interaction between African Americans and Ethiopians and the affinity of those in the West for the African kingdom and the moral theocratic reign of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie I. I sense an entitled Ethiopian who is forgetting how much money the Imperial family contributed to the education of Ethiopians. I sense a frustration with localized tribal warring that continues through this day for lack of wisdom. I am gathering that in essence the people who were not in position to see the complexity of the swiftly modernizing world around them being frustrated by the pace of change, or an elite who feels his family did not gain of the spoils of victory post-Italian invasion. The irony even of going to reside and study in one Kingdom to utilize the post to throw shots at the elders of old to be for the usage of disparaging African royalty is not missed. Was it not His Imperial Majesty who moved throughout the Earth as one who left an irrevocable imprint in the minds of the leaders He met around the world by the way He carried himself and the principles for which He stood?
This article is pure folly and only one thing I will put forth what Emperor Haile.Selassie 1st said ”
Because of HIS personal experience in the goodness of the Holy Bible , I was Resolve that all my Counteymen should also share it’s Great Blessing, and that by reading the Bible they should find Truth for themselves…….”
The white missionaries came to Africa and they said let’s cover our eyes and pray. When we finished praying, we opened our eyes, the White man had our land and we were left with the Bible.
Bishop Desmond Tutu said something to that effect.
Now Sandra wants to play similar trick here. She uses Haile Selassie to sound and concerned about Africa. We know!
Please spare us your shenanigans Sandy!
Ethiopia and Egypt are mentioned in the Bible as much as Israel. It’s far more African than European.
Slavery existed in Ethiopia and Eritrea before he was born, and Haile Sellassie finally got rid of it. Compared to many third world rulers, he was not corrupt. He did not destroy the Gadda system, the Gadda system was being abandoned by Oromos as they settled down, and became either Christians or Moslems. He was a modernizer, but with limitations. He did not modernize the political space…this makes him in line with many third world rulers-nothing unique here. He was not ashamed of being identified as African, and in fact the introduced Pan Africanism to Ethiopia, and he is a founding member of the OAU. One does not bribe western academics, dont be silly. Some admired him, some did not. He did not practice extreme tyranny. Extreme tyranny is Isias Afeworki, or Stalin. He was an absolute monarch but he was not brutal and mostly forgave his opponents. The civil war with Eritrea was tragic and many died on both sides.
the ethiopian army did massacre villages in a few incidents-horrible. I believe it was because ELF killed a group of Ethiopian POWs. Not excusing it at all. For the most part, he was very popular and loved by the older generation of Eritreans middle class. He gave them key posts in the govt, and Eritrea thrived under Haile Sellassie. Look at Eritrea now. In other words, Haile Sellassie has a mixed record, but for the most part, he was a good person who was king at the wrong time in history. The world has been way worse than him, awful dilators such as Gaddaffi, Sadam, Idi Amin, Stalin, Mao, Mengistu and Isias Afeworki.
Be STILL!…The world we live in could well be a better place, had they listen to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie.
The horse is already out of the gate you can’t stop prophecy, Haile Selassie I is the KING OF KINGS and LORD of LORDS conquering lion from the tribe of Judah elect of GOD the light of this world, search the scriptures in the holy bible you will find HIM Haile Selassie I he is the return of Christ with a new name, revelation 2:17 I will give him a white stone and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it , Rastafari Selassie I mean power of the Trinity. revelation 5, and one of the elders saith weep not behold the lion of the tribe of Judah the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof. revelation 19 :16 and he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KING LORD OF LORDS. Christ and Haile Selassie coming from the same lineage of David. The only two people who were call GOD that walk with man in the flesh is Christ and Haile Selassie I the first . Remember when Christ walk the the people stone him, and he ask them why are you stoning me is it because of my good work they answer no it’s because you are a man and call your self the SON OF GOD. Do you know why they can’t present a body of Selassie I ,because Christ told them his second coming, he would not be a lamb to the slaughtered. Proof to the world that the king is dead, you forget to inform your readers that from 1974 up until this day no man not even a family member see the body of the king .RASTAFARI live
Then it is a shame you were not one of the many people he murdered. It sounds like you would have enjoyed and thanked him for that.
Hailey Selah destroyed the Romans from 1935 _41. This is something that the Romanized Jesus Hebrews people could not do. Now, today you and most of the world are Romanized and going down. Please don’t put down the King of kings who work so you can speak your own languages and not German or Roman/Italian.
I think if anything was misrepresented in this was your interpretation of highly suggest first whether he might have plenty of downfalls in his life he is human just like men are like the second and everyone before him. 72 Nations wouldn’t bow down to somebody just cuz they show up in time and what was John f Kennedy’s perception of him why did he also bow down sounds like you had a bad experience of self-hate or something and you want to criminalize or just down press another person the emperor I wasted my time reading your blog
I notice you did,t mention the details of Menilik 11
victory at Adawa against the Italians where it is said he had the ARK of COVernant which gave him the victory.
And what about the speech at LON league of the nation by his HIs IMPEriAl MAJESety.
Who are the people that were taken to Isreal by Mossad?
Why did the Head of the Catholic Church in Rome approve the invasion of another Christian Kingdom
or country in Africa
who start this blackness issue when African are brown or dark brown skin.???
I would appreciate your reply. Thank you
Please don’t fabricate history, I beg you.
Menelik the 2nd was nowhere near Adwa when the war was going on. It was the poor Oromo patriots who defeated the Italians.
But as usual, George is in denial about Oromo heroism.
Actually Chaltu, it was the Tegaru who did the lions share of the fighting in Adowa. The misinformation is so strong, few people gave them credit. To be fair, the Oromo contributed but Menelik was such a con man who was able to take the credit. He was hiding miles away from Adwa. Just like Trump, Menelik was a loud mouth too.
It was not Tegaru who stopped the Italians.
It was not Oromo who stopped the Italians.
It was not Amhara who stopped the Italians.
It was a nationality called Ethiopia which you all managed to destroy!
By conquering Oromia, parts of Somalia, Sidama, Wolayta and other parts, Menelik tried to create a compound called “Ethiopia” using a catalyst called Amharic, which was never successful. But neither he nor Haile Selassie were good chemists. The Dergue and the TPLF did their experiments as well. After over a hundred years of war, brutality and resistance, we now have an Ethiopia which exists only in a map.
Ethiopia is a figment of your imagination. You’re of course free to believe in any fiction.
Your fabricated version of history is incorrect. Menelik and Taitu were both the one’s leading the battle. You need to read more books and stop watching less of Jawar and those radicals. Next thing you know they’ll tell you Selassie massacred Oromo’s and you’ll believe it.
No doubt Menelik massacred Oromos. You don’t reconcile people based on a foundation of lies.
To be sure, innocent Amhara / Oromo were slaughtered recently and that is very sad .
It is inexcusable. But those who deny history and make light of past sufferings must take at least partial blame.
Denying history only fuels the hatred.
There is no doubt that Menelik was an imperialist and cruel. Haile Selassie was a backstabbing slimy tyrant who killed heroes and Arbegnoch.
He massacred Eritreans to annex and violate an international agreement and to deny fundamental rights of the Eritrean people.
No amount of sugar coating will erase that history.
George you’re mixing up history.
The people taken by Mossad to Israel were the Bete Israel. It began to happen after Haile Selassie was overthrown during the rule of the brutal Mengistu Hailemariam and after. They live a miserable life in Israel as victims of discrimination and treated as the lowest caste. There was a debate in Israel as to whether they were Jews. Eventually, it was decided that they were the lost tribe.
Upon arrival in Israel, there was a move to reform them and “clean up” their non Judaism practices.
Their answer was that they didn’t know there were white people who were Jews.
This is a whole separate story unto itself.
I don’t know what anyone else or the author thinks but about why the Catholic Church didn’t make much headway in Ethiopia. There were some schools, medical centers and churches but were far from influential in my view. The Orthodox Church was vigilant against the Catholic Church and probably the only right thing it ever did in my view.
The only thing worse than the Orthodox Church is Catholicism. If you know what I mean.
Let me tell you something my friend. Be careful when you read comments by narrow minded ethno-nationalists. For instance, notice what chaltu says to discredit a black man(half Oromo) that saved her from European subjugation.
1. Meneliks mother was Oromo.
2. His fit awrari(General) was Oromo.
3. It’s all Ethiopians from all walks of life including many Oromos that put aside their differences that saved Ethiopia from the hands of colonizers.
Unfortunately this generation has a lot of loud, hateful, narrow minded ethno-nationalists . But ethiopia is still here.
That is the problem Alem. You’re dismissive of those that you call ethnonationslists. When you don’t acknowledge what people experienced collectively or as individuals, it is a conversation killer. How can one have any conversation with anyone unwilling to hear or learn about the experience of people who were victimized by a common criminal, Haile Selassie or Menelik?
Victims need to be heard for true healing to begin. Otherwise, it is a dead end road. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41931279
Truly…our honest opinion…we do not have time for this type of discourse…we know who He Is…we know he lives until this day because we have seen him and he communicates with us and show us the way and we follow it…we are not here to convince the others…people have know it when they see it…other wise we don’t talk but will answer questions, if they true want to learn…not to debate…to us…this subject is just as bad as those who write otherwise and do not know HIM…who has taught us if you believe in me what continue my work and that alone will defend HIM…let the world say “Amen…King of Kings Haile Selassie I is truly all that Rastafarians have preserved…what we believe our community should do is to simply come together to carry out our Fathers unfinished business; the Queen of Sheba Historical Foundation, Inc is involved with resurrecting the issue of fascist war crimes in Ethiopia 1935-1941, that was carried out with poison gas sprayed from poison gas in highly populated remote areas far removed from the battlefield. Despite the fact that the Genocide of our people from 1935-1941 was carried out with poison gas, purchased from Hitler, and used by Mussolini, the League of Nations of which Ethiopia was a member, ignored the fascist mass-extermination campaign…despite the fact that King Haile Selassie I was a founding member of the United Nations established in 1947…that body established a human rights council and excluded the genocide in Ethiopia (1935-1941) but included the genocide in Europe from 1933-1945, dispute the fact they occurred virtually within the same time frame. From 1947 – 2019 the United Nations continue to ignore the Ethiopian Genocide 1935-1941…some are beginning to believe it is “historical bias”, even Dr. Professor Richard Pankhurst called it out by saying same thing. If you truly want to defend HIM join us in carrying out his work.
Richard Pankhurst was an academic mercenary who found an African tyrant that he was able to use to further his career and have privileged access. You think we don’t know?
I agree with you Konjit that Richard Pankhurst was a worthless academic who made it his business to patronize a terrible African monarch but the role of fascist Italy in the massacre of Africans/Ethiopians is a historical fact.
Haile Selassie exploited the guilt. That is the point.
Even today, there are criminal African rulers exploiting this victimization.
Abiy Ahmed is one of them.
Now I know how people fabricate gods and simply worship them.
Haile Selassie was a fraud! That is the truth and you know it.
Our black Lord and saviour walk the earth 2000 years ago There is a record of his treatment by his people the black hebrews .He ididn;t come this time to save but to comfort and so the world wouldn;t see HIM
I only wish a cure for you.
This is a serious illness of a human worship and a useless man at that.
If you have to worship, why can’t you at least worship Lumumba, Fanon or Malcolm?
There were rumours that Haile Selassie was in love with Queen Elizabeth. She gave him a stallion horse but she never reciprocated with his foolish love proposals. It was an unrequited situation and he never forgave her for that.
He traveled around the world with his son’s widow. He was a pervert by some accounts.
You really should have time for this. You’ve been fed falsehood through the school system.
In 1960, Mengistu and Germame Neway said that Ethiopia should be the bread basket of Africa.
They said that African countries who gained independence for two or three years were surpassing Ethiopia. The took action to rectify this travesty and they paid with their lives!
The peasant man in this video gives testimony that Haile Selassie starved Ethiopians.
Why is it that when there are black kings and queens portrayed in A somewhat positive let everyone, mostly their own people try to tear them down. The monarchs promote nationalism, these are people who are respected by others outside the country. You think a few policies are going to make the plight of the Ethiopian people go away? The people need to be proud, love themselves and others more than their tribe and believe they are black and better than the european devils. Then our youth will stay home and build rather than run away to the arms of the Arab slave masters or white devils. It’s weird how many articles are written about Haile Selassie statue , but almost none written about mousilini mausoleum. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson has 1000 streets , schools etc named after him yet he owned many slaves and raped lots of them. Christopher Columbus is as a mass murderer and reverred everywhere . Thieving queen of England is still walking around to this day having been responsible or related to the very people who have killed millions all over Africa including Ethiopia. Also the rastas and black people in general always rallied behind Ethiopia as the shining representation of freedom and black people defeating colonial white devils. Your very mistaken saying Rastas live in isolation, rastas usually come with their life savings , start businesses and even have started a community school in shamene, nearly all speak Amharic and all rastas are Orthodox Christians , they don’t think Selassie is Christ that was a reactionary belief at then moment. How is that not assimilation? Your very biased.
Thank you sir for providing a truly insightful comment. Myself, I am here only to read & learn, & I found the article interesting. But reading the comments, now I see the balance of truth. Your comment was like a light turning on! Thanks again.
Haile Selassie first banished and then killed lij Iyasu to usurp the throne from him. Haile accused Iyassu of converting to Islam which was a sure political murder. The Showan nobility were vehemently anti Islam. To this day, few people know that Haile Selassie’s mother was a Gurage moslem. Her name was Jemilla and not Towabech as he claimed. They drove her insane before she died. He hid this secret to his grave and he is still assisted in this cover up.. Very sad story actually!
You are precious!…..”his mother was not Tewabech as he claimed but Jemilla”….
The emperor’s mother had a mixed ethnic background, just like many Ethiopians; she was half-Gurague and half-Wara Iluu; thus, far from the then dominant ethnic group, or ruling class, the Amhara. 2) Her father was a Muslim. Orthodox Christianity was the de-facto official religion at the time.
Think of President Barack (Hussein) Obama for a second and how the US media and the Republicans play with his middle name and mixed background, especially when he visits conservative states. That was, perhaps, the kind of scrutiny that the Emperor wanted to avoid when he guarded his mother’s identity.
The emperor’s mother was called Yeshimebet Ali Gamcho. Yeshimebet is a Christian/Amharic name; Ali is Muslim; and Gamcho is ethnic/non-Amharic.
I saw nothing targeting black kings or queens in this article. But I think it is right to say something is wrong whether committed by a black person or a white person.
I think it is weak to hide behind race. Haile Selassie was an oppressive dude! That’s what I heard loud and clear. If you don’t agree, please enlighten us how he was a good man.
I agree with you Rastas are good people except for their mistaken belief that Haile Selassie is a deity. I didn’t get the sense that the article is disrespecting black people at all and elevating whites. On the contrary, it is clear that Colonialism was evil and Haile Selassie became a tool of neocolonialism.
The man was a Machiavellian. He knew how to play the game and he had clever advisers. Even in death, he is still playing with poor African peoples mind from the diaspora. Depressing!
By the way, not all white people devils. There are some who are not exactly angels but are OK. Like Obama’s mother. I think she did everything to raise him right and then Obama the loser goes to Kenya to write a book about an African father who abandoned him. In my opinion, Obama suffers from identity crisis just like a Haile Selassie.
This is Marxist propaganda!! His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Haile Sellasie was the greatest African leader who ever lived. He is still remembered by millions around the world with affection. May is murderer be brought to justice and may the Royal family be restored in 2019!!
Mengistu Hailemariam murdered him Haile and millions of others who were young and innocent. After that, he used the money he robbed from the Ethiopian people to build mansions and is enjoying old age in Zimbabwe. Haile Selassie was no better but he did not know when to escape. He was delusional.
The first time around, when the Italians invaded, Selassie run away with his tail between his legs.
Lol that is right, ”run away with his tail between his legs ,”lol the untold part was england betrayed the majesty during Selassie was asylum in England , he had account with a lot of money in uk bank when he went there to get his money to splash he been told , no money . and he was in asylum like any other people , he got unanimous Donate him $ 500 a month ,ouch
Didn’t know he was disrespected that way. He still found a way to lounge around in Bath and London like a clown.I wish they deported him back so he could have tasted the bitter experience of the Arbegnoch fighting the Italians gallantly that he eventually backstabbed. He was a creepy dude for sure.
Marxist propaganda? I saw no reference to Marx in this man’s article. Does one need to be a Marxist to call an evil emperor an evil man? If so, we’re really in trouble.
After reading this article on the August Emperor, I find some inaccuracy. First, the statue was built and unveiled at the A.U.(formerly O.A.U.) in honor of the August Emperor of Ethiopia. Also, this article asserts that the Emperor was not for Africa or black peoples of the world. This article is propaganda at best. It suggests musicians as romantic, when they are singing of the Emperor. The Emperor is not mentioned in a positive light whatsoever. This undermines His Majesty and his accomplishments. For the record, His Majesty recognized himself as a African and stood up for Africa. It was he who said, “Africans have committed no sin, unless the pursuit of independence and freedom from colonial oppression is considered to be one.”
Selassie was an African only when it served a political purpose. The rest of the time, he was fraternizing with white people full time, just like Abiy today. Abiy and Selassie have a lot in common, come to think of it.
They’re both flashy and unprincipled!
it was he who killed a lot of his own people. He only was good in ruling but a evil man and especially not a messiah as he personally said. The true men and woman are the Ethiopian and Eritreans who fought on the right side for the people liberty and justice.
His Imperial Majesty The Emperor Haile Selassie was the most loved and respected African leader in the world during his life time. Do NOT read this wicked article which is FULL of LIES about truly Christian man who loved his people and who was murdered in his bed by cowardly men who went on to kill hundreds of thousands of their own people. He was a generous man giving away his home in England and one of his major Palaces and even money each week to the poor in the street and was not aware of the extent of the famine mentioned. Western leaders spend millions on entertaining without criticism why shouldnt Africans? He did not say he was God and even paid for a priest to live in Jamaca to witness to the Rastas there. Google his speach which he delivered to the league of nations it is deeply moving. Who are these marxist writers who cannot stop telling lies about him? Who are they trying to please? who is paying them? Lets put truth on google not marxist propaganda. May the Imperial family be rightfully restored to the Throne which they were appointed by God to rule thousands of years ago.
Paul, the author said he didn’t write the speech that was delivered at the League of Nations. He took credit for what others did.
He also took credit for what the Arbegnoch did against the Italians and after he returned with British help, he started eliminating the true patriots. Is this true or not Paul?
1.That palace was not his to give. It is the money of the Ethiopian people and should be returned to Ethiopia. Like a lot of the historical relics stolen from Africa and stored in the British museum.
2. Secondly, It seems vulgar to continue on with idolizing historical figures. Hero worship has always been the domain of authoritarian regimes and dictatorships. It is values we should glorify; we should be consigning kings and leaders to the history books. Only there can they be fully fleshed out, in both deeds and misdeeds—not immortalized in stone, where they harden into dogma.
Unless all replys are posted this article is an afront to democracy it will be interesting if mine is printed given this extreme biased article.
Congragulations Paul! You’ve been published-:)
Two of the key tenets of Haile Selassie’s state policy were non-alignment and pan-africanism, as evidenced by his many state visits to both the East and the West, numerous speeches on the matter, the key role he played in establishing the OAU etc etc. Nelson Mandela refers admiringly to this in his autobiography.
The author speaks of history being “nuanced”. This article, however, shows no sign of that. It reads like Derge propaganda.
Honestly, this article is too kind to the despicable guy Haile Selassie was. There is not even an accounting of his crimes —they were too many!
You must be kidding. Haile Selassie and non-alignment. That is an oxymoron.
He was in the pocket of the Americans 100%.
It is undeniable that Emperor Hailesilase played key roles towards ‘modernising” the country and pan Africanism. However, as other monarchs and absolutists, he did what he could to protect his throne for life by suppressing any reformative ideas that could have served as critical juncture towards the fate of that country .However ,the uplifting of Hailesilase by some artists or groups for some reason shouldn’t bias as from fair views and put all the blame on his predecessors or successors.
Kidil, HIM did not protect his life, Ethiopia could have been thrown into civil war when the derge overthrow the government with the help of the CHURCH. HIM knew what the outcome would have been if he had mounted an armed resistance against destructive elements in the military and so he sacrificed his life for Ethiopia. Remember that his son years earlier tried to depose the king and was forgiven, remember too that HIM developed a constitution as a first step towards he Crown becoming ceremonial. Do we have to live either capitalist or socialist, what of the African heritage of the divine king who live for his people. The overthrow may have set that back but not forever. We cannot look at the history of HIM and Ethiopia without gobal history as the context. Bless
Let me share a secret with you.
Haile Selassie never gave a speech without getting stoned. He had a bong in his room.
Did you say his son tried to overthrow him years before the Dergue? There may be some partial truth to this claim. However, Nobody really knows for certain.
It happened when Mengistu and his brother Germame along with Worqneh staged their unsuccessful coup in 1960.
Apparently, Worqneh was a trusted lieutenant of Sellassie. He is said to have been shaken when he learned that he was part of the plot. They say he trusted him more than he trusted his own son. Rumors were rampant that his relationship with his eldest son was rocky.
The coup plotters mmade Asfa Wossen (the son of the emperor) read the announcement of the overthrow in the radio. They also made declare himself as the new ruler. Did he do it willingly? Was he a willing accomplice? Some say he was. Others say he was doing it with a gun pointed on his head.
Hard to know. I heard the announcement which is still available. He certainly didn’t give any indication that he was scared.
This is one of those things that no one will ever know the truth about. Some secrets die with the protagonists and we’re only left to speculate.
Kidil – so then he was no different from Putin. Served the nation but only as a means to serve himself. And when I say nation, I really mean those people he didn’t murder. Because with Putin and Selassie, murder of the people is but a tool in trade. I see no need to blame someone else for what a man does to furnish himself with riches.
The man himself was pretty much regarded as a living legend during his lifetime…’romantic rewriting’ as a statement, is particularly galling and offensive. Useless article, benefits no-one
well said Claudette Holmes!
What do you expect from Yohannes Woldemariam, an Eritrean, whose great father left arm was amputated by order of Empress Tayetu for serving Italian to fight against Emperor Menelik’s army in the battle of Adwa ?
Yohannes’ parents before they moved to Ethiopia, they did not study more than grade 4 becuse of Italian Aphartheid police. However after Emperor Haile Selassie liberated Eritrea from colonial powers in the 50s, Eritreans began to get best education. Yohannes, the author was a firute of Haile Selassie ‘s free education in Addis Ababa but now in the US, he became a strange firute. To insult Emperor Haile is to insult the author himself.
Selassie is the only world leader who dared to challenge the US racist police against the African American. Watch on YouTube during an interview in 1964 on the NBC, ” Meet the press”.
Read his speech at the League of Nations in 1936 and at The UN in 1963. He addressed the world not only the issue of human rights but also for survival mankind indoing so he declared a new world order by inviting to establish a new organization which strives not for big powers’ intersts but for survial of man kind.
Selassie received 72 awards from all prestigious university including Oxfird and Harvard.
Two years after he visited Jamaica, out of inspiration Bob, Peter, and Bonny invented a new phnomena called Reggae, which teaches the teaching of Selassie: Peace, love, equal rights, justice.
Ever since, Reggae is used as weapon to defend the legacies of Selassie. BOB, Peter, and Bonny were & are considered as modern day apostles who spreaded Selassieism all over the world. They changed the color image of God.
In 1955 during Selassie visited Japan, The Japan Times on its cover page: The diginfay soul has come to this part of the world.
Chaina makes billions dollars out of images of Selassie & The Lion of Judha while fool like Yhonnes takes his time to demonize the iconic Emperor. When you try to find negative word to fit the Emperor as the same time you are posing yourself.
Let me leave you with positive thinking of which the Emperor said and Bob used it to his famous song war: ” That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permantly discdited and abandon …..”
This past July 23, Selassie turned 127, happy birthday the Emperor
He never said that.
He did say just that in a 1963 speech to the OAU
This is all new information for me what Dr. Johannes Woldemariam postulates . I can neither confirm nor deny everything he’s saying however, I’m sliding more towards confirming his documentation, based upon empirical evidence and corroborated substantiated documents that he possesses in his writings. So i will give a little more credence and deep respect to his research than those detractors in the comment section here who absolutely rejects his position yes from those that seem to have their views based upon a strict resistance to have anyone challenge the official sacred story or narrative of Haile Selassie, unchallenged and held in High sanctimony as if it seems
“Very Blasphemous” to do so otherwise. So, it turns out to be a very dangerous intellectually lazy groupthink by osmosis this fundamentalist aversion and reticence to critique Haile Selassie and to preserve the image of him as the personification of benevolence as God incarnate. As if some sort of elite praetorian guard protecting the image of Caesar too , as a Roman literal God or deity of benevolence for the general Roman “citizenry / rabble” to worship as divine yes in the ancient days. So ,when one humbly objectively rationally and honestly reviews certain held in high reverential Prophets or “deity-like”historical figures, sometimes the virtuousness of these ” illuminary ones” sometimes turns out to be nothing more than misguided wishful thinking flat out mythology in reality. For example, another person viewed as a prophet similar to Haile Selassie was the late Elijah Muhammad . SO for the members of the Nation of Islam , Elijah Muhammad purported to be a prophet , who had direct communication to God .So that’s what he told his followers that he was and the world and he presented himself as such but in private deliberations with the late great Malcolm X who split with the Nation of Islam, one of the most mind-blowing shocking things that Malcolm X revealed was that in his personal very private ” tell-all” conversations with Elijah Muhammad, Elijah did not EVEN believe that himself that he was a prophet with a direct communication to God !!! and it totally disillusioned Malcolm and he was told to be quiet about it and keep that “Secret Under Wraps” from the other members of the Nation of Islam who were of lower rank or the basic laity class, as the upper Elite echelons of the Nation of Islam knew the truth that Elijah was not a prophet as well , as there was a special Clique that only new the inside truth. However that truth would have been Faith shattering for the ordinary laity members of the Nation of Islam if they heard Elijah Muhammad confess that he truly did not feel he was a prophet with a different lying to God, thus he needed to keep “THE “mythology alive about himself for a cohesion of the central power base of the religion of the Nation of Islam. Similar today is this Mystique around Haile Selassie for a lot of hungry and thirsty beautiful black people in the diaspora who are looking for cohesion because of the toxicity from white supremacy’s dirty and bloody disruptions of black Unity throughout history. So history is replete with these contradictions of various so-called ” “illuminary prophetic ones” throughout history who were not in reality what their public persona were purported to be. Yes if you will ” the pr industry that their followers disseminated for domestic and international consumption, Yes take your pick A through Z throughout history. So, Dr. Johannes Wodermariam’s documentation has validation not only of his critique of Haile Selassie and the mythology around him but also other examples yes historical analogues as well, forone will find the veracity to buttress his claims.
Good analogy. I agree with you Elijah Mohammad and Haile Selassie were very similar. Elijah while proclaiming himself as a prophet was also very busy purging and conspiring to murder patriots like Malcolm X.
Haile Selassie also eliminated the patriots who remained to fight the Italians and showed courage and bravery like Belai Zeleke. He was not only a coward but also slimy.
My ONLY purpose in sharing this extremely very well written historical article by Dr.Johannes Woldermariam is the following ; Historical !! Exactly for that reason ONLY !! SO NOT with a partisan affiliations of political beliefs or leanings of any type of preference for certain political parties , rather it’s the pure LOVE for history is why I crave to know how things happened in past times which influence our present day from the stories and roles that we tell ourselves about other people, So obviously what Dr. Johannes is saying does not espouse the traditional standard Orthodox View and it should be view with healthy skepticism as what any good Progressive person analyzing any information should do , However, it does mirror the accuracy of Truth or at least it purports or intonates that direction. As we examine conventional long-held assumed beliefs that we never challenge these implicit suppositional assumptions , we must remember ” That until the lion has its say then the story of the hunter shall always be glorified ” SO it’s very important that we re-examine reverential figures throughout history so that we do not romanticize and have a Pollyannic Disneyland Wizard of Oz mythological view historical figures making them delusionally infallible like the pope in our infantilism of naivete. So this article I must say, it’s very fascinating food for thought and grounds for further research but just don’t dismiss it and throw the baby out with the bathwater because it causes “cognitive dissonance ” Within You by challenging the sacred cows of History from your sacred views of Haile Selassie. So keep an open heart and an open mind as we remember the heart and the mind is like a parachute, yes it only works best when its open !!
God had been created and discovered by different individuals in different times and locations. Ibrahim discovered God when he was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac. Moses discovered at the burring bush on Mount Horeb, Prophet Mohammed on the mountain Jabal an-Nour. The Rastafarians discovered their Deity on November 2, 1930, when Ras Tafari sat on the throne of King David with the coronation name, Haile Selassie, the power of Trinity. Why Yhonnes is not challenging the white man’s religion? Would not be good as an Eritrean to challenge dictator Isayas Afworke? Yohannes’ article can not even create a storm in a teacup ? The Sun Never Sets on the Legacy of Emperor Haile Selassie !!Adrianne Malaku
Greetings and aloha Dr. Yohannes. It is nice to still see persons looking and searching for ways to understand who HIM Haile Selassie I is as an historical figure in the world. Unfortunately in a world where great knowledge is available to the depths in which we wish to search you have fallen more than short on this article and I wish you would consider answering some of the questions in which I have presented in my whole hearted disagreement.
I am an African American who has been searching out as much truth about Haile Sellassie I for about 1/4 of a century. It surprised be to see that your title of Dr. didn’t do much to have a quick and clear view of your perspective on HIM. My first thought was wondering if you had read his autobiographies “My Life & Ethiopia’s Progress” Vol. 1 & 2? If so what are your thoughts about HIM telling his own story from his perspective?
It is impossible for anyone with a clear & balanced educated mind as well as being a sound person of the Christian faith to nOt see the great biased rhetoric of your writings.
Your judgements come across as envious, jealous judgements of men who only utilize their voices to contradict what the Good Lord of Heaven has decreed as set in the confines of history.
You call the Kebra Negast mythology? Who are you in regards to knowing about things as such and what do you know of the great mysteries of truth concerning the of the Ark of the Covenant?
You’ve gone through trawls of the history books? Which books are you referring? Can we get some references?
How is it you can speak on the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley and Teddy Afro who have brought countless jOy to literally millions of people on earth through song and dance only to say their spirit of music is simply a romanticized perspective? I’m guessing if you don’t feel it then you don’t know it. This music is bigger than your ability to criticize that which you don’t understand. It’s ok to be wrong about something just as Marcus Garvey was wrong about Haile Sellassie I.
I mean, how am I as an Emperor of a people/nation who has worked ceaselessly to bring progress in the form of hospitals, airports, trains stations, roads & electricity, schools & universities etc… at the same time defending my country not only form violent perpetrators but from those of whom I’ve helped to achieve the education now being turned against me through propagandized mind manipulation? I would have no choice but to stand with the help of those who would have me as I am exiled due to keeping myself safe in order to accomplish the mission of being triumphant in the unjust war perpetuated on my country. How am I supposed to take the time and adhere to starting a movement to help Marcus Garvey and his request regardless of how sensible and important his request was during such a perilous time? (1937)
It wasn’t the right time and Marcus took that to personal offense after supporting him with such vigor at the beginning of the war. His thoughts and writings on HIM are unequivocally seated in a frustration of disappointment and his expectations crushed as so to do his best in a passion of fury to undermine HIM and the great work he has done here.
Manifest Destiny and the Kebra Negast are not comparable as to being similar and to do so is pure ignorance on your part. A deceptive ploy that the over educated continue to nourish while walking blindly without knowing their current surroundings.
Just how are the works of HIM and Menelik II distorted in history? What narrative of truth have you rendered in this piece of propaganda which is no different than what the Italians dropped on Ethiopians during their reign of terror on this nation of peaceful people?
Who is to say what will become of the rasta community in Shashamane? I have been and the Rastas there are kind and are connected with many throughout the land especially musically in Addis.
As I said before. You are wrong about M. Garvey and his support of HIM Haile Sellassie I. He did support him whole heartedly up until he was denied the ability to meet with HIM who at the time was under the most dire of circumstances. Marcus took this as a personal affront to demonize him as a traitor. That is as plain to see in Marcus Garvey’s writings as is the sun rising in the east if you have basic comprehension skills.
Are you kidding me? You are saying that Haile Sellassie only embraced the Rastas due to public relations value? Disgusting accusation with no bases what so ever. That statement alone would have the Dr. in front of your title revoked in a world where common sense law reigns and spreading false doctrines and demonizing propaganda have repercussions .
I’ll stand to write no more on this tragic piece of absolute gossip trash.
💯🔥🔥🔥 oh how the dogs/hyenas love to scoff the personal qualms when the feel their hunt & kill have been apprehended by lions(Menelik 2 & Haile Selassie I)…sometimes progress is met wiith the simple, primitive and selfish minds that rather stay/live in the dirt. To this day it’s what the emperor(s) have erected through struggle & stiff necked backward ignorance and resistance to established that is boast and advertised to cover the shame and naked buttocks of socioeconomic corruption and mismanagement of Ethiopia….since using music to unite, uplift, and educate the people doesn’t seem to work on mad & wild dogs(educated fools included/🤷🏿♂️Thought it suppose to tame the savage beast(s)), maybe civil war and unrest is more their liking which hasn’t seized in Ethiopia since the emperor United the Country to its greatest extend. romanticizing? How about ithiopiacizing can’t hold a Go(o)d Man/King/Ruler/Ras down…. This blog was entertaining but as neither mentioned propaganda trash, history has spoken so this is as good as it gets for the barks of the hyenas, they can tell their poison to their children as they attend Haile Selassie schools & university(pray they not like the ungrateful bastards in the thread/at that wrote the unscholarly trash report), Salem.
When Haile Sellassie met the Rastas, they were total outcast of Jamaican society and they could not give him no benefit. Still he wanted to listen to them and meet them. They had no public relations value back then. This article is at least wrong in that part.
No, he was scared of Rastas at first. the way he was scared of Marcus Garvey in London. Only after his councilors explained to him, this can be a public relations bonanza, he tacitly became receptive.
What you selectively ignore Peter, he took a long time to get out of the plane in Kingston. Only after his handlers explained to him, he will be OK and it will be good for his cult of personality, he reluctantly agreed to face the enthusiastic Rasta crowd.
Why is there no mention that H.I.M. singlehandedly ended slavery in Ethiopia in 1923, with an edict that any one caught owning slaves would be executed and their land and wealth confiscated from their family? Who, in fact, is rewriting history? Is it you,Yohannes Woldemariam, or are you just ignorant? Keep trawling.
He had slaves all through his life.
I personally knew some of his slaves.
They were stamped with his name right on their Butts.
It is a wild myth that he eliminated slavery.
One of the many lies he used when he wanted to solicit money from the West or gain politically.
He was evil but not stupid.
Sounds like the wild myths are coming through people like ‘Ras’ Gugsa, who clearly believes (unless he’s lying about the whole thing) that he has met some former slaves with Selassie stamped on their butts. They must have had quite a laugh. Did they show you these stamps? Why didn’t Mengistu reveal this back in the seventies? Seems it would have helped his PR campaign.
Everything that you you said about Emperor Haile Selassie I is without any base or facts. As JFK said 1963 “His Majesty’s legacy in world history is already assured”. Therefore, whatever lies you or your fellow Inferior Complexity Disorder victims, and we know many of you are from Tigray and Eritrea, spread about the Emperor means nothing. History already have evaluated him and has given him the appropriate respect! Ethiopia’s enemies, individuals from Tigray, Eritrea and now, Oromo are the reason why Ethiopia is where she is. Especially, the ones from from Adwa Tigray and Eritrea, starting from working as British and Italian Bandas to killing their own people, just to blame Ethiopian Government, have done their best for Ethiopia not to exist. And they hate anyone who doesn’t let them do that (which is the case in Emperor Haile Selassie case). He refused to let Ethiopia be colonized just like Emperor Meinlik did .
Let’s no forget, about 28 years ago, it was Melse Zenwie (from Tigray), Isaias Afewerke (Eritrea), and Abo Lencho (Oromo) who sat down around table with Mr. Herman Cohen, British, Germany and other European representatives, signed the document that is destroying Ethiopia especially Amhara and Tewahdo Orthodox now. Amhara wasn’t presented at the meeting. Why? They all knew as long as Amhara is there, it wouldn’t let them “divide and conquer” Ethiopia ! I, strongly, suggest to Dr. Jonnas and to individuals like him to seek a professional help for this disorder before it ruins the world as it is doing to Ethiopia. All humans are created equal. What you are feeling is only in your heads.
From your message, it appears Amara is equal to Ethiopia. Right there is the problem. When you take out Oromo, Tigre and others that is eighty percent, who don’t qualify as Ethiopians.
That sure is a decisive message just to praise one man who ruled five decades.
Dear Dr. woldemariam,
Kudos to you! you have written simple yet clear article to expose the brutal, nepheriouse and son of a devil himself Haile Selassie’s repugnant conduct. For those of us, who have read his hideous history asn seeing his brutal administration is a big reminder and for those who keenly wanted to know who, this dead evil man’s conduct is, enlightening but for some who bury their head in the sand like some dim commentators here and most of all the musician, who call himself Teddy Afro, is simply ignorance is bliss or the boy is as dim as he can to not know how haileslealls is.
You’re a good man or woman. This author does not all the ridicules he got. I learned some from his article.
Glad to read this kind of articles. Lots of information to study in deep are given. Historical (impartial)academic research is a must.
My two cents about Rastafari:
Rastafari was designed as a way to fight white slavemasters oppression, thus a reinterpretation of the bible where afrocentrism takes the dominant position was the elected way. Rastafari foundation has freemasonic roots, members of The mystic Order of Ethiopia deeply involved. They though a powerfull way to turn around the oppressor mentality was stablishing the divinity of an African man still alive. And they were right in the short run. They created a substitutive for the white imposed god. That’s partially rightfull in the religious dimensions, however it is wicked in the reality dimension. Haile Selassie was a dictator, just like his good friend Francisco Franco, the fascist wicked spanish murderer.
How can you stand as a fascism defeater prototype when you are close friend of the worst fascist dictators of this world?
How can you stand as a slavery abolishment prototype when you befriend the queen of the wicked empire that kept in suffering and slavery 3/4 of the world? That’s the reality dimension. That’s the point where mystic can not hide reality. However mystic still represents a valid answer for those kidnapped by the Abrahamic emotional blackmail.
Rastafari emerged in 1930’s, and fortunately is a movement in constant evolution, so actual beliefs are subject to changes and interpretations. Rastafari is way more complex than the Selassie question, and has very valid points. Let the righteousness find its way.
Thank you Zisen Wada for your thoughtful comment. I can see how mythology can be useful as a tool in the struggle for justice.
However, I question utilizing Haile Selassie even for a short time as you say.
There were much better symbols that could have been used. Marcus Garvey himself, Frederick Douglas, Franz Fanon, Lumumba and Nkrumah just to mention a few.
There was no need to elevate a despicable and murderous tyrant like Haile Selassie in search of a hero.
Generations of Ethiopians and Eritreans were sacrificed because of his political intrigues. Those lives matter!
I’m also not convinced that Rastafarianism is shedding its relationship and attachment with this tyrant. Far from renewal, many true believers still vigorously and dogmatically defend him.
The author is a member of the Tigrigna ethnic group, probably from Eritrea. Basically, many intellectuals of this tribe have made it a point to demonize and belittle any king who is not of their tribe, and they have a hysterical hatred for the history of the Amhara people.
Marxist Leninsts and communists who we all know are one the cruelest intellectuals in the world, continue their campaign against him evan as their ideology has been long discredited after the world saw how their political systems are the most inhumane in the world. So for example, look at Eritrea led by a deranged marxist leninist dictator. Eritrea under Haile Sellassie was a thriving province.
Haile Sellassie was a great and visionary king who transitioned Ethiopia from the medieval era to the modern era. Passionate about eduction and the educational system he PERSONALLY implemented in Ethiopia was superb. He led the ministry of education himself and my father told me he used to visit classrooms just to see what young people were learning. Speak to anyone from his time and they will tell you the 50s and 60s was as one of the best times in Ethiopia.
As a person he was a very kind, spiritual and gentle man who deeply touched anyone who met him, Ethiopian or foreigner. Unlike other regimes in the third world, he had few political prisoners because he forgave many of his opponents and enemies. Many people don’t realize this about him, but he suffered a lot of personal tragedies. His mother died at his birth, and his fatter when he was a young boy, practically leaving him an orphan. He lost his favorite believed son Prince Mekonnen in a car accident, and both his daughters died young, one during child birth. The Italian fascists murdered some of his closest relatives.
He believed in a united Africa and was one of the founding members of the African Union. .
He modernized Ethiopia, but ironically that meant his demise, because the modern era does not accept emperors. IN his youth, he was the modernizer, but in the end, he refused to modernize the political system and especially the fuel system many Ethiopians toiled under. At a result, his imperial political system ended in disaster: with the horrible famine of the 1970s. By 1972, he as old and senile 80 year old man, and the modern students and army he built and nurtured overthrew him and murdered him. With his death came a cruel and traumatic period for Ethiopians. Sadly, after a military coup and before his death, he lived to see his grandson murdered, and his daughter and grandchildren imprisoned in a dungeon.
He died alone, tortured and defeated.
But that his not enough for people like this author, who can not see his benevolent side of one of the few great leaders of Africa.
Do you know that Haile Selassie’s favorite book was “President Taft is stuck in Bath”? A children’s book written by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen. He read it many times over apparently.
It is a travesty that his admirers are now traveling to Bath and making his former house there a pilgrimage site.
His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God.
Jah live children
I an’ I Jah Rastafari
The Legend live on forever whether you like it or not.
Everyone keeps saying that he was murdered but the former prime minister Mengistu Haile Marriam said in an interview that he “never lay a hand on the Emperor”. Look it up on YouTube. Plus who knows the Emperor and his works and what he did for African at home and in the diaspora might have a different view. So sad you say that he is dead but still stamped on his name when will the hatred stop. Instead you should be thankful that the education you and many other received in Ethiopia is because of HIM. Forgive and move forward or else you gonna self-distruct you are no helping Ethiopian by doing this infact what you are doing is trying to make war and divided the people. Used your time for the betterment of the country if you care for it. Divide and conquer is a tool of the colonizers don’t further their cause. Unite is strength but divided we already lost the battle.
There is no unity to be achieved by deluding oneself or not confronting history honestly.
Why the vested interest in revering and honoring a trashy monarch?
It really blows my mind why people respect such a murderous, good for nothing and cruel man. Please have some self respect!
Can someone here point me to Dr. Yohannes Woldemariam’s article on Meles Zenawi? Thanks
Are you joking? The only thing Meles and Sellassie had in common was that they were very short people. Other than that, Meles was a genius while Selassie’s distinction was vanity. Please be honest. Just because you don’t like Meles, don’t be unfair.
Haile Selassie wrote in the preface:
“A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it.”
That is very sad.
Just know that even Donald Trump has loyal servants. Just see where Steve Cohen ended up.
It is the ultimate waste of life to be a servant of corrupt and cruel leaders. Selassie was nothing but a creation of some people’s wild fantasy.
“until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil”. Haile Selassie I
Selassie was a coward who fled the Italians.
It was the Arbegnoch (patriots) who remained and fought against all odds. Selassie came back after victory and systematically eliminated the Arbegnoch.
Those are the cold facts.
He was able to talk and write using ghost writers because talk is cheap.
It doesn’t change the true record.
Please get real, the man didn’t even believe that he was black.
And with all the negative against HIM, where is Ethiopia today, where has Ethiopia travelled since 1974. All those posting negative tropes and comments PLEASE RESPOND, NO TONGUE BITING, JUST COLD FACTS. Thanks Dr. Dave R Britton Esq.
poorly written and vague. This is a one sided article that could have been good if it weren’t for the contempt for Rastafari and His Majesty from the start. The ability to see fully or be a good journalist is to be non partial. Ironically the person who didn’t adhere to the Kebra Nagast was Emperor Haile Selassie I because it wasn’t as progressive as He was. If some real investigation was done they could see mis information is part of his article about mis-information.
In my opinion, the writer didn’t even scratch the surface of Selassie’s crimes. The struggle for justice can benefit from real heroes but Selassie is a trashy choice. Sorry for the blunt language but maybe that’s the only way you can understand.
A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it.
There is no virtue in worshiping even great and exemplary human beings. Worshiping a well known crook like Haile Selassie is simply pitiful.
I hope you realize that sooner than later.
I learned that Haile Selassie used to sacrifice children for his god Korit.
Please someone give more information on this cruel practice of Haile Selassie.
He went to Bishoftu every Saturday for the sacrifice apparently.
Children were disappearing mysteriously.
If they suspected their children were sacrificed for Korit, they gave up the search out of fear.
Looking at these replies it’s saddening how many of you have this ill informed view of His Imperial Majesty, when his contribution to Ethiopia is so immense and written in the books of world history that all one has to do is literally google it. I mean the amount of social, economic, political and educational reforms for progressive advancement. Implementing a constitution and revising it for the benefit of the people, outlawing feudal taxation, I mean literally one can sit here all day and go down the list of contributions. You guys still believe the false propaganda of the Red Terror and Mengistu Haile Mariam, like you would still rather him be in power, or maybe be under a tyrannical Islamic state under Lij Yasu. FOH. Just because Rastafari all over the world have an as y’all claim “romanticized” adoration for His Majesty does not mean that it comes from a place a falsehood. You guys need to do some big fact checking. Rastafari will continue to disseminate the truth while you all spread lies.
Haile Selassie’s career began with betrayal.
His first victim was LiJ Iyassu, the rightful heir to the throne. He conspired with the Showan elites to demonize him as a Moslem. He was very jealous of Iyasu who was tall and handsome.
Iyassu went out of his way to find Haile Selassie a wife convincing the beautiful Menen for whom he was an uncle to marry him.
He also betrayed Empress Zewditu.
There is no end to his intrigues and evil machinations. There are many trying to embellish the man. Don’t let them fool you.
TRUTH is acknowledging the contributions as well as the mistakes and wrong decisions. No one leader is perfect. Haile Selassie will always be more loved by more people than not. Need to be fair minded and have the courage to speak the truth. This article is 100% bashing
This article is trash. It’s writer’s hate and bias is front and center. It’s a poorly written piece of propaganda. The title of the article is laughable. While His Imperial Majesty reigned he was adored throughout Africa and around the globe. So one doesn’t need to go to any rewriting, all one needs to do is look at the original writings and perceptions of HIM in his time. Watch the archived footage of his reception anywhere he traveled. He was internationally given the title Defender of the Faith and Father of Africa. He was provided more honors than any person before him and any that has come since. This hateful man’s writing is an abomination to the truth and to humanity. Liars tell on themselves and this man does continually throughout his piece. I’d hate to reap what he sows!
At a time when statues are coming down in Britain and America, it is ironic that Haile Selassie’s and Menelik’s statues are standing and celebrated in Ethiopia. These two men did a lot of damage to millions of human beings.
As a small gesture of healings for their victims in Oromia and other parts of Ethiopia, bringing down their statues might help.
No fuss and fight.Stay focused.Each one must believe in what they think is the truth.Simple.But I think Ethiopians you can say Selassie was not good at home than abroad.His domestic image was soiled but his foreign clean…I might agree with you because you know better of your national happenings than we outsiders but the truth is that you can’t convince us to hate him or consider Him as a tyrant because of what he was at an international level.His so-called evilness was a threat within just Ethiopia but his goodness was a blessing global wise…you see it.
Do you know why Haile Selassie decided to sacrifice Ethiopian soldiers in Korea? Just so he can have U.S. support in securing for the incorporation of Eritrea into Ethiopia.
His own diplomat Imru Zelleke attests to this in his memoir. This policy is the origin of why we have been witnessing immense suffering in the Horn of Africa.
Eritrea, which could have been an amazing example of prosperity in the southern Red Sea has been reduced to being a symbol of producing refugees and an exceptionally cruel dictatorship and violence for seventy years plus. Haile Selassie was a connoving criminal and a true slave of the Americans.
The article wrongly refers to Roosevelt as one who made the deal this evil scheme when it was in fact Truman. Neverthless, an interesting confession by his former diplomat. Imru Zelleke
He was my next door neighbor of my parents when I was growing up in Addis Ababa.He used to wave at me as he was driven off by his chauffier. Little did I know that he was behind the victimization of the Eritrean people. I wouldn’t have celebrated him. I was only six or seven!
“In the eastern city of Harar, protesters have pulled down a statue of a royal prince – Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael – who was the father of Haile Selassie, Ethiopia’s last emperor.
The statue shows Ras Makonnen, an important military figure and former governor of Harar province in the 19th Century under then-Emperor Menelik II, sitting on a horse.”
“The apostle Paul said ‘the wisdom of this world Is foolishness with God.’ This is because generally speaking man makes himself and his wisdom the beginning and end of his aims in life. We are convinced that the end of that is death and destruction.” Negus Haile Selassie I Yesus Christus is he
As a theologian, hero worship is historical and present in most faith traditions. For instance, one can find it in Christianity with Jesus being the hero of humanity through his ‘sacrificial death’ and ‘resurrection’ thereby providing ‘salvation’ for humanity. Heroes are also linked to the concept of ‘sonship’. So we have people that were referred to as ‘sons of God/a god’ as they were said to accomplish great exploits through ‘divine’ intervention. Even great rulers were known as ‘sons of God’. Therefore the debate between faith traditions has mostly revolved around the concept of ‘unique Sonship’. Hence the efforts of writers of the letters we refer today as the ‘the New Testament’ in establishing Jesus as ‘God’s only son’. However, there are other wider questions against this position. Some scholars even argue that we are all in fact — sons and daughters of God, and no one is unique in any sense. By and large, one could argue that religion provides simple answers to complex questions about life and meaning. Whether or not those answers are necessary and sufficient is really down to individuals — and rightly so in my humble opinion!
i & i jah Rastafarie The Ever living i! you all should give Thanks & praise To The most i! jah No Dead Him not Dead! The king of kings Lord of Lords The True Lion of Judah Selassie i!!!!
Ethiopian Constitution 1955 art.4:By virtue of His Imperial Blood,as well as by the anointing wich He has received,the person of the Emperor is SACRED,His dignity is inviolable and His Powers indisputable.He is consequently entitled
to all the honors due to Him in accordance with tradition and the present Constitution.Any one so bold as to seek to injure the Emperor will be punished.
“They crucified Christ, saying he is not what he is”…Haile Selassie I is our Leader, Teacher and Guide…you can take it or leave it alone, its makes no difference… and depart from HIM you workers of iniquity.
While I appreciated your article on the crisis of governance in Ethiopia, I find your article on our last Emperor harsh, written out of context, and full of clichés.
No leader is perfect, including the Emperor.
You spend a lot of time on the Rastafarian movement which is really a footnote in Ethiopian history.
You hammer Teddy Afro for praising HIM. Why shouldn’t he? HIM was the symbol of unity of this country, and as Ethiopians we were respected everywhere in the world.
Why don’t you mention those who took power after the fall of the Emperor? Menguistu Haile Mariam whose brutal policies decimated an entire generation of young Ethiopians. Meles Zenawi, hailed as a “ great leader “, whose sole purpose was to destroy Ethiopia if he couldn’t guarantee the eternal rule of his minority ethnic group.
Haile Mariam Desalegn, a non entity who will end up in the bin of history.
And now, we have the “ new Messiah “, Abiy Ahmed, who believes he’s cleverer than anybody else.
Compared to all these minions, the Emperor was a giant ( despite his height )!
Yes, we are, and should be, proud of our Kings and Emperors (Teodros, Yohannes, Menelik, Haile Selassie ). They created this country with all its shortcomings.
Lastly, no one is perfect. Everything is relative. Your trashing of HIM is unjustified, fashionable, and wrong.
That being said, this idea that Ethiopia will “ disappear “ by crucifying its historic leaders will never prevail. No reasonable German insults Bismarck, no Brit vilifies Alfred the Great, no French calls Louis XIV names.
We Ethiopians respect and honor our ancestors. They gave us our flag ( the green, yellow and red ), our dignity, our imperfections. We take it all
It’s simple. Tickle any hateful Haileselassie hater, these days and an illiterate Woyane Cadre laughs somewhere in the world. Your obvious hatred for the Emperor is blindingly obvious. A hate-filled person is unqualified to write anything but hate. Funny thing, all such people will, like everyone else, eventually die out. What remains as a legacy is the good work of people. While Hailesellasie had his own shortcomings, he was great for Ethiopia. And the obvious fear you Woyane have, every time you turn out the lights he seems to haunt your nights, is because you believe in nothing but stealing. As the University singers said, you guys are logarithms. Check it our on youtube, it’s hilarious, and Apropos.
He was but an imperfect man. He did not fulfill any of the prophecies in the Bible and did not follow the teachings of Christ. Let the Bible clarify this.
Google ‘Empire of the White Rastas’ for a message of hope regarding HIM. Published in Aaduna online Literary mag New York summer 2020. JAH lives.
I’ve read the blog. It enlightened me to seek to know further about Haile Selassie. I’m sorry to say the writer is highly biased about Haile as all of the negs about Haile have no root explanations to as why He(Haile) did them.
Am sure the writer knows the truth. It’s good to speak the truth rather than emotional bias that has taken root to create choices for one.
I believe Haile did a lot of mistakes. He’s a man too. And a man with great power thus with increased vulnerability, but depicting and spreading wrong-right information about Him isn’t a good thing.
Yohannes Woldemariam tries to paint his twisted narrative as a fact. He presented a minor flaws of a person as a general character of the leader. If a leader excuted 100 laws and only 5 turned out negative, the over all impression of that leader has to be regarded as productive and positive contribution for the country.
It is up to the present generation not to repeat past mistakes and and most important of all building today to make history for tomorrow. Yohannes talk too much about the weaknessesof leaders 150 years ago while sowing the seeds of discord today. He is not contrubutinh anything positive for the next generation. While is busy denigrating the image of the orevious leaders hehas nothing to bring us together to build the country today.
He soeaks as if he is a mercenery of the enemues of Ethiopia always looking for hot buttons to press to keep Ethiopians apart.
Only the person without sin can cast any stones!
Be silent and go about your own business in peace.
Stop creating confusion among yourselves.
Live with Love among yourselves
The person who understand Everyones point of view moves with a authentic love.
Stop debating things that the whole world will never agree on ,it is a waste of precious Energy that could be used in understanding another person.
Peace and Love.
It looks like a classic case of propaganda. Alot of outrageous claims that don’t make alot of sense…with no proof to back them up…and no references to where he supposedly got the information…just a series of claims. I would expect something like this to come out of london. Alot of Tafari’s words and accomplishments suggest that he was perhaps a decent person who was used as a ‘fall guy’ by an evil regime…which is what all kings, emporers and dictators have always been. Never in all of history has one person had absolute power. That is an illusion that is sadly still believed by too many people in today’s world. I think the difference here could be that the evil regime that was in power over Ethiopia at that time had a different approach. Normally they will pick a guy who is already an evil scumbag much like themselves. That way its easy to control him and get him to say and order what they want. This time it could be that they were looking for an actually good person who had alot of good things to say…to force into representing them, thereby, attempting to make their opressive and atrocitus actions seem more justifiable which would give them more sway, or so they hoped. He would’ve been thoroughly threatened by them. He would never have said anything about it under fear that he would’ve been tortured for it. If thats what it was then it was a poor and stupid attempt by that regime. I mean, come on! Who is so arrogant as to name themself, “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings and Elect of God.” I havent read most of his word yet but, from what i’ve seen so far, it just totally clashes with the good he is known for. So far i know of a few things he has said, and they seem to indicate that he was more of a wise and humble representative of the people. He was and environmentalist, knowing the importance of restoring and maintaining forests that grow soil and harbor biodiversity…and he was a Hemp Advocate. Good enough for me. Im not saying i know for sure. Just throwing this viewpoint out there for good measure.
Please go back and see all his articles he is an anti Ethiopian as well as he is focused on the negative naration of Ethiopia and black people. From all the history that we have why does he need to pick the good histroy? Dont we have a history crime comitted by the whites and portrated as a good deed or may not told. All our problems African problems are brewd by the colonial thinkers not by the same people who share the same discrimination and harassment.
Im definitely NOT trying to deify him like alot of Jamaicans. That is utter nonsense. They dont even talk about the good he represented. They just caim that he is god and that the only “way” is through him. And instead of respecting other peoples’ beliefs for the sake of global unity and world peace…they pit him against other religions, as if to intentionally plant the seeds of future violent conflict and emulate the same dumb pattern thats been going on with religion for ages now…helping history repeat itself in the worst way while pretending like theyre doing the opposite. He even has a really good anti-religion quote…
…but if they are going to ignore this and try to start another dumb religion based on him instead then it will only generate alot of propaganda against him. What a great way to utterly disrespect a person’s good side while pretending like you are exhalting it. And, furthermore, if you cant point me to specific writings that prove he was anti Ethiopian then im inclined to think you are just believing in propaganda yourself. But no one is perfect. Ive done plenty of that myself. And again im not saying i know anything for sure like most people. Im very skeptical of anyone in a position of power. Even good people are too easily corrupted in this case.
Psalms 62: 4
They only consult to cast HIM down from His Excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah.
Great info… would love for you to expound on his connection to the Royal Order of the Garter, and his Jesuit based education
I totally agree with the statement @HaileIyesus said: “Because God is the the final judge, we should consider abandoning our own opinions, as that is the only way Truth can be seen”. Btw @paulGerwig this quoted of Selassie I is been faked.
My faith is unshakable, it is faith in one God. In the Bible, virtues are expected from humanity, but humanity is accustomed to fighting and living in struggle, proving its greatness to itself and to others. You don’t need to be above God. Characters like Jesus, who came to earth to improve it, ended up on crucifixion. Haile Selassie was a descendant of the tribe of Judah, can a creature be from God and carry evil at the same time? By the way, in the Bible itself, we constantly read about wars and sacrifice.
But I still tend to believe that you need to believe in what you yourself consider to be true. I respect all religions and I like to praise Rastafari, as it includes the concepts of different biblical books and treats all religions in the same way, and the main mission is the Unification of the entire human race for the sake of life in love and harmony. Live your life, do good deeds and stop distorting history, it’s time to live in the present. In the world, there are more atheists, terrorists, spoiled youth, and terrible TV channels carrying negative propaganda, wars to the masses. I’d rather believe in the teachings of Haile Selassie, rather than believe in something incomprehensible. My faith is Peace, unity, and Love! He is one God and one for all! Praise the almighty father and awaken at last.
I did read book or 2 on the subject including HIM autobiography and number of other articles. Not saying I am an expert on the subject, however I have never came along to read such bias loaded article, full of accusations and judgments.
I would expect better from a PhD of LSE.
As the blog says that the views presented are of author is a good point as otherwise it would be a rather embarrassing to stand by such text.
I don’t see reference to documents or historical sources so I see it as opinion not a scientific article.
One point I want mention here is … Ryszard Kapuściński. Recognized journalist and writer in Poland and internationally, his book shaped image for many people of HIM for generations now, however after years there has been raised doubt about his impartial reporting. Kapuściński has cooperated with and reported to infamous Polish Security Services, as his views of the time were at service of Soviet Union and generally the so called communist block. Knowing the history and the rebellion which ended the Empire he has been a person which on ideological level did service to the communist block in justification and legitimisation of the revolt.
Not going into more aspects of the article one more thing which was mentioned already in the other comments is the fact that HIM has been served with task of bringing a feudal state into a modern era and the list of his achievements in this field is very long.
I think it caused lot of envy and controversy, as it was evolutionary way oposed to the radicalism of socialist revolution, which historical consequences we know what they were…
Sadly, some Ethiopians mystify Menelik the 2nd as a founder and modernizer of “modern” Ethiopia. It is a perverted interpretation of history.
“Emperor Menelik II, who has been described as Ethiopia’s “greatest slave entrepreneur”, taxed the trade to pay for guns and ammunition as he battled for control of the whole country, which he ruled from 1889 to 1913.”
This article doesn’t sight any sources. Don’t you realize that slavery was a universal practice throughout all of African history and in the entire World until the 20th century? It wasn’t even considered immoral nor even a race thing in those times (people need to stop acting like Black people were the only folks to ever been slaves smh). The idea that slavery is an evil practice is itself a creation of the modern West, how ironic.
The author’s characterization about King Haile Selasse is totally baseless and full of fabricated assertions. It’s amazing how the tribalist TPLF cults are out there now days to tarnish anything and everything related to Ethiopia and Ethiopianess. Lord have mercy!
I was a teenager during the celebration of Haile Sellassie’s birthday.
It is impossible for him to have spent 35 million dollars for this birthday celebration.
He had church services, a big parade, a big dinner with diplomats, and I remember extra lights to decorate the city.
Haile Sellassie and Slavery
The writer is an Eritrean, and as an Eritrean he knows that slavery had existed in Eritrea and Ethiopia for hundreds of years before Haile Sellassie, indeed since ancient times. It was was also rampant in Sudan and Somalia. It was Haile Sellassie who finally put an end to slavery in Ethiopia.
Ras Teferi Movement
Haile Sellassie was initially reluctant to accept the Ras Tefarians because as a devout Christian, he found it awkward that they considered him a god. It’s not because he rejected pan Africanism. In the end, he was sympathetic to their desire to return to Africa, and he gave them land to settle on for free in a place called Sheshemene in Ethiopia. Many Jamaicans still live there now.
Haile Sellassie and Pan Africanism
Haile Sellassie was very bitter by how the European dominated League of Nation abandoned Ethiopia,
when Italy invaded Ethiopia. In fact they helped Italy buy putting an arms embargo on Ethiopia! He realized that Africans should only rely on themselves and cofounded with other great African leaders such as Nkrumah, the Organization of African Unity or OAU, which is now called the African Union. Why do you think AU is now located in Addis Ababa?
Emperor Menelik and Eritrean soldiers
The Italians were able to invade Ethiopia because they could successfully recruit thousands of Tigrigna speaking Eritreans as soldiers to fight against Ethiopia. The Eritreans soldiers know as askaris fought for Italy willingly, no one forced them, mostly for the pay because they were very poor. Italians like the British and French were alway able to recruit native African and Indian soldiers by inciting them with pay.
Unfortunately, the local Tigray lords were outraged by what they considered the treason of the askari and insisted the Eritrean POWs be punished. Menelik reluctantly agreed. The Italian soldiers were held as hostage and not killed because the emperor wanted to extract money and other concessions from Italy.
Whole heap of lies and propaganda in this report, the conversation of fascists, traitors and enemies of Ethio-Eritrean oneness. ‘He was in the world the world was made by HIM and the world knew HIM not, He came unto his own and his own received HIM not but as many as received HIM to them gave he power to be called sons of God. Rastafari Liveth ‘AsEthiopia is one, All Ethiopians are also one and education is the only way to maintain this condition.’ HIM Haile Selassie
Is it true that the Derg used a pillow to suffocate him?
Yes it’s true. Read my latest article: “The Truth About Haile Selassie’s Legacy” on the Rastafari Coalition’s website.
Dr. Yohannes Woldemariam’s article has been thoroughly refuted by the Order of Primus St. Croix on the Rastafari Coalition’s website. Read “The Truth About Haile Selassie’s Legacy” by Petar Vukotic.
This article has been thoroughly refuted. Read “The Truth About Haile Selassie’s Legacy” by Petar Vukotic.
God bless Jamaica and it’s people the United States respects them. You make Ethiopia proud. God bless you
Some of the remarks are vile and uneducated, as is the author’s attempt to mask propoganda.
From remote antiquity, Ethiopia’s ancient Throne was consecrated to God via the marriage of the Throne to Ethiopia’s ancient theocratic government (the Church today).
This sacred tradition was broken by a socialist Ethiopian military coup led by Mengistu Haile Mariam when The Throne, in an act of sacrilege, was divorced from the Church and the imperial government was replaced with a brutal reign of terror lasting 17 years. Such acts of terror were never witnessed under the reign of King Haile Selassie I.
In 1991, Mengistu was overthrown by rebel leader Meles Zenawi, who also was no supporter of the monarchy. According to numerous Ethiopian newspaper sources, such as ECADF Ethiopian News Agency and The Ethiopian Times, Zenawi’s vision remained clouded with ethnic prejudices for the entire 17 years that he was in office
Wolette Selassie, head researcher at the Queen of Sheba Historical Research Foundation, noted how interviews she conducted with prominent Ethiopians in the US and Ethiopia over the past 20 years, one individual in particular who works for the Library of Congress, all expressed regrets for participating in the movement to overthrow King Selassie, especially after having lived under the regimes of Mengistu and Zenawi.
While various governments around the world take pride in and relish all opportunities to promote and preserve their ancient historical legacies, under constitutional monarchies such as in England, Spain, Sweden, and Belgium, to name a few, Ethiopia has yet to officially recognize the history of her ancient monarchy, the oldest in the world, said Wolette Sealssie
Nathaniel Mayes III, president of the Sacrament California office of the Queen of Sheba said that based on his investigative research, ethnic prejudice and politics appear to be the main reasons why the Throne and members of the Solomonic Dynasty have been expatriated for past thirty-nine years.
Today, on the eve of 84th Anniversary of the Coronation of King Haile Selassie I, who was the last of the Solomonic Kings to sit upon the Throne of David in Ethiopia in modern times (1930-1974), the Queen of Sheba encourages the Ethiopian government and the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church in Ethiopia to correct the errors of the past and bring the Throne of David home to Ethiopia, where it belongs.
The Ethiopian government is expressly encouraged to continue to separate history from politics so that the Church can remarry the Throne according to the ancient tradition. In this way, the Throne can serve the people of Ethiopian as a non-political humanitarian organization solely dedicated to education and historical preservation.
I like the fact you realize the word, sound power element. Personally, I would much rather positive words from Reggae genre than Rap or Dance Hall emptiness.
Please read this article explaining the true origins of the Rastafari Movement. It did not start it Jamaica, it started in Chicago. After reading this article that gives the true history, then we can have an intelligent discussion. https://www.balanta.org/history/may-5th-the-most-important-day-in-the-twentieth-century-and-evidence-that-the-ancestors-of-african-people-communicate-to-their-descendants-on-earth-and-shape-world-events
Good afternoon Ladies and Gebtlemen, my apologies for my late arrival. Though I was delayed in arriving here, I am grateful and thankful for each of you, your opinions and your passion. The original article upon which this thread emanates is well articulated and strongly argued. The resulting comments, lengthy in listings, are each embued with soulful passion and bravery because it is indeed a safe space within which to share. I applaud this effort however I have one question for the author of the original article and I beg the assemblies indulgence as I ask it. “If skin colour is varying shades of purple, what colour purple is an ‘Asian’?” I look forward to a response, however if a response is unable to manifest itself, then I remain obliged to serve all humanity with love, respect, kindness, understanding and forbearance. Kind regards, Marc A. Ifill
Ethiopia under HAILE S was a well governed country with zero national debt. In 1972/74 the birr actually appreciated against the pound, going from 6 birr to one pound to 3.5 birr to the pound……
Every Ethiopia government since then has been less efficient, the justice system has become a joke, and corruption has magnified until it is everywhere.