|Kwame Nkrumah and Haile Selassie|
Just southeast of the celebrated hot springs resort of Wondo Genet in central Ethiopia lies the pint-sized town of Shashamane.
Located some 240 kilometres south of Addis Ababa, the town is on most days of the year a quiet, unassuming if unremarkable town. But around this time of the year, you meet a community of diehard worshippers identified by their overflowing dreads.
Most of these followers, known as Rastafarians, are heavily bearded and sport a unique mash of green, red and yellow colours that complement their varied dress code. An old Ethiopian monarchy flag flutters randomly in this town of 120,000 inhabitants.
Across the road, images of Emperor Haile Selassie I and reggae king Bob Marley are mounted on the billboards, and variously painted on the walls and fences to announce the presence of the Rastafarians.
In a recent peak of a fluid arrival period, the town hosted some 400 dreadlocked adherents who had traveled from across the world for the yearly pilgrimage.
More than one million followers hold the creed that the former Ethiopian emperor is god messenger to black people in the world, sent to save them.The movement traces its history and origins to the 1930s Jamaica.
Read entire essay @ Africa Review - Rastafaris
image source: ethiopian review