Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

The Chicago Defender – 8th of November 1930

CORONATION OF RAS TAFARI MARKED WITH SPLENDOUR
The oldest kingdom in the world has just crowned its 334th ruler. Sunday, at daybreak, the coronation ceremony that made Ras Tafari Makonnen Emperor Haile Selassie I, Lord King of Kings of Ethiopia, Conquering Lion of Judah and the elect of God, was performed amid the splendors of the old world that transformed this city of 60.000 into something approaching a page from the ‘Arabian Nights’.
It was such a scene that has not been witnessed in many centuries in Africa, and rarely if ever before in any other part of the world.
By this ceremony, that has its beginning three weeks ago, when the new ruler with his wife, Princess Waziru Menen, opened into the ancient period of prayer that has marked the coronation of new Ethiopian rulers for centuries past.
Then, following a series of ceremonies of lesser importance, the ras and his princess prepared themselves Saturday afternoon for an all night vigil in the Cathedral of St. George, where they remained in one long, continuous prayer for strength to rule their people justly, until the break of dawn Sunday morning when, led by the priests and high priests of the kingdom, Ras Tafari and Princess Waziru passed through a long line of bowing subjects to the newly built coronation hall where the Coptict archbishop of Ethiopia placed a crown of gold and jewels upon the head of Ras Tafari.
‘This crown shall be the crown of thy glory’, chanted the archbishop in a clear voice and in the picturesque language of Ethiopia, and the emperor answered, ‘I am the least of thy brehren’.
(…)
Absolute quiet reigned throughout the town during the ceremony, Although 300,000 souls had crowded into a territory that normally housed and fed just 60,000, there was the peace and quiet of an ordinary Sunday morning. The voices of the archbishop and the emperor could be heard clearly by the throng outside the hall (none but priests and high officials of state were admitted to the ceremony). Then when the last word was spoken, and the new emperor, mighty ruler of the Lions of Judah, arose from his kneeling position before the altar, a mighty cheer went up that rebounded against the three hills upon which Addis Ababa is situated,, 8.000 feet above sea level, and sent roaring echoes into the jungle. Cymbals and drums that had remained quiet during the ceremony took up their jubilant heating, and voices once again resumed their hurrahs for their master.
Out upon a raised platform, the emperor greeted his subjects in the order of their importance. First came the rasses of Ethiopia’s 30 states, many of whom were bowing in complete submission to the King of Kings of Ethiopia for the first time in their lives. Then came the priests and other high churchmen, followed by dignitaries of foreign countries. The Duke of Gloucester, son of the king of England, led the delegations of foreign countries. (…)
Ethiopia is one of the most unique and picturesque countries of the world. The country is believed to have been founded more than 2.000 years before the birth of Christ. The reigning house of which Ras Tafari comes was founded, according to authentic history, when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon to seek advice from him about the country.”
Categories
Haile Selassie I - Testimonies

Chicago Defender, December 15 1923

“ABYSSINIA KING TOILS ON ROADS WITH SUBJECTS

American Missionary Saw Ras Tafari Lugging Stones for Mending of Roads.
His royal highness, Ras Tafari, king of Abyssinia, is not above going to a rock pile and carrying stones to mend a road, and doing so with the humblest of his subjects, according to Dr. Thomas Lambie, an Amerian medical missionary at Addis Ababa, Abyssinia. (…)
The king of Abyssinia has just given the site to erect the first modern hospital in his kingdom. (…) The medical missionary wrote that in his mind the stone carrying incident revealed ‘an unusual spirit on the part of an eastern king’. He said he thought this was a good illustration of the Bible command, ‘bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ’. (..)
‘When we got to the race track I noticed a big crowd of people coming along (…) Some very great man is riding out today, I thought to myself. (…) Yes, it most centrainly was his highness Ras Tafari himself, the ruler of Abyssinia. He saw me at the same time I saw him. We both raised our hats and I attempted to dismount from my horse that I might do him honor before his men. Over the heads of the crowd he smilinglu motioned me not to do so and passed on.
His Majesty Bears His Burden
(…) Everyone was carrying a stone on his shoulder. They had gone to Kugbana river and each had picked up a great stone and was carrying it back to mend the road in preparation for the rainy season which will soon be upon us. Yes, the ruler was with them: but surely he would not have to carry a stone. No, he would not have to, but nevertheless he was doing so. And as I saw him going out to do some menial work, as an example and to encourage his people, the words quoted above came to my mind. <<Bear ye one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ>>.
Dare anyone criticize and say, <<better to hire some one to do this work than to give his valuable time to such service>>. Abyssinia is not America or England. Our Lord in coming to earth might also have used different methods. He might have come as a ruler on an ivory throne, a place He was lifted to occupy as David’s greater son: instead, however, He washed His disciples feet. The servant should not be greater than his Lord.
And so I saw the ruler of Abyssinia, going to the rock pile and carrying stones to encourage his men, I felt he was doing a very great and kind service to them and to the country. He was teaching them not to be ashamed to work. I personally believe he is the hardest worked man in all this country. From morning until night he is engaged in seeing people, in giving judgment between disputants, and in a thousand and one duties that daily press upon him as the ruler of this great land, so that his friends tell me that he often has a tired and worried expression. In one sense he is the ruler of all, in another sense a servant of all.
An officer said that he did not ask anyone to do a work that he was not willing to do himself. (…) He has some who hinder and prevent him in his own country, and some of his greatest difficulties arise from the type of Europeans who come to this country, but I feel that a ruler who shows this spirit of willingness to help and willingness to serve will overcome all difficulties and will with patient effort place Abyssinia alongside of the great countries of the world.
Here is a lesson for each one of us. Do not set another to do something you think yourself too great to perform. Share their burden with them and thus you bear the burden for them.”