Rastafari movement is an Africa-centred religion that developed in Jamaica in the 1930s, following the coronation of Haile Selassie I as King of Ethiopia in 1930. Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie is God, and that he will return to Africa members of the black community who are living in exile as the result of colonisation and the slave trade.
There is little scholarly research and non-academic evidence about the beliefs of Rastafari followers in Zimbabwe.
RelZim.org asked Julius Masimba Musodza, an UK-based Zimbabwean screenwriter and author, who is considered to be a pioneer in African rastafarian literature, whether rastafari movement is present in Zimbabwe.
“There is evidence of groups within the African Independent Churches who proclaimed the divinity of the then newly crowned Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in the 1930s. Thus, Zimbabwe can claim a Rastafarian presence dating from the beginning of the religion. In 1999, when a study was conducted by Brittany Smith, a visiting American, there were an estimated 10,000 Rastafarians in Zimbabwe. This figure has shrunk with the mass emigration of Zimbabweans seeking greener pastures. However, Rastafarian communities are to be found in all the major urban centres, mostly belonging to the Nyahbinghi Order and the Twelve Tribes of Israel sects.”
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