Echoes of reggae as Rastafarian admitted to Bar

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By NYAMBEGA GISESA

When Buju Banton sang the lyrics, “solely Rasta can liberate the individuals,” in his well-liked 1997 tune Hills and Valleys, he didn’t take into consideration the sort of liberation that the Rastafarian group may have years later upon their admission of one in all their very own to the Bar.

On Friday, Mathenge Mukundi, donning a blue turban set historical past when he walked to the Supreme Courtroom constructing the place he was admitted to the Bar turning into Kenya’s first advocate of the Rastafarian religion.

“As a diehard human rights and basic freedoms fanatic, I’ll work in direction of combating for the rights of minorities and marginalised teams,” he instructed the Nation Saturday.

Mr Mukundi did his KCSE in 2012 at Othaya Boys Excessive College earlier than becoming a member of Kenyatta College for a legislation diploma.

“In response to our coverage to offer alternatives to various members of the society, Mr Mathenge Mukundi, a working towards Rastafarian, did pupillage with us final yr and was admitted to the Bar as an advocate yesterday. Congratulations to him,” Kenya’s Nationwide Council for Regulation Reporting tweeted.

Mr Mukundi was admitted alongside 197 new advocates who included Cupboard Secretary Amina Mohamed.

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Though CS Mohamed was gazetted in 2013 after finalising her research on the Kenya College of Regulation, she was but to signal the Roll of Advocates, a requirement earlier than one is formally allowed to turn into one.

Mr Mukundi’s admission to the Bar is historic as most nations together with neighbour Uganda don’t enable Rastafarians to turn into advocates.

However liberalism within the conservative legislation practise is not only rising in Kenya but additionally different nations. Newly appointed Malawi Legal professional-Normal Chikosa Silungwe was trending on the social media not due to his huge legislation expertise however somewhat his dreadlocked hair type.

Regionally, lawyer Bob Mkhangi additionally spots deadlocks.

Since independence, Rastafarians have been combating for his or her rights.

Rastafari is an Africa-centred faith, which may be traced to Jamaica within the 1930s after Haile Selassie I (1892-1975) — known as the king of kings, lord of lords, the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah — was coronated as King of Ethiopia.

Lots of their teachings are additionally developed from the concepts of Jamaican activist Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

However it is just till final yr when the courts dominated that Rastafarianism is a faith similar to some other and they need to be handled as the remainder.

Justice Chacha Mwita made the judgement in a case by which a minor was chased away from college in January 2019 for having dreadlocks.

The choose primarily based his ruling on Article 30 (1) of the structure which states that each individual has the correct to freedom of conscience, faith, thought, perception and opinion.

Rastafarians observe biblical teachings present in varied books, together with Numbers 6: 1-6 and Leviticus 21: 5 – 6, which amongst others prohibit consuming sure meals and reducing of the hair, as an indication of their dedication to God’s teachings.

Consequently, they hold their hair as a manifestation of their religion.

Rastafarians say that they hold “rastas” and never “dreadlocks” arguing that rastas is an indication of religion versus “dreadlocks” which is one’s selection or type.

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