Echoes of reggae as Rastafarian advocate admitted to the Bar

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By NYAMBEGA GISESA

When Buju Banton sang the lyrics, “solely Rasta can liberate the folks,” in his fashionable 1997 tune Hills and Valleys, he didn’t bear in mind the form of liberation that the Rastafarian group might have years later upon their admission of certainly one of their very own to the Bar.

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

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

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

“In accordance with our coverage to provide alternatives to numerous 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 Faculty of Regulation, she was but to signal the Roll of Advocates, a requirement earlier than one is formally allowed to develop into one.

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

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

Domestically, lawyer Bob Mkhangi additionally spots deadlocks.

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

Rastafari is an Africa-centred faith, which will 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 identical to every other and they need to be handled as the remainder.

Justice Chacha Mwita made the judgement in a case wherein 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 fitting 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 slicing of the hair, as an indication of their dedication to God’s teachings.

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

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

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