The African Heritage Foundation (AHF) was founded in 2014 with the intention of being a pan-African organization. Six years later we humbly come before you seeking your assistance.
In its aspiration to give effective support and representation to and for marginalized African descended people in Barbados, it was built on a specific foundation. This foundation would consist of an educational component that would see the organization navigate its way into educational institutions. Locating itself within the educational system of Barbados, the AHF intends to assist with the further injection of African philosophy into the school environments.
Ras Simba with Dr. Browne Principal of Queens College showing the poster for the AHF’s online comprehension initiative.
Project introduced to the students
The AHF understands that RACE PRIDE does not fall under the umbrella of racism; being proud of their African heritage and culture is essential to effect the ultimate liberation of African descended people in Barbados, and the wider diaspora. To date the AHF has initiated several African centered school based projects, and participated in numerous Black History Month activities at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level educational institutions across Barbados.
The creation of an African centered youth club that is tasked with the reviving of the game ‘Warri” in Barbados, is also linked to the AHF’s educational mission. For more information on the Warri youth group, please type Warri Warriors in the search engine or visit them on Facebook.
It must be noted that the AHF has assisted a marginalized Barbadian family access the legal right to homeschool their children. Subsequently the AHF launched a homeschool service. This website contains numerous articles that relate to the aforementioned homeschooling case and the AHF’s homeschool service, just type homeschool into the search engine.
Another organizational component that makes up the AHF’s foundation, is Media Creation. The AHF has produced various recording and videos in its efforts to expose Barbadians to more African centered information. This website is also a product of the AHF’s Media Creation campaign. It is one of very few, if not the only website that is African centered originating from Barbados. The websites highlights and offers its subscribers African centered philosophy, opinions, news, education support, , activism and advocacy. The AHF has a reasonable social media presence as far as pan African organizations are concerned in Barbados. You can find the AHF on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Agriculture is a key component to the AHF’s foundation. The organization is presently positioning itself to assist with the development of organized community farming in urban areas. The AHF’s agriculture initiatives go hand in hand with their traditional health care advocacy.
Economics can never be overlooked when formulating an entity that is intended to represent the masses of people. As such the AHF has embarked on the creation of several business. These businesses are located within the areas of agriculture, food production, entertainment , arts, craft , clothing and education.
Much more can be said of the AHF and the heartfelt work it does, but this article is written with the intent of garnering support for the AHF’s advocacy and activism relating to cannabis justice in Barbados.
Ras Simba and the Attorney General of Barbados
The AHF was founded by a Rastafari man who is known to most as Ras Simba. Ras Simba who has been identifying with the Rastafari movement for just about 28 – 29 years, has vehemently advocated for the legalization of cannabis within numerous meetings, conferences, symposiums, the media and most recently a meeting of a joint select committee, organized by the government of Barbados to review a bill that is the foundation to the creation of a medical cannabis industry. Ras Simba within his role as founder and present president of the AHF, along with another member of the organization Sister Felisha Holder gave representation that implored to locate the traditional use of cannabis within the framework of its intended medicinal cannabis industry. Their plea fell on deaf ears.
Ras Simba taking the advice of Attorney at Law Douglas Trotman, galvanized support from the Theocratic Order of the Nyabinghi Reign ( Rastafari mansion or denomination), and his own organization, to legally challenge the Attorney General of Barbados in the courts of law; on the point that the present law that prohibits the use of cannabis was against the human and constitutional rights of Rastafari in particular and the masses in general. This point was made by Mr. Trotman at the aforementioned joint select committee meeting at which AHF gave representation.
Mr. Trotman’s advised members of parliament, including the Attorney General, who were in attendance at the joint select committee meeting, not to let the Rastafari community take them to court as they the government could not win, The result of this was a barrage of presentations by members of parliament at a sitting of the lower house, that spoke great things of the Rastafari community and the voting on of a bill drafted to allow the use of cannabis by the Rastafari community for sacramental purposes. It was noted by the Attorney General himself that by upholding the law against cannabis as is, is a violation of the human rights of the Rastafari community.
The sacramental cannabis bill as it stands is loaded with restrictions for Rastafari who wish to use cannabis for their sacramental purposes. Sacramental use is a name given to the meditation attained through use of the sacred cannabis plant.
Within the restrictiveness of the sacramental cannabis bill, it states that cannabis use and cultivation for sacramental purposes can only be done at a Rastafari place of worship. The place of worship has to acquire security to the “minister”, and no one can leave the premises with cannabis or bring cannabis to that place of worship. Yes, the place of worship has to make application to the “minister” for permission to use cannabis as a sacrament, which is the human and constitutional right of Rastafari to do. Further to this the bill does not recognize the Rastafari home as a place of worship, and as such the use of cannabis for prayer and spiritual reverence within the Rastafari home is illegal. Penalties for contravening stipulations stated in the bill are fines and confinement at the Queen’s pleasure.
Simba’s attorney Mr. Hanuman on the left at Nyabinghi Center, Love City
Nyabinghi Tabernacle (Place of worship)
The icing on the cake is that, even as is, the sacramental cannabis bill has not been gazetted or proclaimed, making it not a law as yet, therefore allowing the continued persecution of Rastafari for cannabis.
Young Rastaman who died in the presence of police after being suspected of cannabis possession and intent to trade.
Ras Simba a member of the Rastafari community and a victim of this cannabis injustice has taken the initiative to challenge the Attorney General in the court of law on the human and constitutional validity of the sacramental cannabis bill, and the human and constitutional validity of the law against the personal adult use of cannabis. He applied for legal assistance as neither himself or organization could afford the greatly discounted legal fee charged by his lawyer Mr. Hanuman. He was granted the legal assistance, and Mr. Hanuman has filed the case. Ras Simba will face the Attorney General’s office in the law court for his human and constitutional rights on November 5th 2020.
The AHF as mentioned before is in full support of their president, and as such is launching a national cannabis awareness campaign that will speak on cannabis, international human rights, constitutional rights, the cannabis revolution internationally, Rastafari’s meditational and medicinal use of cannabis and give overall education on the plant. This national media campaign will highlight as much about the legal cannabis action as it is legally to do.
The national cannabis media campaign will consists on the creation of online discussion forums, the printing of brochures, newspaper article submissions, radio appearances, a national cannabis rally, the printing of posters and stickers etc that support this cannabis action. This cannabis advocacy and activism is being managed by Cannabis Barbados.
Cannabis Barbados started as a small group of individuals that tasked itself with the creation of cannabis activism and advocacy that was directed from a grass-roots/ African centered perspective. It was felt that all the cannabis forums organized were being done by the very people that were oppressing the masses of Barbadians for cannabis use; as such it was agreed that a grass roots entity should captain this ship. Ras Simba with the support of the AHF agreed to be a part of the Cannabis Barbados collective. In fact it could be safely said he was one of its founders. That collective was short lived as one of the founding members was opposed to confronting the government directly in a national debate of cannabis and the oppression of the people. Ras Simba an outspoken advocate and activist on a range of social ideas saw this reluctance to face his cannabis oppressors as cowardly. He saw no use in preaching to the converted. The fragile ego’s of one of Cannabis Barbados’ members eventually caused Ras Simba to withdraw his support for the collective. Cannabis Barbados did nothing more after the departing of Ras Simba, and other members chose to fight the cannabis battle under the banner of another organization. Ras Simba and the AHF continued their cannabis activism and advocacy through all that was mentioned before, and more.
Ras Simba who was responsible to having the logo for Cannabis Barbados done, and who was the influencer for the formation of the collective, was asked by members of the AHF to further its cannabis advocacy and activism under name Cannabis Barbados. After much discussion it was agreed to by all AHF members that the name Cannabis Barbados would be the official brand of the AHF’s cannabis advocacy, activism and contribution to a Barbadian cannabis evolution.
The first order of the day for Cannabis Barbados is to raise the money it needs to print the informational material mentioned earlier in the article. As such Cannabis Barbados is asking you to support it by either making a donation to the cause. Arrangements to make local contributions can be done by calling or whatsapping 260-4795 or by email at email@example.com
International contributions can be made through Western Union. or by PayPal at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Cannabis Barbados is also inviting you to support this activism by purchasing a Cannabis Barbados Tee-Shirt at the price of $50 BDS or $25 USD (postage/shipping fees not included). Cannabis Barbados shirts will be printed by order. Persons residing in Barbados are asked to make a $25 BDS down-payment on their shirts, and pay balance on receipt of shirt within 3 working days.
Cannabis Barbados is also in the process of organizing an online cannabis discussion that is intended to give everyone the opportunity to contribute to the putting forward of ideas as it pertains to cannabis advocacy and activism. It is also intended to invite persons to join Cannabis Barbados, and explain what that would entail.
Cannabis Barbados will be creating an email database of persons who wish to be notified on all Cannabis Barbados activity by that medium. The same will be done on Whatsapp and you can call or Whatsapp 260-4795 and request that your number be added to the Cannabis Barbados Whatsapp group.
The AHF in general, and Cannabis Barbados in particular give much thanks for your support.
African Heritage Online.