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Jah9. Photo: VP Records.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Rastafarianism

According to Jamaican singer-songwriter Jah9.

For years, Jah9 has been refining her intoxicating 'Jazz on Dub' style, which has lead to millions of streams on singles like "Steamers A Bubble."

The Jamaican singer is now releasing her latest song, "Love Has Found I," which exemplifies her blend of dub, reggae, and jazz vocal delivery. The song was released on the anniversary of the birthday of Haile Selassie's wife, Empress Menen Asfaw.


Jah9, who follows Rastafari culture, mentions, "the truth of his imperial majesty is made beautifully obvious when we observe Empress Menen and the uninterrupted union they shared."

To coincide with the drop of the new single, "Love Has Found I," the singer is sharing five things that you might not know about Rastafarianism with us here today.

Read them ahead below in her own words.

5 things you didn't know about Rastafarianism, according to Jah 9:

1. "The life, works & teachings of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie are the ultimate inspiration for Rastafari as a movement. There are 3 main mansions (orders/sects) in Rastafari: Bobo Ashanti, Niyabinghi & Twelve Tribes of Israel."


2. "There is a connection between Rastafari culture & yoga/India. This becomes evident when one observes the Sadhu of India. Haile Selassie was a practitioner of yoga. India also has a connection with Jamaica as it's thought to be the main source of ganja (marijuana) reaching to Jamaica."

Jah9. Photo: VP Records.

3. "Rastafari as a cultural expression is more about 'livity' and liberation of the mind and body from colonization and materialism than it is about religion even though it is considered a religion."


4. "Ras Tafari was the title held by Haile Selassie immediately prior to his coronation in 1930. After his ascension he became known as The Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings of Ethiopia, Elect of God."


5. "Being the revolutionary leader he was, Haile Selassie broke tradition by putting off his coronation so that he and his Queen, Empress Menen, could be crowned on the same day, setting a great example for the world at a time when women's rights were not valued. Empress Menen was married once prior to marrying HIs Imperial Majesty and they remained in an uninterrupted union."


"Love Has Found I" is available now from VP Records.

Interview
Image supplied by Candice Chirwa.

In Conversation with Candice Chirwa: 'Menstruation is More than Just Bleeding for Seven Days.'

South African activist Candice Chirwa, the 'Minister of Menstruation', speaks to us about what a period-positive world looks like, the challenges menstruators face even in 2020 and her important advocacy work with QRATE.

It's 2020, and naturally, tremendous advancements have been made across various spheres of society. From the prospect of self-driving cars and drones delivering medicines to rural areas to comparatively progressive politics and historic "firsts" for many disenfranchised groups, we've certainly come a long way. However, in the midst of all that progress, there is still one issue which continues to lag behind considerably and consistently, particularly in less developed countries: menstruation.

Candice Chirwa is a young Black woman on a mission to fiercely change the disempowering narratives and taboos that still shroud the issue of menstruation. The 24-year-old South African activist, who is endearingly known as the "Minister of Menstruation" on social media, wants young girls and women to not only accept but embrace their bodies fully in a society that insists on speaking in hushed tones about a perfectly normal biological process. Both Chirwa's research and advocacy work with the UN and her award-winning NGO, QRATE, has focused on dispelling common myths about menstruating, removing the shame and stigma around it and giving menstruators the knowledge and tools they need to navigate their world through impactful workshops.

And when Chirwa isn't collaborating with Lil-Lets, one of the biggest sanitary product brands on the continent, or co-authoring a bad-ass book titled Perils of Patriarchy, she's dominating the TEDx stage and making sure that her audience, no matter how diverse or varied, leaves the room feeling comfortable and courageous enough to boldly shout the word "vagina".

We caught up with Chirwa to discuss what initially compelled her to become a "period-positive" activist, her continued advocacy work with QRATE and what kind of world she imagines for menstruators.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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