Kingston, Jamaica – If you are in the presence of an Imbongi (Praise Poet) Jessica Mbangeni, from South Africa, while at the Marcus Garvey Fair, February 25, 2018, you will receive the blessings of the Ancestors.
The fifteenth annual Fair, which begins at Noon and ends at 7:00 p.m., has outgrown its original venue in the village of Resource and will now be staged at Cross Keys High School, Manchester, Jamaica.
Praise poetry is an essential part of African DNA. The Imbongi is a traditional Praise Poet, who brings the message of the Muse or Sacred Spirit of the Ancestors to those in need of blessings, praise and protection.
Jessica Mbangeni, named The Best Praise Poet in South Africa in 2017, will honor Marcus Garvey, Jamaica’s first national hero and first Continental Pan African President, showering blessings on his legacy and the people of Jamaica.
The Marcus Garvey Fair has been implemented and organized by the Lady President of the UNIA, Mrs Valerie Dixon, assisted by her team of stakeholders and other key partners, such as the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) headed by Mrs Diana McIntyre-Pike in collaboration with the International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT) and PanaCarib Business Solutions.
Ms. Mbangeni will make a special visit to the Cross Keys High School which features a special visit by Ms Mbangeni on Friday, February 23, 2018. Ms Mbangeni will offer Praise Poetry during their Devotion; she will then interact with students and staff.
Students will learn the cultural, ethnic & music art forms of the Xhosa people of South Africa. Students studying fashion design will learn about the diverse traditional wear of Ndebele, Zulu, Tsonga, Venda, Swatis, Tswana, Khoi San and Basotho. The students will present a fashion show both at the school and at the Marcus Garvey Fair.
The Fashion Showcase will feature Ms Mbangeni’s KwaNtu Afrocentric Designs of traditional garments, exquisite beaded jewelry, headpieces and sandals, as well as, other aforementioned ethnic designs.
Mrs Dixon will invite Ms Mbangeni on a tour of the Resource community on Saturday, February 24th. This small community showed strong support for Marcus Garvey and his Black Star Line Shipping Enterprise. Marcus Garvey established the UNIA-ACL Division 695 in Resource in 1921, and Liberty Hall was built to be the meeting place for its members and also to be used as a Community Center.
During the community experience, Ms Mbangeni will learn how to make bammy, an original Taino staple made from cassava. She will pound cassava flour and make bammy to be served with ackee & salt fish (Jamaica’s national dish) topped off with lemonade for lunch.
These and other exciting activities fall within Black History and Reggae Month and Ms Mbangeni has been called on by a litany of notable entities in Jamaica to pay homage to its distinguished history, heroes, heroines, and music icons.