Ital Livity Expo celebrates natural living
Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer
Motherland Promotions of the Twelve Tribes of Israel has held fund-raising events before, a dinner and boat ride, but tomorrow's Ital Livity Expo is a step on to new ground for the group which does benefit events for the Jamaican Rastafarian Development School in Shashamane, Ethiopia. Subtitled 'A celebration of nature's bounty and the benefits of natural living', it will be held at the Twelve Tribes of Israel headquarters on Hope Road, St Andrew, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The funds from this event will go towards putting in physical infrastructure at the school to satisfy legal requirements.
Sister Angela Heron of Motherland Promotions said that among the products which will be on display at the expo are soap made from natural products, naturally fermented fruit wine, live juice and raw food. Dr Donovan Whyte is one of the speakers, while standout ceramicist and drummer Phillip Supersad will have the products of both his passions on display.
Speaking at the expo's launch earlier this month, Supersad said, "I could have opted for a job in an air-conditioned office, but producing things from nature and the beat of the drums give more pleasure to the heart, and elevate the spirit." And Heron pointed out that Supersad has identified the Hope River as a source of excellent-quality clay, which he uses for ceramics.
There will be recorded music during throughout the day, "African music because of the link to Africa, and also local music," Heron said.
While Jamaican Rastafarian Development School adheres to the legal requirements in Ethiopia, Africans in the diaspora provide financial support and "this is how the school survives", Heron said.
The school was founded in 1997 in the community made by Jamaicans who migrated to Ethiopia, taking up Haile Selassie's offer of land there. In addition to encouraging results - a 100 per cent pass rate for grade 8 - Heron said that the school's all-female football team came second in the region. This is with some of them playing barefooted, and there is a commitment to provide players with shoes.
With the expo's theme, Heron said "Livity really means lifestyle. We are trying to show people that you can have a lifestyle based on natural food and products." With this lifestyle, Heron said, "you will have a greater resistance to diseases of so-called modernisation", among them hypertension and diabetes.
"We are exposing people to these natural lifestyles," Heron said.
There will be various health checks available, including HIV and blood pressure, with certified counsellors on hand.