Diplomats toast Ethiopian royalty
Last month at the beautiful Cabana poolside, Spanish Court Hotel was turned into a space befitting a prince.
And indeed, His Imperial Highness Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie, chairman of the Crown Council of Ethiopia and the grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I, was the prince in court.
The reception was hosted by Yodit Hylton, honorary consul for Ethiopia in Jamaica and The Consular Corps of Jamaica (CCJ).
The prince was accompanied by his wife, Princess Saba Kebede, and a delegation of nine.
The reception was the brainchild of Hylton, who staged the soiree in partnership with the Consular Corps of Jamaica.
Despite it being a long weekend, there were nearly a hundred specially invited guests turning out to meet the Ethiopian royal family, grandson of the revered icon of the Rastafarian faith.
They were not disappointed, as the Prince greeted guests and took photos.
The formalities were guided by Hylton and Robert Scott, dean of the Consular Corps, co-hosts along with Denzil Thorpe, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport, as Minister Olivia Grange was unavoidably absent.
The proceedings were blessed by two priests, Abba Gebereyesus Negatu and Kes Wolda Dawite of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Jamaica.
In his remarks, Scott congratulated Hylton for always flying the Ethiopian flag high, consistently promoting its culture, tourism, food, music and traditional dance. He also used the opportunity to highlight the important work done by the honorary consuls, particularly during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Consular Corps showed up in their numbers, with Thalia Lyn, honorary consul general (HCG) of Thailand; Irena Cousins, HCG of Poland; Lisa Johnston, HC to Costa Rica, and her husband Charles; Imitri Mills, HC to Guatemala; Michael Subratie, HC to Bangladesh; Alvita Kight, HC to Bahamas, Andrew Issa, HC to Norway and Finland; and Nicole Foga, HC to Romania.
Other well-known guests included Foreign Minister Kamina Johnson Smith; Mark Golding, leader of the Opposition, and his wife, Sandra; Anthony Hylton, MP; Milton Samuda, attorney at-law; Tony Rebel and Buju Banton.
Hylton shared that “the presence of the Prince and Princess here in Jamaica provides the opportunity for us all to reflect on the journey, so far, to develop Jamaica’s cultural heritage, in which Africa and Ethiopia has played ... .
“We recall the historic visit to Jamaica of the Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie I, the grandfather of our special guest this evening in 1966. The visit by the Emperor Haile Selassie has shaped the cultural landscape of Jamaica forever,” she said.
The evening proved to be a smorgasbord of all aspects of Ethiopian culture.
Hylton provided several Ethiopian traditional dishes which she made herself.
The Injera and watt of vegetarian dish such as Meser watt, Acha Kike, Awaze Tibese and Tej (honey wine) accentuated the delicious food, which had the guests going back for more. A special treat was Ethiopian traditional coffee brewed in the authentic Gebena Buna catered by the Bule Nile Ethiopian Catering in Jamaica.
The prince was also honoured by the CCJ with a plaque for his commitment in preserving Ethiopia’s cultural heritage and legacy.