Ras Aswad Nkrabea, father of Oheneba Kwaku Nkrabea, one of the Rastafarian students who was refused admission by Achimota school has refuted claims by Joseph Osei-Owusu, Member of Parliament for Bekwai that Rastafarianism is all about smoking Marijuana.
He said, a politician of his caliber making ‘such erroneous’ claims about Rastafarians on the floor of parliament is very dangerous and terrible because it can get them into trouble by insinuating such falsehoods.
To him, the Rastafarian creed has nothing to do with smoking as he and his family do not smoke and knows a lot of Rastas who don’t smoke.
He said this in an interview with Berla Mundi on the New Day show on TV3, Tuesday, June 1.
“When you check the percentage of Rastafarians that are in Ghana and the amount of Marijuana that is being consumed, it is a miniscule percentage. So the ones who are smoking are the ones who are not demonstrating the Rastafarian faith.
There are a lot of children there smoking and no one is doing anything about it because they don’t have dreadlocks. I grew up in Jamaica where I was cultivating it, we used it for medicine and so many other things and it’s very popular in Jamaica and I have never smoked, never, not even cigarette.
“I am over sixty right now and I have never smoked Marijuana, there are a lot of Rastafarians who don’t smoke because they look at it like you are burning the herb rather than using it in its natural fullness. They see it as becoming toxic once the fire touches it, the chemistry changes and so on.
There are so many philosophies, Rastafari has different philosophies within it, it’s not just one straight philosophy, even in Ghana, there are four different organizations of Rastafari and they have their own tenets when it is concerned” he pointed out.
Ras Nkrabea bemoaned the lack of knowledge about their creed and it was sad to hear such misinformation from a member of parliament in Ghana.
“So when you understand faith a little, you would understand why some of us don’t do it. Even that gentleman in parliament who made that statement, it was dangerous for the fact that he was trying to insinuate that these children use marijuana and will carry it to school, it was terrible.
He shouldn’t have done something like that because he can easily get them into serious trouble by doing that. To make a statement like that in a blanket statement across the board, like for instance, I don’t smoke, I have no idea what it tastes like but I use it otherwise but not smoking”.
Asked what would be his reaction if his son wishes to smoke Marijuana, he answered that he will have no problem with that when he is old enough to decide for himself.
But because they have raised him up with a holistic lifestyle, he is positive that whatever he does in his life he will do that holistically.
“Even that gentleman in parliament who made that statement because of the fact that he was trying to insinuate that they are using marijuana and they will carry it to school. It’s terrible, you know he shouldn’t have done anything like that because you can easily get them into trouble by insinuating something like that.
To make a blanket statement like that across the board, like for instance, I have never smoked, I have no idea what it tastes like but I use it otherwise but not smoking. If he wants to smoke he’s free to smoke it, I mean not at this age. When he gets to a certain age and he wants to do it”.
Maanaa Maa, the mother of Oheneba underscored the fact that they have been living with prejudice for a long time just because they are Rastafarians, with some even asking for Marijuana because they assume she smokes.
She said there are so many people, even doctors who smoke but do not have dreadlocks.
She pointed out that Oheneba would rather be a positive influence for other students rather than what is otherwise assumed by many people.
“I don’t smoke you know but I know people who don’t have dreadlocks who smoke more. So that perception is so wrong and Oheneba as you see him here, so calm, that is how he is and so there is no way he is going to influence anybody’s child negatively, if for anything he will be a very positive influence in their lives”.