Ujima Radio Tribute to Ras Bandele Selassie

31.3.1950 – 25.3.2024

Ujima Radio pays tribute to an outstanding community stalwart, spiritual leader, counsellor, exemplary family man and role model of deep commitment to RasTafari livity.

Ras Bandele Selassie was born in Blackwood, Clarendon, Jamaica on 31 st March 1950. He came to the UK in 1964 aged 14 and settled in Trowbridge with his parents and siblings until
he moved to Bristol in 1978.
Ras Bandele and his Empress Sis Morowa have been in union for just shy of 50 years, they have been blessed with 12 children, 29 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, all of which witnessed his impactful community work since his trod in the RasTafari movement from 1976.

To say Ras Bandele was deeply driven and unwavering in his faith and commitment to a life of service through Rastafari livity may be somewhat of an understatement. This is because the man affectionately known as Ras B had an open heart for all humanity regardless of race or faith and in this respect, provided counsel to many and rejected none. His wisdom and presence in the community was not just a gift to Bristolians as Ras Bandele had an international profile through his priestly duties at Fairfield House in Bath, the former
residence of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I. RasTafari Brethren and Sistren would come to Fairfield House from all parts of the UK on sacred RasTafari calendar days and Ras Bandele and the Trustees of Fairfield House would host members of the Ethiopian Royal family on many occasions.

Ras Bandele’s life of service includes providing faith spaces in Bristol since 1986, including his own home. During his affiliations with the 12 Tribes of Israel, the Nyahbinghi order and is own organisation Lion of Judah Prevail Unity, Ras B would minister at 77 Ashley Rd, St Nicholas Road and most recently at the RasTafari Cultural Centre 136 Grosvenor Rd, St Pauls, Bristol. Ras Bandele would lead the regular monthly, first Saturday Sabbatical Ises held at Fairfield House.
The upstairs of the RasTafari Cultural Centre (RCC) was initially gifted by existing tenants who ran the Marlon Thomas Campaign, eventually the RCC would occupy downstairs front of house which helped to transform the visibility and participation in the centre, up to this very day. After a very successful Save the Rastafari Cultural Centre Campaign as the premises was threatened with a sale on the open market, supporters of the RCC raised enough money to purchase the space in February 2024. We give thanks that Ras B was with
still with us to witness the fruits of his and other’s efforts.

Ras Bandele was a selfless man, a unifier, a wise man and inspiration to many of all ages, races and religions. This humble servant of the Most High will be missed by many but remembered by all. His legacy is in his family, his faith, his works and our memories of him –his humility, assertiveness, sense of humour and parable-like orations will continue to be quoted by many: ‘Watch and Pray’ which was also a signature wordsound Ras B would utter
as a radio presenter in former years.

Ujima Radio sends deepest condolences to his Queen, Sis Morowa and all the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings and wider family. Ras Bandele will be laid to rest on Monday 22nd April at the Malcolm X Centre,141 City Rd Bristol, 10.30 am.

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