Hail Mi Irieites,
Like I said, I would be back in regards to the AU’s 50th Anniversary celebration. But first, I must confess that I have been bugging out for a long time to give you the names on this photograph of all the heads of State that attended the OAU, May 25th 1963. Come to find out that this actual pic was taken some four years later in Kampala, Uganda’s capital. This was the Eastern Central African Leaders Summit. So that explains why Kwame Nkrumah, “Father of Africa” was not present and why Jomo Kenyatta, the original “Burning Spear” was present, because Kenya was yet to attain its independence, not until some 7 months later. You can’t image how I have been racking my brain over this shot. It just wasn’t stacking up…. now we know.
The photograph actual consists of 13 as opposed to 12 people. So correct me if I am wrong, but reading from left to right, leaving out the man whose shoulder’s in the frame, Back Row:
1. CHAD- Francois Tombalbaya
2. UGANDA- Milton Obote
3. TANZANIA- Julius Nyerere
4. ZAMBIA- Kenneth Kuanda
5. SOMALIA- Mohammed Ibrahim Egal
Front Row, from Left to right:
7. RWANDA- Gregoire Kayibanda
8. CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC-Jean V Bokassa
9. ETHIOPIA- H.I.M Emperor Haile Sellassie I
10. KENYA- Jomo Kenyatta
11. SUDAN- Ismail Al-Azhari
12. CONGO- Joseph Desire Mobutu.
To all our fans out there please let me know who is the missing leader (6) in the dark glasses and who’s the leader with only his left shoulder, visible. Also if it is possible for anyone to search and find the images of the original line up outside the OAU in Addis Ababa, in 1963.
One more thing, we would like to let our Ethiopian fans know that Steel Pulse made a desperate attempt to be part of this glorious event. However, there was a lot of crossed wires and indecision that made it impossible for us to make our flights on time to do our performance. Please don’t see this as us failing you. We are trying our utmost to be there for you before the year’s out. It will be our first time to the “Promise Land.” We are looking forward to seeing y’all.