“Ladies and gentlemen, this might sound awkward to you, but I can give you my word that the two last Empires of this world – Ethiopia and Persia.“- Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate
On the evening of Wednesday 10th March at Waterstones Piccadilly, Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate took us on an insightful, educational and enlightening journey of Ethiopia in context to his new ground-breaking biography of his great-uncle; “The King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia“. Touching on events which shaped not only Ethiopia, but the African continent and its diaspora with Panafrican and anti-colonial concepts, many of which stemmed from Emperor Haile Selassie’s reign.
Opinionated yet honest, Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate lead an eloquent and personal discussion in the conversation chaired by historian Victoria Schofield. The floor was opened for questions which brought a dynamic array of comments, reflecting the diversity of the audience in attendance; an elder German women shared found memories of skipping school to see Emperor Haile Selassie during a state visit to Germany, an advocate of Rastafarianism that Emperor Haile Selassie is rightfully a God, diaspora-Ethiopians concerns (and “what-ifs”) about the future of their ancestral country, the role of the Ethiopian orthodox church, and many other contributions.
We were able to buy a book and have it signed! If anyone would be interested in a book club/reading based on the book “The King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia” or topics from the book, please CONTACT US and we’d be happy to organise or collaborate for an event!
The Life of Emperor Haile Selassie: with Prince Asfa-Wossen Asserate and Victoria Schofield Published by Haus Publishing Limited
Haile Selassie I, the last emperor of Ethiopia, was as brilliant as he was formidable. A descendant of King Solomon and an early proponent of African unity and independence, Haile Selassie fought with the Allies against the Axis powers during World War II and was a messianic figure for the Jamaican Rastafarians. Written by Asfa-Wossen Asserate, Haile Selassie s grandnephew, this is the first major biography on this final king of kings. Asserate introduces Haile Selassie as a reformer and an autocrat whose personal history with all of its upheavals, promises, and horrors reflects in many ways the history of the twentieth century itself. Chosen as “Time” s Man of the Year in 1936 for resisting Mussolini s invasion of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie was celebrated by many as the anti-colonialist father of Africa. But the final years of his empire saw turmoil and revolution, and he was ultimately overthrown and assassinated in a communist coup. Asserate, who spent his childhood and adolescence in Ethiopia before fleeing the revolution of 1974, knew Haile Selassie personally and gained intimate insights into life at the imperial court. Using his own personal experiences and painstaking research in family and public archives, Asserate has achieved a colourful and even-handed portrait of the emperor and his tumultuous reign.
Get your copy available at Waterstones bookstores or online!
Special thanks to Victor Rohm for the invite, Haus Publishing, Prince Asfa-Wossen and team for a great event!