Pubdate: Thu, 17 Jun 2004
Source: Cape Times (South Africa)
Copyright: 2004 Cape Times
Author: Jo-Anne Smetherham


High tea will be on offer in Knysna next month, if a Rastafarian community 
opens the country's first dagga "coffee shop".

Dagga muffins, chocolates, icecream, tea and coffee will all be sold in the 
effort to "put us on the international map", said Levi Bailey Tafari, a 
priest in the Boboshanti order of Rastas.

Police are now reported to "have an understanding" with the Rasta community 
of around 100 adults and 40 children, who live in the Judah Square 
community in Khayelethu, just outside Knysna.

The houses are painted in bright primary colours and the roadside walls are 
etched with Rasta quotes and slogans.

The Rastas are confident that police will not close down their coffee shop. 
Knysna police spokesmen were not available for comment at the time of going 
to press.

"This shop has been my vision for about 10 years," said Bailey Tafari. "We 
Rastas in South Africa were born poor. It is only the young people who have 
education. So we have decided to push ourselves onto a level with other people.

"In other places, like Amsterdam and Germany, there is legal trading in dagga."

Other Boboshanti Rastas, dressed in white to show that it was a day of 
fasting, touched fingers briefly and bowed their heads in reverence before 
lighting a "bong" and the sweet, acrid fumes quickly filled the air.

Said Bailey Tafari. "If we don't do things like open this shop, we are 
going to stay in the gutter."

The dagga delicacies are due to be sold from next month.
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