Ambassador Franklin Francis, more popularly known as “King Frank-I,” has died, and tributes to his intellect and advocacy continue to pour in.
The Rastafarian Elder passed away early Monday morning, December 6, after a long illness.
Frank-I was named ambassador to the African Union (Ethiopia) in 2015. Accordingly, the Government issued a statement on his passing and expressed condolences to his family and colleagues.
The Ambassador was a fixture in the fields of cultural revival and religious discovery and was a superb broadcaster, the statement says.
“King Frank-I was also deemed an outstanding intellectual… and a leader of the sect that endured many threats and discrimination,” the statement goes on.
Despite many obstacles while championing the rights of Rastafarians over the years, he never relented in his determination to find broad acceptance of the Rastafarian faith, the Government acknowledges.
Most recently, the Rastafarian Elder was one of 10 people appointed to the Antigua and Barbuda Medicinal Cannabis Authority, formed under the Cannabis Act of 2018. He is also credited with moving the Legislature to decriminalize possession of cannabis in small quantities for personal use.
“Ambassador King Frank-I was a treasured son of the soil. His passing has left a void in the leadership of the twin-island state, and in the Rastafarian community,” the statement concludes. Francis was a former sports broadcaster at ZDK Radio and provided commentary for a number of local and regional sporting events.