David Verhaeghe & Karel Michiels


a film by David Verhaeghe & Karel Michiels

David Verhaeghe seeks to uncover the truth behind the big family secret: was his Italian grandmother the lovechild of legendary Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, born Ras Tafari Makkonen and still religiously admired today?

MY RAS TAFARI ROOTS is a fascinating and intensive quest of a young European who searches for his African roots via forgotten family members in Italy and Cyprus. In the end it is the natural mysticism of the Jamaican Rastas that seems to point David towards the imperial family. Will he succeed in discovering the truth about his ancestry?



David Verhaeghe obtained his Master’s Degree in Audiovisual Arts in 1999 at the KHLim in Genk. During his studies he put together a number of different short films and he was already working at the Flemish public broadcaster, VRT, as an intern. As soon as he completed his studies he was able to start working as a director at VRT. Throughout the years, David has acquired experiences in a number of different fields, from promotion spots to documentaries. In recent years, David has specialized in producing documentaries for Canvas, the more in-depth channel of the public broadcaster, for example “Publiek Geheim”, “Belpop”, Wetenschap redt de wereld” and “Triq Slama Mohamed. Reis in vrede” (nominated for Prix Europa). In 2010 he took a masterclass in Storytelling by Robert McKee. “My Ras Tafari Roots” is a project that has been waiting to be told for many years. In 2016 it will finally happen, David will share his story with the rest of the world.