LAGOS, Nigeria, Thursday October 24, 2013 – Rita Marley, widow of Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley, has called on Africans and black people in the diaspora to promote unity on the African continent and beyond.
Marley, head of the Rita Marley Foundation, was the guest of honour at the 5th annual commemorative debate held to honour late Afro-beat icon Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in Lagos.
This year’s Fela Debate was entitled “Movement of the People – The Fela and Bob Marley Perspectives”.
Marley stated that unity and Pan-Africanism were common to the music of both Fela and her late husband, adding that they had many things in common including many wives.
“An ardent part of Bob Marley’s dream was ‘Africa Unite’ and we must join hands and hearts to keep unity across the African continent, the diaspora and the entire world. One heart, one strength, one soul and one God for us all,” Marley said.
Another speaker, British journalist and writer Vivien Goldman, spoke of the connection between the works of Fela and Bob Marley.
Goldman, who disclosed that she was almost jailed by the military in the 1970s while working on a documentary on the music icon at his Kalakuta Shrine in Mushin, was also Bob Marley’s personal assistant.
Meanwhile, Professor John Collins spoke of the influence Africa’s foremost nationalist and Ghana’s former President, Kwame Nkrumah, had on Fela and his music.
Collins explained that Fela’s music was shaped by his devoutness to the philosophy of Pan-Africanism, which Nkrumah championed.
The professor added that Nkrumah, like other African leaders during his time, used music to promote the decolonization struggles because it was “trans-ethnic, detribalised and supported the independence struggle.”
Adding his voice to the debate, Professor Sola Olorunyomi deplored the use of ethnicity as a divisive tactic in many African countries, stressing the need for a greater bond among Nigerians and Africans in general. (PM News Nigeria)