Kigali pays tribute to Bob Marley
ON Friday, May 11, Kigali will join the rest of the world to commemorate the legacy of fallen Reaggae artiste Bob Marley, who passed away on May, 11, 1981.
Rwanda’s own Reggae artiste and former student of Marley’s, Natty Dread, will be performing Marley’s songs at White Horse, starting 9pm. He will be joined by the Holy Jah Doves band and DJ Jacob, one of Kenya’s pre-eminent Reggae DJs.
“We are commemorating a man who shook the world,” said Natty Dread, “Bob Marley loved everyone, and all people should embrace his message and love each other. If we did that, there would be no conflicts, no poverty, no orphans, no suffering of any sort.”
Even though Marley is no longer physically present, Natty Dread believes that his legacy is carried by those who continue to sing his songs. Friday evening’s “Tribute to Bob Marley” will be an interactive concert that encourages audience members to chant and sing along to Marley’s famous lyrics.
Natty Dread contrasts the message of Reggae music with other contemporary musical genres.
“The music of today promotes sex, violence, drug-use, materialism, bad language,” said Natty Dread, “Reggae promotes humanity, peace to mankind. As long as you are a human being, you are very important.”
The state of the world today requires reggae music, says Natty Dread, who also claims that the world has become filthier, more aggressive, more inhumane, and more materialistic in recent decades.
“Money has become the biggest client mankind has ever invented,” said Natty Dread, “A lot of people don’t believe in God because they don’t have a little bit of time to think about Him. They’ve been forced to look for money full-time.”
Natty Dread asserts that people used to be more spiritual and derived greater happiness from helping others unconditionally. Now, in a world where “money is the King,” people abide by a more selfish philosophy of “every man for himself.”
Looking ahead, Natty Dread hopes to strengthen the presence of reggae music in Rwanda.
“We want to start a new organisation of reggae artists and make sure reggae has its place in Rwanda,” said Natty Dread, “to continue peace-building, conflict management, environmental protection, spirituality, good morals and good behaviour.”
Following in Bob Marley’s footsteps, Natty Dread hopes Friday’s tribute will remind Kigalians of Marley’s lifelong commitment to a message of peace and love.