Celebrating Bob Marley’s heritage

2011-02-11 00:00

RASTAFARI flags and reggae sounds filled uShaka Marine World’s Wahooz Bar as the Bob Marley Earth Day Rastafair took place.

Among those performing at the festival was Amamzintoti family band The Tuffmasters led by lead singer Kuwi Msomi. The family has been involved with music since 1981 and Msomi’s nine-year-old son Tafari wowed the crowd with his drumming skills.

Backing vocalist and Tafari’s mother Goodness said her son had started at the age of three. “Tafari learnt from the inspiring Peter Tosh,” she added.

Also taking part in the Earth Day festival was group Wafa Wafa Sound System. Leader of the group Xolani Dhlamini said: “As someone who studies music, Bob Marley is a reference. There are never new ideas and we need inspiration from a pioneer like Bob Marley.”

Also performing at the event were The Meditators with their renditions of Marley’s greatest compositions, including Buffalo Soldier. In an interview with The Witness, lead singer Sandile Bekwa said: “Every year it gets better. The fact that there is an effort from all these bands to come and perform here, you can see the spirit of Bob Marley is there”.

Bekwa also revealed that the band’s new album Special Request is expected to be released in March. “We recorded it in a better studio and there are tracks infused with hip-hop. There is also a song that is a tribute to Lucky Dube,” he added.

Marek Leander-von Poncet, also known as Tosh, manager of Red Door Pietermaritzburg told The Witness that the music at the event was as good as the energy. “However, there could have been more shady spots with more gazebos and tables. You can’t have people under the African sun for hours,” he added.

Sista Free, manager of The Meditators and organiser of the festival, which is now in its third year, said it really helped to keep the spirit of Bob Marley going. “It has brought people together, giving a perfect message of unity and harmony where there is no aggression. That is the underlying philosophy of Rastafarianism,” she added.

The festival ended off with a hint of love and reconciliation courtesy of The Meditators’ rendition of Marley’s Redemption Song and Nkosi Sikelele iAfrica.

Anyone interested in getting involved in the event in the future should e-mail: free@byrdcliffeproductions.com

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