Celebrating Reggae Month
Jamaican High Commissioner H.E. Norma Taylor Roberts and staff of the High commission with a cross-section of spectators from the Pietermaritzburg community at the Bob Marley Soccer Tournament in Pietermaritzburg
In 2008, the Government of Jamaica officially declared the month of February, Reggae Month. The observance of Reggae Month serves to highlight the impact of the music genre, not only on Jamaica’s social, cultural and economic development, but also serves to sharpen international focus and draw the attention of the world to this phenomenal aspect of the nation’s cultural impact.
As a component of Jamaican culture, Reggae music has been used by Jamaicans and people all over the world as a means of expression - to communicate our experiences, trials and successes, as well as our joys and sorrows. The music has also been used to declare our position against oppression and suffering. In this regard, it was the most evident expression of the solidarity by ordinary Jamaicans with the Liberation struggles of their brothers and sisters in Africa.
Long before the Liberation of South Africa therefore, Reggae music served as the main vehicle for strong cultural ties between the peoples of Jamaica and South Africa. It has been gratifying in this regard to hear touching testimonies from so many former Liberation activists, of the inspiration derived from Reggae music during the struggle.
We welcome this opportunity to recognize the contribution of the many exponents of Reggae, especially the pioneers who persevered when the music had not yet attained international acclaim. We are particularly delighted to be able to use this occasion to celebrate with South Africans the contribution of the late Bob Marley, Reggae’s best-known exponent, popularly dubbed the ‘King of Reggae’, who, more than any other artiste brought international recognition to the music, and whose birthday falls on 6th February.
As the governments of Jamaica and South Africa continue their collaboration in the implementation of the bilateral Agreement on Cultural Cooperation signed in 2009, Reggae Month provides impetus to explore ways of ensuring that the music remains an instrument of advancement.
For this year, a number of activities will take place throughout South Africa.
The photographs below capture events held during the period 8th-9th February 2014 in Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
The High Commissioner of Jamaica, H.E. Norma Taylor Roberts brings greetings at the Bob Marley Soccer Tournament in Pietermaritzburg
Rastafarians and other spectators dancing in formation to the rhythm of Bob Marley's music at uShaka Marine World in Durban
A section of the jam-packed crowd at the Bob Marley concert in Durban
Jamaican High Commission, Pretoria