Reggae world grateful to UNESCO for immortalizing the art

Reggae stars and fans. Photo: Reuters

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Reggae stars and fans across the globe are awash with praises for UNESCO which has landed the art on its Cultural Heritage List.

Crowning the contribution of the art this week, UNESCO described reggae as the “most beautiful” heritage because it “does not only seek to bring people together but also represents the diversity of the intangible cultural heritage, to highlight the know-how of communities”.

In making the decision, UNESCO was almost singularly focusing on the lyrics and work of the late Bob Marley but also to his country and colleagues like Bunny Wailer, Steel Pulse, etc…

Unequivocally, the entire reggae fraternity was unanimous about such an accolade to Bob, his colleagues and Jamaica.

But leading African reggae artists and especially the legendary Ivorian star, Alpha Blondy took credit to speak on behalf of the reggae fraternity.

Reacted on behalf of the fraternity, he said reggae was not just a “fashion phenomenon”.

He harped on the fact that the world has come to understand that reggae is not just a fashion phenomenon because injustice is not a fashion, God is not a fashion, poverty is not a fashion, misery, and war is not a fashion”.

“It is a great pride and at the same times a great humility. To know that the work we do, that the messages we send have not fallen on deaf ears and that the humanity we defend by glorifying it, by denouncing its failings, Ok this humanity deserves to be also celebrated, to be respected,” Blondy told Reuters in Abidjan.

The minister of Culture, Jamaica, Olivia Grange described the move by UNESCO as “historic”.

The UN body highlighted the “contribution” of this music to international awareness “on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity.

“While reggae was initially the voice of marginalized communities, it is now played and adopted by a large part of the population, regardless of ethnic or religious groups,” added UNESCO.

Reggae emerged in Jamaica in the late 1960s is increasingly been heralded by African artists like icons like the late Lucky Dube, Tiken Jah Fakoly, and notably Yannick Noah, the Franco-Cameroonian world tenis star-cum musician.

© Bur-csa – N.W / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_eng