The mainstream headlines concerning many African countries tell a story of a continent ravaged by civil wars, exploited by commercial interests and mired in poverty. While these headlines do capture part of Africa’s struggle, they don’t tell the full story. Rita Marley, the widow of Bob Marley, is on the front lines in Africa working diligently to address the challenges of the continent through the Rita Marley Foundation. Marley is not alone in her efforts, she’s called upon several artists including TarPaul Records/Interscope recording artist KAMEKO to assist her in her mission. The two partnered for KAMEKO’s Tired of Being Broke tour, which will find him touring for free throughout impoverished areas. Rolling out is a proud media sponsor of the tour and we spoke to the two to get their impressions of Africa from the front line. –souleo
What are your thoughts on the emerging presence of numerous corporations in Africa?
Rita Marley: We say great ‘cause we need that to develop Africa but we have to be careful they don’t take all of it before we can take what’s ours. The African market is turning to the world and calling for people in the Diaspora to come home.
What does Africa need in order to compete in the global market?
RM: Unity and strength and it takes money also because nothing happens without money. We believe in miracles also and thank God for the savior to sustain Africa. So many died trying; Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Garvey and Rosa Parks. There are some great Africans who prayed for the day to come.
KAMEKO: I think that there are several things needed. One, we need to ensure that Africa has dedicated leaders down for the cause of advancing people. There has been a history of corrupt leaders in Africa who have misused funds. So we need to address that. Secondly, we need to make sure every child and adult in Africa has access to a solid education because without education you are disempowered. Still none of this matters if we don’t work to eliminate the poverty and diseases in some of these countries. If the health of Africa’s children is not well, then what hope do we have for future generations?
Are other artists doing enough to address the plight of Africa?
KAMEKO: I believe that there are talents who are using music for a positive force but so much more can be and should be done to better the circumstances. … This tour is going to bring that message to some of the villages of Africa where they need that inspiration and hope the most.
The Tired of Being Broke tour kicks off with a launch party in New York City this Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010. For tickets and more information, please visit:
For more information on the Rita Marley Foundation, please visit: