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Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange, has commended the University of the West Indies (UWI), for its foresight in developing programmes that can help to take Reggae music “to a higher level”.
In a speech read by Principal Director of Culture and Entertainment in the Ministry, Sydney Bartley, at the 12th annual Bob Marley Lecture yesterday (Feb. 10), at the Mona campus, Miss Grange also applauded the UWI for sustaining the annual event “in the name of one of the nation’s most revered sons”.
She commended the “pioneering work” of Professor Carolyn Cooper of the Reggae Studies Unit, and the establishment of a Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management.
Stating that “we look forward to more of these kinds of discussions as well as to the consolidation and even enhancement of the work that must be done in the creation of new Bob Marleys,” Miss Grange said that “success cannot be an accident of history or of one man in a generation or a Century daring to take a chance.”
She noted that the various activities planned for Reggae Month, would enable the nation to better understand “the role we must all play in taking Reggae music and culture to the world through programmes aimed at capacity building, talent development, events management and planning, intellectual property and rights management”.
Through the celebration, she noted further, “we are able to capture and promote the various and varied elements of the Reggae music industry, allowing space for the promoters, producers, composers and authors, rights management specialists, engineers, artists, etc”.
“We are also able to provide for the younger and current inheritors of the beat, the desired knowledge that will bring pride and cause them to understand more clearly, their responsibility to carry on the vibe,” she stated.
The Bob Marley Lecture, organised by the UWI’s Institute of Caribbean Studies and the Reggae Studies Unit in association with the Bob Marley Foundation, was one of the major activities to mark Reggae Month in February.
Lecturer in Rastafari Studies at the UWI, Dr. Jalani Niaah, delivered the lecture under the theme: ‘One Love’, Bob Marley and Rastafari in the New African Millennium”.