Fri | Apr 19, 2024

Special IRAWMA honour for Rita Marley, Freddie McGregor

Published:Monday | March 4, 2024 | 12:07 AM
A majestic looking Rita Marley participating in the International Women’s Forum ‘Music, An Instrument of Change’ panel discussion at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St James, in 2013, when she was the recipient of the Leading Light Award from the
A majestic looking Rita Marley participating in the International Women’s Forum ‘Music, An Instrument of Change’ panel discussion at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St James, in 2013, when she was the recipient of the Leading Light Award from the IWF.
Freddie McGregor
Freddie McGregor
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The 41st International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA) will make a grand return to South Florida on March 22 – for the eighth time in 41 years – and will be held at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, with celebrity red carpet arrival starting at 7 p.m. EST.

Coincidentally, as the Bob Marley: One Love movie has become the talk of the world, the widow of Bob Marley, Dr Alfarita ‘Rita’ Marley, will be at hand to be saluted with a special tribute by top female reggae stars and family members singing to her. Special tribute will also be given to the legendary Freddie McGregor by his son Chino, while American attorney Ben Crump will receive the IRAWMA Freedom Fighter Award.

Among the performers presenting and those walking the red carpet are Teejay, Spice, Byron Messia, Christopher Martin, Valiant, Pablo YG, Glen Washington, Sharon Marley, D’Angel, Ajaeze, Naomi Achu, Nonini, Sons of Mystro, Sharon Wiles, Vision Band, and many more. The event will be hosted by comedians Julie Mango and Rohan Gunter, and TV/radio personality Candice Buchanan.

President and producer of IRAWMA Dr Ephraim Martin, who is celebrating his 50th anniversary in media, entertainment, and social justice activism, shared some insight into his journey.

“I am very pleased to see my dear friend Dr Marley, who indirectly, with her husband Bob Marley and others got me into what I am doing today. On Friday, March 21, 1980, as a young and roving photojournalist I received a call from Dr Rita Marley requesting me to do news coverage with Bob Marley, Jacob Miller and three others coming in from Brazil at the Norman Manley Airport with a soccer award they won. Two days later, Sunday, March 23, 1980, I had a planned meeting with Jacob Miller, who, on his way to the meeting, died in an accident. This March 22 Awards, and the March 21 Pre-Award Health Advocacy Seminar marks the 44th anniversary of the passing of Jacob ‘Killer’ Miller, who will also be honoured posthumously. Dr Rita Marley is receiving the very special Philanthropist Honour for her decades of contributions to humanity,” Martin said in a press release.

He added that the Bob Marley biopic, which is currently in theatres, national and international, made him feel proud.

“Especially when I watch the scene at the Peace Concert, the shooting at his home, prior to another concert in the park, and other scenes, just to remember that I was there and very much involved in some of those events made me feel proud.”

Fifteen special awards of honour and 40 nominated categories will be handed out. Martin has pledged to “uphold the integrity of IRAWMA by giving honours only where honours are due, without compromise”.