‘WITH LOVE & ADMIRATION’
By: Desta Meghoo
“With Love & Admiration” is how President Barack Obama and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, signed the photograph featuring two of the most famous Black Families in the world, taken at the Whitehouse Easter Egg Hunt in Washington this past April. Ziggy Marley was Mrs. Obama’s musical pick for the annual event. So to the beat of reggae and a host of other musical genres, Malia, Sasha, friends and family enjoyed a colourful day filled with good food and good vibes.
Mrs. Rita Marley and members of the Marley Family were special guest of the Obamas for this historic and joyful occasion, so with three generations of Marleys and two generations of Obamas, it was truly, as Rita says, “…a family affair”. Mrs. Marley enstooled Queen mother Nana Afua Adobea I, over ten years ago in the lush Aburi town of Konkonoru, Ghana recalls the moving inaugural visit between the First Family of the USA and the First Family of Reggae.
She shares the experience in the presence of Koronuru Chief, Nana Addo-Mansah II and the quaint Konkouru community. Nana Rita said, “I told Michelle about my village turned town, about Ghana and Africa in general”.
Mrs. Obama was delighted and inspired, hence the heartfelt signature, “with love and admiration”. Marley says she was encouraged by the visit and when looking in Michelle’s eyes and embracing Barack, she knew in her heart they would see each other one day in Africa. She just did not imagine it would be in 90 days.
Wearing a beautiful silk dress, the colour purple, Mrs. Marley looked regal and felt the impact of this rare and historic moment. A moment to touch the black world and beyond as the First Black Family of the USA, steps through the gateway of Africa, continuing the ongoing process of healing. The colour purple, coincidentally, is the colour of the Diaspora Africa Forum Mission who has taken the helm in lobbying for the Diaspora community in Ghana and to the African Union.
The Mission works hard to ensure the descendants of those enslaved can be counted in the embraced in the landscape of African society. Head of Mission, Dr. Erieka Bennett, also realizing the significance of Robert Nesta Marley recently recognized the reggae icon on the Sankofa Wall. She also presented Nana Rita with the AIMS Living Legend Award for her outstanding humanitarian contributions.
Marley, who has invested millions of dollars in the social and economic development of Ghana for almost one decade, is proud to have shared her commitment and contentment in the country. “I like to think I had sown a seed that Easter day, a seed that has been nurtured by the Most High and is now in the hands of the government and people of Ghana. Only Jah knows”.
Nana Rita went on to say in describing President Barack and First Lady Michelle as”…real people, down to earth, and loving…,they greeted us as if we were the First Family”. Nana Rita commented on their love and admiration for her husband Bob Marley and the continued musical legacy maintained by a now second and even third generation of Marleys.
Ghanaian Times - page: 14 Saturday, July, 11 2009