Africa Unite Festivities Heading To South Africa
The 2007 Africa Unite festivities will take place in three South African cities next February, Bob Marley's widow Rita announced today (Sept. 5).The 2007 Africa Unite festivities will take place in three South African cities next February, Bob Marley's widow Rita announced today (Sept. 5).
The month-long celebration, now in its third year, will begin with an opening ceremony in the coastal city of Durban on Feb. 6, what would have been Marley's 62nd birthday. A benefit concert will take place the following day in Durban.
Two further concerts are on tap: the Africa Unite For Empowerment Benefit Concert on Feb. 17 in Johannesburg, and the Africa Unite for Peace Benefit Concert on Feb. 24 in Cape Town. Venues and artists for these concerts will be confirmed in the coming months, although Mrs. Marley said members of her family will be among the performers.
Other planned activities include the launch of Rita Marley's book, "No Woman No Cry," the Africa Unite "You Can't Blame the Youth" education symposium and workshops from Feb. 9-13, and a "One Love" fundraising dinner on Feb. 14 at Johannesburg's Constitutional Hill.
The Bob Marley and the Rita Marley Foundations will stage Africa Unite in partnership with Thirty-Three Productions, Inc, based in Los Angeles, with Mrs. Marley taking the role of executive director for the event.
Addressing a press conference at the University of Johannesburg, Marley said today that the choice of South Africa to host the third Africa Unite was part of a "divine order" that began in Ethiopia (2005) and then moved to Ghana (2006), where she now lives.
"We are now coming to South Africa -- it's for South Africans at home and abroad to realize that we are part of it [uniting Africa]," she said. "It's not just leaving it to the government to make decisions and tell us what to do ... We are going to stick with it until we see African unification."
She also revealed that the initiative would return to South Africa in 2010, the year the country hosts the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament.