Rita Marley, widow of legendary Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley, will be made a honorary citizen of Ghana on Emancipation Day, August 1.
The day is set aside in Ghana to commemorate the abolition of slavery and the slave trade by the British Government on August 1, 1834.
A statement from the Marley Foundation says Rita will also receive a Ghanaian passport from the government. His Excellency, Dr Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission for the African Union’s Diaspora Africa Forum, says the recognition is worthy. “We are thrilled to see the Ghana government recognising the tremendous contribution Nana Rita has made to Ghana socially as well as economically. This is a historical day for those of us from the Diaspora.”
Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, Ghana’s deputy minister of foreign affairs and regional integration, agreed: “Indeed Mrs Rita Marley continues to leverage her unique name recognition to showcase Ghana and talk up Ghana’s pan-Africanist role and tourism potential at every opportunity,” he said.
The Marley family members have had a long relationship with the people of Ghana. Her contributions to the development of Konkonuru village in Ghana have led to her installment as a Queen’s mother, where she is now known as Nana Rita. She has also founded both the Bob Marley and Rita Foundations. In addition, she has continued to help children in Jamaica, Ghana, and Ethiopia. She has adopted 35 children in Ethiopia and has expressed her desire add more.