Ivorian Reggea master, Alpha Blondy has reacted after the inscription of reggae on UNESCO’s Cultural Heritage List.
The Ivorian reggaman is delighted, stressing that this musical style with often committed lyrics was not just a “fashion phenomenon.”
“It is a great pride and at the same time a great humility. To know that the work we do, that the messages we send have not fallen on deaf ears and that the humanity we defend by glorifying it, by denouncing its failings, Ok this humanity deserves to be also celebrated, to be respected,” said Blondy.
It is a great pride and at the same time a great humility. To know that the work we do.
Reggae, music was popularized around the world by its icon Bob Marley, and on Thursday included on the list of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, which highlighted its message of “love and humanity”.
The minister of Culture, Jamaica, Olivia Grange, said this is a historic day adding that he is very happy.
The UN body highlighted the “contribution” of this music to international awareness “on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity.
“While reggae was initially the voice of marginalized communities, it is now played and adopted by a large part of the population, regardless of ethnic or religious groups,” added UNESCO.
“All reggae lovers will no longer have to tear down the walls. And then people understand that reggae is not a fashion phenomenon because injustice is not a fashion, God is not a fashion, poverty is not a fashion, misery, war is not a fashion.” added Blondy.
Reggae emerged in Jamaica in the late 1960s. Musical style from ska and rocksteady, it has also integrated jazz and blues influences.
According to UNESCO, Reggea does not seek to bring together the “most beautiful” heritage but represent the diversity of the intangible cultural heritage, to highlight the know-how of communities.