Afro-Caribbean: Distant Relatives + Marleys in the Kalahari?

November 4, 2011

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton

This week the Discovery Channel unveiled Marley Africa Road Trip,ย a new six-part travelogue following Marley brothers Ziggy, Rohan and Robbie (you haven’t heard of him but he may be the best part of the show. He’s a ninja.) as they tooled around the bright continent–specifically South Africa–on motorcycles last summer. Though we don’t know how it ends (the first installment aired this Wednesday, Nov. 2nd) the epic road trip appears to culminate in a free concert in the black township of Soweto, the birthplace in many ways of South Africa’s anti-Apartheid struggle, which finds elder brother Ziggy collaborating with local township musicians and reflecting on the formative experience of attending the infamous Zimbabwe Independence concert his father Bob played in 1980. The pics and trailer (below) which depict the brothers cruising across the grasslands behind free-roaming giraffes recall the lyric Lauryn Hill–the mother of Rohan’s children–rapped on “Fugee-La”: “Eatin calamari in the Kalahari / with a band of Rastafari.” Or as it’s known in the Marley household: Sunday brunch.

In related Marley/Back to Africa news, this live clip of half-sibling Damian Marley and Nas performing “Dispear” in UK’s Wembley Stadium on their Africa-themedย Distant Relatives tour earlier this year just surfaced online, one of the best–and best quality–we’ve seen. The sight of Nas and Jr. Gong exhorting an ecstatic arena-full of multicolored Brits to jump up with their symbolic Mau-Mau spears in the air is so revolutionary, I half expected an organizer to come out and say “I thought they were going to sing Day-O.” Watch below.