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Bob Marley’s sons take on Africa

Published: 2 November 2011

In November, Discovery World (DStv channel 250) takes viewers on an adventure through Africa as Ziggy, Rohan and Robbie Marley, sons of music legend Bob Marley, travel through the continent with hopes of reconnecting with their father in Marley Africa Road Trip, which starts airing on Wednesday, 2 November at 20:05.

Bob Marley’s sons take on Africa
The series follows the Marley brothers while in South Africa, observing them as they experience life in Johannesburg and travel to remote areas. South Africa held Bob Marley spellbound but this film discovers it through his sons’ eyes, as they share an exploration, keeping close to the heart of the country, meeting its people and encountering its wildlife. Between adventures on the road they relate the lessons they have learned from their father about family, moral righteousness and revolution. The series captures their highs and lows with an intimate camera crew, encouraging the trio to film their thoughts, memories, unique humor and frustrations. The three brothers’ interaction with new characters and each other is very engaging as they bring a sense of fun, charisma and thought provoking observations. They discuss returning to the land their father loved and seeking not only what had become Bob's dream of a unified South Africa, but to find out what they themselves have done with their father's legacy.

In 1980, thirty years before the brother’s trip, their father Bob Marley performed at the Independence Concert in Zimbabwe. Ziggy was with him on that trip and it is something that he reflects on regularly, “One of my most memorable moments was being in Zimbabwe in 1980 with my father. It was life changing for me and it shaped my thoughts of Africa and knowledge of African struggles. What we’re trying to do is keep one of the dreams that my father and the forefathers of African liberation had in mind, which is for real African unity”, Ziggy said.

The six hour series marks the 30th anniversary of Bob Marley’s passing and is produced and directed by acclaimed documentary maker, David Alexanian. Alexanian and his production company, Elixir Films, were behind Ewan McGregor’s unforgettable motorcycle trips across the world in the popular series’ Long Way Round and Long Way Down. Alexanian said “The documentary will provide viewers with an intriguing look into a legendary musical family”.

While on the trip Ziggy was motivated by the prospect of performing with African musicians and the series finale sees him planning and performing a concert in Soweto. The series features Ziggy teaching local musicians to play his own music as well as his father’s classic music and rehearsing for the spontaneous performance. While on the trip Ziggy said “We are trying to perform a concert, for free, in Soweto because I want to show my respect to Soweto and the struggle. We are trying to do it on our own, guerilla style. Reggae music is free music. Like my father said nobody has ownership on it. It’s like oxygen, like the wind, like the rain”.

Ziggy Marley also recently released a new song, Africa Land to celebrate the occasion. He is a five-time Grammy winner and reggae icon, whose last Children’s Album, Family Time, won the Grammy for Best Musical Album for Children. Rohan Marley is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, whose company, Marley Coffee, offers gourmet ital coffee to major gourmet food distributors worldwide. Robbie Marley is a motorcycle stunt rider who has appeared in several major motion pictures, and also owns a retail store in Miami, Florida.
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