For her contribution to reggae music in the entertainment industry, Barbadian Reggae artiste Roli Empress Roli Roachford has been conferred as the Ambassador for the Nigeria Reggae Festival scheduled for December 28-30, 2019.
A detailed letter, a copy of which was obtained by Barbados TODAY, outlines her role and beseeches Government and the private sector to assist Roachford in making the cultural exchange a success.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY, Roachford, who was the first female reggae artiste to win Best Reggae Artiste in 2015 for her dancehall/reggae fusion album, said she plans to officially celebrate once all involved parties have been notified.
“I will definitely be [celebrating] this ambassadorship. I feel very honoured and excited to meet the President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari and to also bring Barbadian culture to Nigeria. I think it is very timely as we have already started working with Nigerians and hopefully, Barbadian music can spread through Africa. It is a huge avenue for our music, our industry [and] our entertainment. I also feel the Nigerian influence would open us up as artistes to explore more with live instruments on a different level other than riding a rhythm,” she said.
Roachford said she believes her ambassadorship solidifies her hard work and dedication to the music industry from 2012.
“I believe not only as a reggae artiste, but as a versatile, strong woman seeking solutions rather than to dwell on the problem and it is a bonus for the King and Prince of Nigeria, she said.
Roachford noted that conscious music is not highlighted because it takes a longer time for people to accept you. Conscious living is also a lifestyle which she has fully embraced.
“I go from big festivals down into the ghetto. For persons who cannot afford to pay me, I perform for free. Thus, I have earned the respect… people know I am 100 per cent real and I am not writing ‘mock’ lyrics… that this is something I experienced and it is a message in my music of peace which is necessary as a lot of families are suffering now,” she said.
Roachford will perform on August 17 at the Ba-jam Music Festival and it says it would be a chance for the public to find out more about her ambassadorship and have a listen to her music.
She is scheduled to leave the island on the 24th of December. She’ll spend ten days in Nigeria and meet with King Muhammadu Buhari to discuss how they can strengthen the tourism industries between Barbados and Africa. (LG)