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Liberating the Beat: The Call for Reggae's Recognition in South African Media

02 July 2024

In a country where music has played an instrumental role in liberation struggles, it's perplexing to witness the marginalization of a genre as impactful and resonant as reggae. The upcoming peaceful march to the SABC studios on the 12th of July 2024 echoes the sentiments of countless South Africans who demand that reggae be given the platform it deserves. Countless petitions and meetings organized by different groups in recent years have yet to yield any tangible results.

Reggae isn't just music; it's a cultural force that speaks to the soul and carries the echoes of resistance and resilience. During the darkest days of apartheid, reggae served as a beacon of hope, a rallying cry for freedom, and a powerful tool for social change. Its rhythms echoed in the streets, its lyrics stirred hearts, and its spirit emboldened the oppressed.

Yet, despite its undeniable influence and enduring popularity among the people, reggae finds itself relegated to the sidelines of mainstream media. This raises profound questions about the nature of representation and cultural stewardship in contemporary South Africa.

Reggae isn't merely entertainment; it's a living testament to the struggles and triumphs of a nation. By marginalizing reggae, are we suggesting that the journey towards liberation is complete? Are we implying that the voices and experiences encapsulated in reggae music are no longer relevant?

Reggae march poster to SABC

The truth is, reggae remains as vital and urgent as ever. Its message of love, unity, and social justice resonates across generations and speaks to the enduring quest for freedom and equality. Reggae artists are not just performers; they are storytellers, historians, and cultural custodians whose narratives deserve to be heard and celebrated.

Furthermore, the economic well-being of reggae artists cannot be overlooked. Like any other citizens, they deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood from their craft and contribute to the cultural tapestry of our nation.

In the spirit of democracy and cultural diversity, it's time for the SABC and other media outlets to heed the call for inclusivity and give reggae the platform it deserves. Let us embrace the music of our past, honor the struggles it represents, and celebrate the voices that continue to inspire us towards a more just and harmonious future.

The time has come to free reggae from the shackles of marginalization and let its rhythms reverberate freely across the airwaves. Only then can we truly claim to be a nation that celebrates the rich diversity of its cultural heritage.

Scheduled to kick off at Auckland Park, the exact meeting point will be unveiled in due time, leading the way for a memorable event that aims to make a significant impact. With the intent to deliver a poignant memorandum to the management of the SABC, these passionate individuals are calling upon fellow reggae lovers to join hands and show their unwavering support.

Layahn King, a key organizer of this movement, can be reached at 0624713041 for further details and inquiries. The rallying cry has been sent out, and all are encouraged to come out in full force to lend their voices to this important cause. As the reggae community unites for this purpose-driven march, the stage is set for a momentous display of solidarity and advocacy.