The Successful Music Career Of Winston Rodney, Aka Burning Spear

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In a display of true humbleness, Burning Spear, is no doubt one of the greatest reggae artists the world has ever known. Born as Winston Rodney, on Ist March 1945, in Saint Ann’s Bay in Jamaica, musicians such as “The Maytals” and “Bob Marley and the Wailers” influenced him.

According to him, it was his encounter with Bob Marley, that ignited his life to fame from 1969. He has then made a couple of songs, but doesn’t know where to start. Then Bob told him to go to “Studio One” and he did. Today among great reggae artists, his music can be heard in every part of the world.

In the lives of individuals, many do remember the mistake one does, than all the good things the person has done. But Burning Spear didn’t forget the direction Bob gave him. He gave credit to Bob Marley in his song “As it is” taken from his album ” Calling Rastafari.” He sings, “I start singing in the late sixties. Told about Studio One by Bob Marley.” But who is actually this man called Burning Spear and why did he choose such a name unto himself?

I never had the opportunity to interview Mr. Rodney, like other great reggae stars, but just as he has been following the footsteps of the great Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King etc, believing God send them to help black people, the same way, I have been following his music for a very long time.

Like the waves retreating into the sea, I went back and compiled the names of some of his old and new songs, to find out the message of Burning Spear’s music. Yes “He stands strong, The world should know, that Man in the hills, Far over, Calling Rastafari to Jah’s Kingdom. His mistress music don’t sell out and Christopher Columbus can’t change his Identity and Fittest of the fittest has made him a Free man.”

Being inspired by the late Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Burning Spear put the title of Jomo Kenyatta (Burning Spear ) unto himself as his name. From there on, the flame of the spear is unquenchable, singing about slavery, discrimination and praising men like Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah and Martin Luther King etc. His reason of cherishing these men are simple and logical, because they paved the way for I and I (Africans) to be recognised.

Spear 1Burning Spear showed his love for Africa from his great hit “Greetings” from the album “Far Over,” after his trip to Africa. Greetings Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.” He said. He lamented bitterly about blacks in the United States of America who have no intention and respect for the culture. As if they have forgotten their history, some even hate to be referred to as Africans. “Even though they say I’m a Yankee” Burning Spear said he still loves them because they are his brothers and sisters.

After over thirty years of his prolific music career, the tireless Burning Spear surprisingly after his 27th album special, released in 1999, Calling Rastafari, which won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2000. In 2003, he released another album captioned “Free man” with great numbers such as “Trust, Not Guilty, loved for who I am etc”

Despite that MTV doesn’t promote reggae music, Burning Spear has excelled to be one of the world’s famous musicians. His songs speak of its self. Truly, the achievements of Burning Spear, in the field of reggae, shall remain in the music history for ever.

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African Children Exposed to Violence, Brutality and Victimization

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What a shame? A defenseless African child being beaten by ‘law enforcement’ agents

There are problems brewing in Africa against children, that need attention. Africa is not only known for its rich mineral resources but one of the brutal continents in the world. Lack of education and corruption have weakened the continent’s economic infrastructure without remedy. The result is often ethnic conflicts, political unrest, crime, and brutality against children.

If children are not forced into child labour and soldier, they become victims of political unrest and abuse.  It is estimated that tens of millions of children worldwide are street children, according to UNICEF. For example, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, over 100,000 homeless children can be found living on the streets.

Neglected, unwanted, abused and many as orphans, children get entangled in African conflicts they didn’t call for. They are beaten mercilessly by adults, while the so-called head of states, sit without any efforts to save or help the children, all because Africa’s politics is not for the people but for greed and corruption.

It’s normal for every country to have a leader, that’s the reason we have world leaders, but if one sees the problems children pass through in certain countries, including African countries, you may wonder if that country has a leader. Without proper care, many street children turn to glue sniffing, affecting their health badly, while many become juvenile criminals.

Years after independence, despite all the abundant resources, many African countries still wallow in poverty, feeding on a bread of sorrow. State funds are secretly deposited at Swiss banks, while the common Africans, including children, continue to suffer, due to poor educational and health facilities.

Deng Xiaoping

Deng Xiaoping, the ex-Chinese leader, once said “We should give Africa technological know-how, so that African governments can transform their resources on the spot and create jobs and markets for their people locally, regionally, at the continental level and internationally.

Africa must cease to be forever the provider of raw materials to other people. Africans must never sell their land. They should say no to land grabbing by big agro-business multinational companies that displace African natives.”

This great statement towards Africa’s development was made years back when China was crawling like a baby learning how to walk. Today China is rubbing shoulders with great countries including America and Japan, leaving Africa far behind.

If Africa can’t do it today, they can never do it tomorrow, because, for ages, we are like fools, living in abundance of water, yet we are still thirsty.