February 6th marks the legendary Reggae icon Bob Marley’s Birthday. He would have been 74 years of age this year.
Though Bob Marley died in May 1981, his music has lived through the time and it’s evident by the ever-growing list of accomplishments attributable to his music, which advocated for social change.
Bob Marley story of inspiration began when he was young. Crime was glorified in his hometown where he grew up and his only way out was music. Through the music, he escaped the dangerous gang violence but he never forgot his hometown.
“He took on a series of community projects, at one time supporting more than 6,000 people with food, jobs, and housing. He invested in schools and infrastructure in Jamaica,” according to the Encyclopedia of World Biography.
In celebrating Marley’s birthday, the Mathare Roots Youth Group have organized a cleanup in their community. Marley’s words “Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others, and you will live again,” are some of the inspirational words the youth in the slum live by.
“Marley has been an inspiration to most of us from the slums and we wanted to celebrate this day by making our community a clean place to live in. Bob Marley advocated for social change and that is what we do every single day. We try and have an impact to our community,” said Lucas Odhiambo, Group coordinator at Mathare Roots Youth Group.
In Mathare, Lucas is among the many youths who have been working with UN-Habitat to rehabilitate their community. The rehabilitation projects include environment and solid waste management, community, and resource mobilization, capacity building among the communities and addressing cross-cutting issues including HIV and AIDs, alcohol, drug and substance abuse and insecurity among others.
The clean-up was launched in October last year as the world marked World Habitat Day.
UN-Habitat Executive director Maimunah Mohd Sharif launched the campaign with the aim of reducing the amount of global waste.
“The response has been positive but the challenge is most people are out hustling even on Saturday but we always do the clean-up” Added Lucas.