One of the truest things about Reggae, Rasta Music, is that it has soul. There is a riddim that is deep and connected and African and black that goes way back in Reggae. Reggae is the sound and vibration from the heart.
The problem with Reggae is that it made Jamaica famous. It brought notoriety, travel and money to the Africans in Jamaica. The problem with Reggae is that it didn’t want to tell stories of the heart anymore without getting paid. The problem with Reggae is that the Europeans and the Americans with capital numbers and a fetish for Black Culture have found ways to feed their need through us. Reggae is not our voice anymore. Reggae is not our weapon it is a resource something from which we earn money. It is the thing on which you build an industry.
Where do Diamonds come from? I would never have answered Sierra Leone. Now war torn poor but recovering they say. I wouldn’t have guessed that with Diamonds Sierra Leone wouldn’t be one of the most developed places on earth.
“Organised mining began in the 1920s with bauxite first being recorded in 1920 along the Falaba to Waia road. Diamonds were found in the early 1930s, from 1934 to 1956 the Sierra Leone Selection Trust (SLST) held the monopoly for mining, prospecting for and marketing diamonds throughout Sierra Leone. TheConsolidated African Selection Trust Ltd (CAST), which owned mining operation around West Africa, provided the initial capital for the SLST. The monopoly was originally given for 99 years but in 1955 the SLST gave up rights to alluvial deposits outside its lease area. This allowed artisan and small scale mining of alluvial deposits, and by 1965 there had been a large movement from agricultural work to working these deposits. In 1970 a joint SLST and government organisation was formed call the National Diamond Mining Corporation (NDMC).
Before the start of the Civil War in 1991 250,000 people made a living in the mining and quarrying sector with direct and indirect employment accounting for 14% of the country’s total labour force. The mineral wealth of Sierra Leone, especially in diamonds, became a key factors in its instability and the outbreak of Civil War.
We have to talk about big reggae and little reggae. R and r. Big R is Reggae, the resource the industry, where you can get trained to work as tour managers, producers and social media experts. Little reggae or reggae is a seed. a gem of a idea. a principle.reggae is where you can think about your life, think about justice, injustice, Africa, humans, people, black people. reggae is where we can mek philosophy. our own ideas encoded.
And yet with all that reggae is. It is very little now. Reggae is everything. I am always cautious about how i talk about Reggae knowing that i know many reggae artists and many people depend on it to eat and live. I cannot however help calling to our attention that if there were two roads to take we have taken the one most traveled with Reggae.
The measure of a “successful” Reggae artist is the visibility of their touring calender. The measure of a “successful”reggae artist is the works that they do, the connections that they help us make to the seed of the idea, the principle, the voice, the black, african, spirit, soul.
Yesterday I met Sierra Leonne through my friend Feshowa. Freetown she said was so similar to Jamaica. The landscape, the people, the language.
She told me about the 10 yr war they have over diamonds and how that devastated the people and the country. I haven’t stopped wanting to hear more about Sierra Leonne.
Why doesn’t Reggae tell us about Seira Leonne? Why does Reggae care? Maybe Reggae is a Diamond.