Famed artiste and humanitarian Rita Marley has been honoured with the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Leading Light Award for 2013.
The honour was bestowed on Marley last Friday night during the IWF Cornerstone Conference’s closing celebration held at the Seawind Beach Club in Montego Bay, St James. The 5,000-member, women-only organization recognized Marley for her leading role in alleviating poverty and hunger among African youth, through the Rita Marley Foundation.
The conference’s theme was ‘track – An Instrument of change’.
“She has made it her mission to fight starvation and poverty by means of selling early life empowerment, economic funding and well being-care education on the African continent,” stated IWF President Deedee Corradini.
In a glowing tribute to the widow of reggae legend Bob Marley, Corradini stated the IWF has any other definition of Rita Marley.
“She is the major light who brings hope to the world via person acts of commitment, dedication and contribution,” she said.
“We reserve one of the vital best possible international awards for singular leaders, whose individual acts and contribution no longer simplest elevate the prospects of women, but in addition alternate the communities during which they are living and serve to ease the burdens and battle of others so as to a greater future.”
Rita Marley has been credited for making sure her husband’s vision of social development through advocacy for change continues to be fulfilled. Marley has awarded a number of scholarships to music students at Ghana’s Berkeley College and also hosts the annual Unite Africa forum, which targets to spread world consciousness about considerations that have an effect on the continent.
“Her foundation has assisted hundreds of African children and she or he has adopted 35 youngsters in Ethiopia. She is a tireless recommend for African people,” stated the IWF president.
As Marley accepted the award from Corradini and IWF Jamaica President Pat Ramsay, the over 400 women attending the ceremony showed their appreciation.
“Mrs Marley is a champion for a greater future for all. thru her inventive talents, generosity and heart, Rita has changed the sector,” said Pat Ramsay, who was once instrumental in getting Marley to simply accept the invitation.
In her response, Marley mentioned she just isn’t a celebrity. “I am a mother, a sister and a wife,” she asserted.
Looking upwards, she praised the Creator for the blessings showered upon her.
“It is wonderful to be here, praise the Lord. This has happened for a reason and a purpose. This is the beginning of something big that is happening in my life. I have made so many new friends, so many new sisters. There are so many things to say right now. To get a recognition like this, it means a lot,” Marley said.
As Marley accepted the Leading Light Award, her elated sister in tune, Marcia Griffiths, and long-time friend, actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, stood in the audience.
Marley, who presently resides in Ghana, West Africa, said she had to forgo an award ceremony in Ethiopia in order to come to Jamaica for the IWF conference.
Friday’s celebration capped off two days of deliberations and exchanging ideas at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St James, where more than 400 women from some 30 countries converged.