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I had a moment to sit down with Ky-Mani Marley, 10th son of reggae legend Robert “Bob” Marley
To discuss his autobiography “Dear Dad”: Where’s the family in our family, today?
It took a while for the interview to start because he just finished performing, he shared a few new
songs he wrote (yeah… you’ll have to wait for the new album). After coming off
stage security tried to escort him to the back room to finish up a few
interviews. Fans stopped him to take pictures and he took pictures with each
one that was surrounding him. He only took a break to drink a glass of water.
He made it through the crowd. More fans were waiting in the back area. All I could do was smile as he
greeted his fans, then he said “give me a moment let me do this interview
before she get vex…” (Yeah he was talking about me; I wasn’t able to do the
interview before he went on stage).
Reeshemah: After reading the book I have another level of respect for you. How painful was it to
recall certain memories to write the book?
Ky-Mani: It was painful to recall. Remembering my father is no longer part of this beautiful earth. The death of my father brought tears to
R: What made you decide now was the time to tell YOUR story?
K: I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. People have a misconception of who I am. It was important to tell my story. People saying,
“I’m a Marley kid” and such and such. I want my fans to take the time to know
who they’re listening to.
R: I know you had a ghostwriter, are there a few things you wanted in the book that was edited out
(many times it’s due to the length of the book)?
K:Not at all. Yes, I had a ghostwriter. I told my story, they dictated and wrote.
R:You mentioned in the book you’re trying to find your purpose because you made it through some
challenging situations, such as the incident with the police officers (when you
had the loaded sawed-off gun in your trunk). After writing YOUR story and
beginning your book tour have you realized your purpose?
(As I began to recall the incident with the officers he laughed before responding).
K:Definitely; to carry on my father’s legacy. To give chances and opportunities through charitable work. To Inspire. It’s necessary
to inspire children, someone pushed me and inspired me. Eventually it will all
pay off. People tend to overlook the small kind gestures to people they don’t
One day you may be walking by a basketball court and see a kid make a shot, tell the child nice jump shot—it motivates the kid to continue
doing good. We have to motivate the kids.
R: How did your relationship w/your mom help develop you to become the man you are today?
K: Strong. When your mother teaches you to stand up for yourself, fighting for your rights. What she taught is for life. I think if it
was my dad, I wouldn’t be as militant. My mom taught about the revolutionaries:
Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela… I have a revolutionary mindset.
R: You spoke about the mothers being the main influencers in the division between the siblings.
(What’s interesting is I had a conversation about your book, don’t worry I
didn’t give any of the book away, with your sistren Queen Ifrica. We spoke
about the same thing you spoke about in your book) Do you think now will be an
opportunity to strengthen the unity with your siblings?
K: My siblings and I have a strong bond. Also we’re human and experience the same crisis as other families. We overcome them and move on
as a family.
R: Has your full story been told? Are there issues that arose while trying to publish the book
K: No…I’m still alive. I may have a 2, 3, and 4th story. There are some parts I can’t tell cause it’s still current…(smiling)
R: What were and are the thoughts of your siblings about YOUR story? My story is MY story.
K: I did speak with one of my sister’s and she said, “I felt you wrote a very big personal email directed at me.” It helped her understand
who I am. I also spoke with Stephen…
(We were interrupted by fans who wanted to ask questions, take pictures and have their book and/or
poster autographed. And if you know the type of man Ky-Mani IS… he signed
autographs, answered questions and took pics as we did the interview).
R: Do you think this book could be turned into a movie? In my opinion, it would receive as much opportunity
as Shottas. You know people are still talking about it. We’re having those discussions.
K: The movie and the book have similarities to your life, the way you wrote the book. Were you inspired by Shottas to consider writing
YOUR story? (Smiling. Then laughing). It
was a little premature, some say… I had the idea to write a book 10 years ago… laughing “dem jus lucky say mi jus fin
di publisher.” (For those that don’t understand Patwah, “they’re lucky I just
found the publisher”). Some things are still current.
R: What is your favorite part of being on tour?
K: Talking with my fans. Hearing their story, some very similar to mine.
R: You sing, you act and you are now an author…what’s next? Any new projects?
K: Continue spreading positive messages through my words. Also, through my foundation Love Over All (check
it out, ok so I plugged in the website he did www.loveoverall.org). I’m also working on my next album.
R: Ky-Mani, thank you for taking time to speak with me. Any closing words to share with the readers?
K: One love. Being Rasta is living a natural way of life. That’s why we bun (discard) religion… People need to stop misleading and
misguiding the youth.
- - Reeshemah Brightley of Sabree Special Events