Preparations for the much publicised 11th edition of the International Roots Festival are in full-swing with the members of the National Organising Committee under the aegis of The Gambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture putting in final touches for next month’s event.
Scheduled to take place from the 9th to 17th May, this year, this biennial historical, cultural and educational event is expected to be graced by people of African descent as well as those persons committed to the well being of Africans and the development of the continent.
The Roots 2014, official said, commemorates the enforced enslavement and transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas and the Caribbean Islands. Thus, the event, which is one of the most recognised in Africa, provides the opportunity for Africans in the Diaspora to discover their identity, connect with their roots, learn their lost cultural and traditional heritage, as well as establish stronger family bonds and ties with the African family in The Gambia. Since its inception, it has rapidly gained recognition and each edition brings a difference experience. It had in the past attracted the attention of some world class and highly celebrated personalities, among them, Jermaine Jackson of the Jackson family in the United States, Rockmond Dunbar, renowned artist Chaz Guest, all in the United States, who joined thousands in the 10th edition held in 2010. In fact the 10th edition was spiced up by a superb tribute concert by Jermaine Jackson for his late world renowned pop superstar, Michael Jackson. That concert was attended by thousands of Gambians and non-Gambians at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
This year’s event, according to officials, is billed to be attended by the son of Marcus Garvey, Dr. Julius Garvey, and renowned Jamaican dancehall stars like Sizzla Kolonji, Mutaburaka and Scratchylus and other artistes. The Jamaican stars are expected to team up with The Gambia’s finest artistes to stage a grand musical concert at the Independence Stadium of Bakau on May 10th.