The Jamaica 57 Independence Grand Gala, took place on Tuesday, August 6, at the National Stadium.
Two of the nation’s musical stalwarts Rita Marley and Sizzla Kalonji were honoured for their remarkable contribution to reggae music. Both entertainers received the ‘Reggae Icon Awards’, presented by Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Hon. Olivia Grange, and the President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta.
The former member of the I-Threes and the Judgement Yard artiste are known for an extensive catalogue of hits that continue to resonate worldwide with fans.
Outside of their music, the artistes have been very passionate about giving back to the nation and continues on this path through various philanthropic efforts.
Through the Rita Marley Foundation, students continue to receive aid through several academic competitions promoted each year. While Sizzla continues to assist youth in his community of August Town through the Sizzla Youth Foundation.
The Marley Matriarch will also be honoured in October, with the fifth-highest award in Jamaica, the Order of Jamaica (OJ), on National Heroes Day.