DOING HIS PART: "If the countries were united we wouldn't have this problem."
Outside the music spotlight, Grammy winner Ziggy Marley is busy pursuing a worthy cause that’s extremely close to his heart: joining the fight to help eradicate polio, a painful disease affecting thousands of kids around the world. “[Rotary] is a good organization. They're trying to help people, especially in Africa. That's a place that is very close to my heart. There are a lot of children suffering with polio there. I wanted to help,” he tells Essence of his work as a polio ambassador with Rotary International’s “End Polio Now” campaign, for which he donated the song “Personal Revolution” to raise funds.
“It's a song where I speak of revolution in a different light. You know, when we talk about revolution we think about social and political, we don't think about individuals. So "Personal Revolution" is an individual thing that each of us need to consider to make changes in our lives so things can get better.”
As it turns out, the polio affliction is something that hits close to home for Ziggy. “One of my sister’s friends had it when we were growing up in Jamaica. That was way back, but that's when I first heard about it,” he says, while offering his view on how world leaders, particularly in Africa, can help fight the disease. “When it comes to Africa, I just think the leaders need to get it together. If the countries were united we wouldn't have this problem. I think the priorities are not right in terms of the leadership. Hopefully, in the next generation, we'll have a better situation so we can help solve this.”
These days, Ziggy is also celebrating the release of his brand-new live album, Ziggy Marley in Concert, which dropped on Tuesday. “The band and I were feeling good lately, and I wanted to share it. We recorded it in two cities here in the States. It wasn't even a big production – nowadays we have a laptop and we recorded it. I just wanted to share.”
>> Ziggy invests in a slice of million-dollar real-estate:
In other Ziggy Marley news, the 42-year-old musician has reportedly invested in some peace-and-quiet digs, purchasing a duplex in Los Angeles for a tidy US$1.1 million via real estate guru and reality TV star Reza Farahan (Shahs of Sunset). “That's right….with Reza's help, the reggae singer scored a brand new crib for $1.1 million!” reports TMZ.com, adding that Marley bought the 2,613-square-foot house (comprising two attached pads — each with two bedrooms and one bath) as an investment. Boasting rocking hardwood floors, granite counters, updated cabinetry and a giant backyard, the house is “a pretty rare find” that dates back to the 1920s and hasn't been on the market in over four decades.