Ziggy Marley is a four-time Grammy Award-winning musician, philanthropist, and founder of the independent record label, Tuff Gong Worldwide. Known for his international work with children, Ziggy is the founder of U.R.G.E. (Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment), a designer for the Fashion Against AIDS Campaign and a supporter of Little Kids Rock. When not on tour, he divides his time between California, the Bahamas and Jamaica.
Question: What are you doing to help the poor in Jamaica?
Ziggy Marley: Well, you know, from I was growing up with my father. We always... You know, we come from gutters of Jamaica, Kingston. I was born... I was born in the gutters of Jamaica. My father comes from gutters Jamaica. My mother, my aunt, my whole family, that's where we came from. And as we moved up...
As my father had more success on whatever, we moved all the time. We went to a better house, better schools, whatever, but we would always go back. And that's the example I learn, that, you know, we always remember where we're coming from and we always give a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. So that's the seeds that were planted in me as a child. And as we grew up, you know, we started to do the music. We started making some money for ourselves so we continue that example that we have learned.
We did it first, we don't have any official title to it. You know, we just did it. And then, I was like... Then we found this charity, just call it U.R.G.E., Unlimited Resources Giving Enlightenment, and let's see if anyone else is willing to help us in what we're doing. Basically, know... what I've done is after doing it for many years and realizing that, you know, given... You know, because we just used to give money to people but that don't work. Given money to people don't work, you know, it doesn't satisfy people and it's not a good long-term concept. Let's say, here's a thousand... you know, it don't work so I kind of change the focus to focus on children. Because I believe that that's the only things are going to change in my country, yeah. Is if I can help to educate children so that we are... They go into adults with better thinking, you know. So that's what we focus on right now, to educate children in Jamaica.
Recorded on: May 7, 2009