Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Bob Marley's studio damaged in fire

The multi-million dollar recording facility built in memory of Bob Marley in Ghana, Africa was badly damaged by fire on Saturday night.

The reggae star's widow, Rita, built the studio to honour her husband's legacy.

According to reports on www.graphicghana.com a fierce fire reduced a section of the Aburi-Gyankama, based recording studio into a pile of rubble. No casualties were reported. According to the report it took the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) more than four hours to bring the fire which began at 6 p.m. under control.

Even though the immediate cause of the fire could not be ascertained, some sources blamed it on an electrical fault. An eyewitness who gave his name as Emmanuel Sackey, said he was with Mrs Marley after some people had been there to interview her, when the fire started from the main studio.

"We managed to put it out with water but later realised that the room was filled with smoke and so we rushed to the office of the fire service at Mampong," he told www.graphicghana.com.

slow response

Sackey said it took more than two trips to the offices of the GNFS at Mampong for the personnel there to respond and when they arrived on the scene, they could do very little and had to call for reinforcement from the Madina Fire Station. When the Daily Graphic got to the scene, dozens of people, including some residents of the area, stood helpless as fire engulfed the building.

Efforts by the fire-fighters to spray the top of the building from their fire engines were fruitless, as the water could not reach that far. A few of the workers at the studio mustered the courage and entered some of the rooms to salvage what was left of the studio and residence.

According to available information, the multi- million-dollar studio, which is also the storehouse of most of Bob Marley's original tapes, was due to be officially opened late last year but the event had to be postponed to allow Mrs Marley to attend to some personal issues in the USA. It is feared that the tapes of the late reggae star were destroyed in the fire.

In the 1990s, Rita along with the rest of the Marley family, left Jamaica to settle in Ghana, Africa in fulfilment of her dreams of repatriation to Africa. Now called Nana Afua Abodea I, she lives in the village of Konkonuru, Ghana, and continues to invest extensively in Africa and Jamaica through various charities under the auspices of The Bob Marley Foundation and The Rita Marley Foundation (which were both founded by her). The Studio One, is one of many projects initiated in Ghana by her.

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