Reggae star Ziggy Marley met with a group of special fans before his second show in Israel last week.
The musician sat and chatted with nine Ethiopian-Israeli youth on Wednesday night at the Shuni Ampitheater in Binyamina. The high schoolers are all participants in the Ethiopian National Project’s SPACE program: school performance and community empowerment.
The connection between the group and Marley came from none other than Ben and Jerry’s Israel, which has a connection with the Bob Marley Foundation, founded after the death of the legendary musician, who is Ziggy’s father.
Last year, Ben and Jerry’s launched its “One Love” flavor in honor of the musician, with proceeds going to fund a youth empowerment program in Jamaica.
In Israel, the ice cream company requested that the proceeds from the special flavor go instead toward the Ethiopian-Israeli community.
“I knew that here on our doorstep there’s a community that needs just a little help,” said Ben and Jerry’s Israel CEO Avi Zinger. “And Marley has a special connection with Ethiopia. So we asked the Marley family if we could support the Ethiopian-Israeli community. They agreed, and that was the start of our relationship with the Ethiopian National Project, which does amazing work with the community.”
According to organizers of the meeting, the musician sat and spoke casually with the students before taking selfies with the group.
“He told us to work hard and believe in ourselves,” said Bose, a student from the Haifa area who met with Marley, according to ENP. “We know school is important. But now we really feel we are going to invest even more in our studies.”