Kaya: A word meaning “home,” “wisdom,” and – in Jamaican culture – “cannabis.”
What is The Kaya Fest?
Kaya: A word meaning “home,” “wisdom,” and – in Jamaican culture – “cannabis.” This year marked not only the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley’s iconic Kaya album, but saw Marley’s children and grandchildren united in San Bernardino, California for the second annual Kaya Fest. The weekend-long festival, the brainchild of Stephen Marley, celebrated his family’s legacy of love, reggae, and cannabis advocacy.
Kaya Fest San Bernadino Lineup
Fans were treated to an historic performance when Stephen and brothers Julian, Ky-Mani, and Damian Marley appeared onstage together for the first time in a decade. Other acclaimed acts on the lineup included Ms. Lauryn Hill, Marcia Griffiths, Toots and the Maytals, and Cypress Hill. The latest generation of Marley musicians, Skip, Jo Mersa, Bambaata, and Shacia Päyne, proved that creative talent and courage runs strong within these bloodlines.
Kaya Fest, Humanitarianism and Climate Change
Prior to the festivities, filmmaker and actress Donisha Prendergast (the eldest Marley granddaughter) hosted a symposium on cannabis and health called Education Before Recreation. With Preston Whitfield, co-developer of Kaya Fest and one of the nation’s foremost hemp experts, at the helm, lively panels covered topics from childhood nutrition to job placement to sustainability. Featuring such notable figures as Morris Beegle, Doug Fine, Lifetime TV’s Dr. Jenny Wilkins, and Dan Herer, son of pioneering hemp researcher Jack Herer, the event showed why this plant powers the hopes of so many searching for a regenerative future. Finally, Ras Iyah V, a legend in the Rastafarian community for his cannabis and humanitarian activism, gave a heartfelt address urging people to end the stigmas and fight for their God-given right to a sacred herb.
Bob Marley and One Love
Throughout a weekend filled with good vibrations, attendees from all over the world sampled hemp products, learned about the Marley Family’s various ganja lifestyle brands, and even found time to confess their wildest dreams aboard a Gratitude Bus. The visceral, musical embrace culminated in a true understanding of kaya and Rastafarian values. As the Marleys and their friends repeated, “We can do more together. Each one, teach one. One Love.”