top of page

Cedella Marley: A Tireless Advocate for Women's Football in Jamaica

Cedella Marley/Photo Instagram

Cedella Marley's legacy is a mosaic of her talents, passions, and pursuits. Her ability to excel in multiple areas has allowed her to amplify her impact, inspire change, and contribute positively to society. By leveraging her diverse talents, she has carved out a unique and influential space for herself within the broader Marley family legacy and beyond.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica to legendary reggae musician Bob Marley, Cedella Marley's upbringing is rooted in a rich and influential cultural and musical heritage. The Marley family emphasized strong family values, unity, and love. Despite the challenges and complexities that come with fame, the Marleys maintained a close-knit family bond that influenced Cedella's own approach to relationships and community.

It All Began With A Flyer

She is widely recognized for her impactful social advocacy work, particularly in education, youth empowerment, and community development. So, it came as no surprise that Cedella Marley has played a pivotal role in keeping Jamaica ’s women's football team, the Reggae Girlz alive.

Cedella’s involvement in women’s football stemmed from a flyer her son brought home from school in 2015. His coach at the time was doing a fund-raising blitz asking parents to donate money to re-establish a national women’s football team in Jamaica, which has an abundance of raw talent.

The Grammy award singer's father had a passion for the game, so she was surrounded by it growing up. “Daddy played every day. He would play anywhere he was: on the road, you’d find a field, you’d find a team, she told CNN Sports.

Without hesitation, Cedella sprang into action and launched a crowd-funding campaign. Later, she recorded the song “Strike Hard” with her brothers Steven and Damien and the proceeds went to the Reggae Girlz.

The team was disbanded 15-years earlier due to lack of support from the Jamaica Football Federation, after failing to qualify for the Olympics that same year. But with major support from Cedella, the team was revived and returned to competitive play.

Getting Reggae Girlz to the 2023 World Cup

The Reggae Girlz is the first Caribbean team to qualify for the World Cup, but they faced financial challenges that threatened their participation. In an Instagram post, Khadija Bunny Shaw, forward for Manchester City and the Jamaica women’s national team expressed her disappointment in the Jamaica Football Federation for failing to meet their obligations with transportation, training conditions, and nutrition among other things.

Recognizing the importance of women's sports and the potential of the team to inspire young athletes, Cedella Marley stepped in to provide crucial financial support by launching a crowdfunding campaign. Her contributions helped cover expenses related to training, travel, and equipment, enabling the team to compete on the international stage.

As the global ambassador to Jamaica’s Women Football Program, Cedella Marley's work extended beyond immediate financial support. Her involvement helped catalyze awareness and broader discussions about the importance of investing in women's sports infrastructure, grassroots development, and opportunities for female athletes in Jamaica.

Cedella Marley poses with the Reggae Girlz /Instagram

“In the process of my role as ambassador, I have taken note of the crucial role that football can play in empowering young women; through opportunities for education and professional advancement - both on and off the pitch,” Marley said in an interview with SportsMax.

The author, artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist dedication to the Reggae Girlz exemplifies her commitment to empowering young women through sports. Her efforts have left a lasting legacy, sparking conversations about gender equality, representation, and the transformative power of athletics.

Humanitarian Efforts Beyond Football

Cedella Marley's dedication to service extends to individuals in her community at large. She oversees the Bob Marley Foundation serving as the director. The foundation focuses on uplifting and empowering underserved communities in the Caribbean and Africa. It provides support for education, healthcare, and community development, aiming to create positive change for young people and families in need.

The eldest of the legendary musician is also a staunch advocate for education. She has been involved in various projects aimed at improving access to quality education for children, particularly in Jamaica. Through the Bob Marley Foundation, she has contributed to building schools, providing scholarships, and enhancing educational resources.

In addition to the foundation's initiatives, Cedella Marley has been personally involved in mentoring and guiding young people. Her engagement in continuing education classes, mentorship programs and workshops provides valuable guidance and support to youth, helping them overcome challenges, pursue their dreams and increase employment opportunities.


bottom of page