Jamaican reggae sensation Jimmy Cliff touches down in NZ

By Taroi Black

Jamaican reggae musician Jimmy Cliff landed in NZ this afternoon ahead of his New Zealand and Australia tour.

Taroi Black was fortunate to catch up with the legend to ask him about his struggles and successes over the years and his passion for Māori and other indigenous cultures.

This is Jimmy Cliff's fourth appearance in NZ, headlining his second concert here since 1994.

"The message to indigenous people all over the World who have been and are oppressed, you cannot lay down and die, you just got to get it together...think, use your brain see how to fight" Cliff says. 

The Jamaican born superstar of reggae will headline two concerts in Tauranga and Auckland in the next two days. These concerts, conducted by the powerhouse singer, will be a rare opportunity for die hard fans.

"I love the big crowds and I also like the smaller crowds like 200 to 500. I love them too and they're a different kind of feeling. But I do love the bigger crowds and it means something."

Cliff's career spans over 50 years as a reggae pioneer. The one person in his life who really inspired him was his father. 

"My father wasn't only my father but he was like a mentor, he was a great inspiration and he was a great human being. The way i saw him, he just lived his life for people, you know, giving freely." 

The 67-year-old artist believes that he has plenty more in the tank. 

"I really just begun my new chapter. What i've done is establish myself globally. Chapter two is to build on that foundation" 

After this he'll head over to Australia spreading the Jamaican vibe.