Widow of the late Robert Nesta Marley, Dr Rita Marley has been awarded an honorary social sciences and humanities doctorate degree from the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in South Africa.

The ceremony which recognised Marley’s exceptional works through philanthropy, took place on September 15 its Alice Campus. UFH is the alma mater of Nelson Mandela, Olivia Tambo, Govan Mbeki and Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

Rita Marley was unable to attend the ceremony so Rosemary Duncan, manager of the Rita Marley Foundation, accepted it on her behalf, but she did make a statement. “How good God is. I am that I am, a ghetto girl with great ambition, so I give thanks,” she said. “It was unexpected, but such a great honor to be recognized by the University of Fort Hare, Dr. Nelson Mandela’s alma mater.”

This marks the second honorary doctorate Rita Marley is getting from a major University. In 2015, she received another doctorate from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. A Doctor of Letters Degree for notable works in preserving and advancing Jamaica’s music and culture. The Jamaican government awarded her with the Order of Distinction in 1996 for her contribution to music.

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