Ron Bobb-Semple rendered an acclaimed re-enactment of Marcus Garvey for the African Diaspora World Tourism Awards and Travel Expo event in Atlanta. The two-day included the Africana Extravaganza of cultural performances and a cultural heritage Travel Expo. The awards ceremony was dedicated to the late great Marcus Garvey who was all about uplifting people of African descent and preserving their culture. Since the ADWT-Awards event, Bobb-Semple has been getting many invites to do his signature re-enactment of Marcus Garvey.
Bobb-Semple has moved audiences around the world with his brilliant one-man show, The Spirit of Marcus Garvey. As Michael Reckord wrote in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper, “The words ‘show’ and ‘performance’ do not do justice to the actor’s portrayal of our National Hero. As we watched, Bobb-Semple seemed to become Garvey.”
In 1999, Bobb-Semple, who was born in Guyana, journeyed to Dakar, Senegal, where he presented The Spirit of Marcus Garvey" on Goreé Island. In November of 2000, he returned to the Motherland with the project, this time at the Elmina Castle in Ghana. Bobb-Semple received the Marcus Garvey Awards from the Government of Jamaica’s United Nations Association in 1988, and from the Marcus Garvey Celebration Committee in 1991.
For Black History Month 2001, Bobb-Semple was the voice of Garvey in the U.S. Public Broadcasting System’s special film, Marcus Garvey: Look For Me In The Whirlwind. He recently returned from London, Sweden, Belgium and Germany where he showcased his cultural and educational presentation on Garvey as part of the Marcus Garvey Legacy Tour 2012 to Europe. The Spirit of Marcus Garvey has also been seen in Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia, The Virgin Islands and throughout the United States.
In 2012, Bobb-Semple appeared in Award winning playwright August Wilson’s Seven Guitars at the American State Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, and as Steve Daniels in Athol Fugard’s “A Lesson From Aloes,” at the Banyan Theater Company in Sarasota, FL. following his portrayal in 2011 of ‘Slow Drag’ in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
A few of Bobb-Semple's other stage credits include:
•Wilson's Seven Guitars, The Piano Lesson and Fences, the latter co-starring with Avery Brooks;
•South African playwright Athol Fugard's My Children, My Africa!; •Bingo!, a musical directed by the legendary Ossie Davis who said, “Ron, you are one of the most gifted performers I have worked with.”; •Pulitzer Prizewinner Derek Walcott's musical, Steel;
•Pepe Carille's, Shango de Ima, for which he received the 1994 AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee) Award for 'Best Supporting Actor,' in New York.
In 2005, Ron won the AUDELCO's 'Lead Actor' award for his portrayal of Durbin Freeman in Joyce Sylvester's 'A Freeman’s Hope' at The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, New York.
Bobb-Semple’s film credits include Tyler Perry’s soon-to-be-released, The Marriage Counselor; Nursing Tuskegee; Mental Vengeance; Playing Both Sides; Deep Trouble; Pressure; Truth; Lost Money and several national television commercials.
“In body and features, [Bobb-Semple] looks very much like [Garvey]. However, it is what he did with these attributes that persuaded the audience to suspend disbelief in a ‘performance.’” – The Jamaica Gleaner
“…You even have his smile.” – Ruth Prescott (Niece of Marcus Garvey)
“I saw my father; I heard my father; I was moved by my father.” – Marcus Garvey, Jr.
“You brought Garvey onto the stage, and then to reality.” – Kamau Braithwaite, Author/Professor
Ron Bobb-Semple can be heard hosting Caribbean Forum and Golden Sunday Sounds respectively on Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. EST on The Uhuru Radio Network (www.uhururadio.com).