February 6, 2018
Happy Birthday to the King of Reggae- Robert Nesta Marley6 min read
It’s been many years since Bob Marley died, but his legacy still lives on. His uplifting reggae music has been used to help thousands of famine victims in Africa. His face is worn on t-shirts, hats and watches as a popular symbol of peace. Even ocean critters and spiders have been named after him.
The Jamaican singer-songwriter was just 36 when he died of a rare form of cancer in 1981. In his lifetime he never even got a Grammy nomination. It wasn’t until 2001 that he was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his artistic contributions to the music industry. Marley, who would have turned 73 today, sang about everything from love to freedom to self-reflection.
A few of his most popular lyrics include ‘Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, no one but ourselves can free our minds’, ‘Don’t gain the world and lose your soul. Wisdom is better than silver and gold’, ‘The road to life is rocky, and you may stumble too. So while you point your fingers, someone else is judging you’, ‘You can fool some people sometimes. But you can’t fool all the people all of the time’, ‘Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right’. Indeed and there has been a full day of activities is planned at 56 Hope Road, in recognition of the reggae icon’s birthday. In keeping with this year’s ‘Soul Rebel’ theme of the Bob Marley birthday celebrations, the symposiums scheduled for today at the Bob Marley Museum will centre around those two words.
There are three sessions planned, the first of which started at 11 a.m. The first discussion will see an all-female panel, including fitness expert Kamila McDonald and Tracy-Ann Hall, a trained automobile technician and teacher. They will be discussing issues affecting women and how they overcame obstacles on the road to success under the theme ‘Soul Rebel is a woman’.
Immediately following that is the ‘Soul Rebel and the Culcha Clash’ discussion, featuring the likes of South African singer Jessica Mbangeni, and music industry insider Junior Lincoln.
The session will seek to discuss issues surrounding the globalisation of reggae and its impact on other cultures.
The third and final session which started at 2 p.m. and will discuss the topic ‘Soul Rebel … the enlightened man’. The panellists will include Dr K’adamawe Knife, senior lecturer in the faculty of social science at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, and communications consultant, Krystal Tomlinson. Throughout the day, the museum will provide a kiddie’s village, complete with wall painting and a mobile zoo (with animals provided by the Hope Zoo).
From 3-10 p.m., the concert segment of the day will take place. Along with performances by this year’s ambassadors Adazeh and Blvk H3ro, the concert will also feature Agent Sasco, Bugle, Fantan Mojah, Junior Reid, and others. Skip and Stephen Marley will also join in on the festivities via live stream.
Other than the Kingston events, there will be activities to celebrate Marley’s birthday in Nine Mile, St Ann where the singer was born. There is also a concert planned for New York City featuring Dre Island.