space to imajin

Re: Bob Marleys long trip “home”……Well said

Posted on: February 2, 2005 Opinion: “The Associated Press report came out of the blue. Rita Marley, in Addis Ababa, said the body of her husband, reggae icon Bob Marley, would be exhumed in Jamaica and moved to Shashemene, Ethiopia. ‘Bob’s whole life is about Africa,’ she said. ‘It is not about Jamaica. . . . He has a right for his remains to be where he would love them to be.’

Within a day, she was backtracking, and the Bob Marley Foundation, which she heads, released a new statement: Jamaica would ‘remain the resting place for Bob Marley for the foreseeable future.’ That’s because the reaction of Marley fans worldwide, and especially in Jamaica, was blistering and immediate.

On Jamaican radio, one DJ said, ‘We cannot even repeat on the air what most of our listeners have been saying.’

The Jamaica Gleaner, a major daily, editorialized that relocating Marley’s body would ‘take away an irreplaceable piece of Jamaica, as well as insult the many (Jamaicans) who have contributed to his success and worldwide fame.’

Another DJ asked, ‘Was it really Bob’s wish, or Rita’s assumption?’

That question, in a few forms, lingers. Rita Marley is promoting a concert in Addis Ababa to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her husband’s birth. Was the reburial announcement pure PR, wishful thinking, or could it be what Bob Marley really wanted? More important, could it happen?

I don’t believe it’s the right thing to do, and I don’t believe it would be Marley’s choice.

When his doctor, who had been treating him for melanoma in Germany, told him he was at the end of his life, Marley headed home to Jamaica. He died en route, in a Miami hospital, on May 11, 1981. He had the option of going to Africa before he died, but he chose the country that gave birth to him, to his music and to his religion.

Marley sang eloquently and often of African repatriation. As a Rastafarian, he believed in an Afric”


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