Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Africa , Africa - Creative Arts

Bob Marley to be reburied in Ethiopia


Bob Marley’s wife, Rita Marley, has said she plans to exhume his body and rebury him in  his "spiritual resting place – Ethiopia". 

Rita Marley said her husband would be reburied in
Shashemene, 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Addis Ababa where
several hundred Rastafarians have lived since they were given land by
Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie. 

Rita Marley together with the African Union have organised a series of celebrations in Ethiopia in honour of Bob Marley including a concert on his birthday.  Baaba Maal, Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo are amongst the artists invited to play at the concernt which hopes to raise $1million for poor families in Ethiopia   

Why travel all the way to Ethiopia to find poor families?  Are there not any left in Jamaica these days?   What happened to the women and children of Kingston and rural Jamaica who live in desperate poverty and are surrounded by daily violence?   If you want to raise money to help the poor why not start with Bob’s birth place?  Rita has become totally disconnected with reality – alternatively she has finally thought of a way to turn herself into a "celeb" using Bob’s name and legacy.   

Marley died in Miami and he must have told his family where he wanted to be buried.  His body was returned to Jamaica and he was given a (state)  "people’s" funeral with his body being carried through the streets of Jamaica to it’s final resting place in 9 miles.   Now 24 years later Rita Marley wants to dig up his body and take it to Ethiopia – to Africa.  Surely if  Bob Marley wanted to be buried in Ethiopia he would have said as much before he died.

Rita says Ethiopia is Bob’s spiritual home

"How can you give up a continent for an island? He has a
right for his remains to be where he would love them to be. This was
his mission.

So what do Jamaicans think of the idea of moving his body?

Marley historian,   Roger Steffens  called the news about the buriel ""an appalling development for Jamaica". 

"Bob never expressed any interest to be buried in Ethiopia," Steffens
said by phone from his home in Los Angeles. "They don’t believe that
Selassie is god in Ethiopia, and that was the prime motivation behind
Marley’s music. The country that created the faith of Rastafari is
Jamaica, not Ethiopia."

Some other reactions from Jamaica:

“a big diss to Jamaica”

“I smell a
financial rat on Rita’s (part),” said Al. “This is nuff disrespect fuh
Jamaica… it takes away from the JA economy.”

Charmaine noted, “She
wants to capitalize on his name … she mad no r..s!”

“Rita sees mo’ money… she has always been about

”From what I remember, when Bob passed he
still had his faculties. He died in Miami and was taken back to Jamaica. If he
wanted to go to Ethiopia, why wasn’t he laid to rest there?, stated Shirley
Evans. “And why after twenty much years would she choose now? What
happen…someone made an offer for the ashes?.”

In a World Service report this evening BBC reporter Conrad Hamilton said that the people of Jamaica were angry at the news and it could be possible that both the governement and the people would refuse for his body to be removed.


  1. Rita Marley who is presently in Ethiopia has now denied the reports that she plans to rebury Bob in Ethiopia. Apparently her words have been “twisted”

    “She does express honestly and candidly the fact that Bob, as a Rastaman, loved Ethiopia and she would love to see the day where he is laid to rest in his fathers’ land, and she has never been secretive about that ….
    “But we have never ever put out anything saying Bob is going to be exhumed, and returned home, and it is very painful to see something so wonderful is being twisted.”

    A further statement from the Bob Marley Foundation said any decision to move the body would be up to the family. However no decision had yet been made.

    If the story was “twisted” then apologies to Rita. However I doubt after all the fury over the idea of his body being moved, that Rita or any member of the Marley family would wish to bring this subject up again. I doubt the people of Jamaica would stand for it.

  2. i think bob was a legend!wherever he is buried,no one can give him life again.however,i think his body should be reburid in ethhiopia.eventhough he was born in jamica,he also loved ethiopia and as long as i know,he wanted to be buried there and he said so. so jamicans should not be angree with this idea.whatever the historian said his families are closest to him than anybody else so let them to make there own is disgraceful that someone like steffens make a negative comment about sellase whom he doesn’t know.first he should learn how to respect others.let bobs soul rest in peace!!!

  3. Of course Bob IS a legend and no one can give him life outside of his music. None of us really know what Bob wanted but if he wanted to be buried in Ethiopia then why was he taken back to Jamaica when he died?

    Yes his family have rights over what happens to him but as he was and is a “man of the people” a legend and a very special person to the people of Jamaica I think he should stay there and I think the people of Jamaica should have a say in what happens to him – it is an insult to them to remove his body.

    As for comments about Haile Selassie – well who would you accept to make a negative commen? Some people worship the man almost as a God – which is their perrogative but personally I cannot think of anything positive the man ever did for the people of Ethiopia. He was a public person therefore anyone who chooses can criticise him.

  4. oumer shafi

    for people living in etiopia it might be interesting to talk about haileselssie except ethiopian muslims ,for this to say i have my own reason ,selassie have done many things (he has insulted them ,killed them)so dont call the name of good guy(bob)with this
    concerning reburing bob in ethiopiait is really very late .rita has to be belamed for this to be very very late and now it is hiugh time .he (bob) is our property.i am from adddis ababa university.

  5. Yamak

    No bodu doubts Bob’s extraordinary talent as a singer, sone writer, and above all he put Regea Music on the list of world’s top music.

    But I don’t understand why Bob and others beleive that Ras Teferi (Haileselassie I)is a messanger from God or Ja (as the Ratas call him). For the vast majority of Ethiopians Hailesselasie was just a man – no one consider him a messanger from God. Some of his feudalistic attitudes, on the contrary put him as a cruel leader and a real oppressor.

    We, Ethiopians, reject any claim regarding the holiness of Ras Tefari.

    If Bob reburried in Ethiopia, it has several advantages especialy with the tourism sector.


  6. Lucky

    i think fullfilling the legends wishes are more important than the countries economy. it is obvious he wanted to be buried in ethiopia and he shall be. the reason he was not taken to africa was the government that was governing ethiopia after tha majesty was thrown at the time of his death. dictator mengestu haile mariam prevented him from going because of his opposition to the majesty. jemaica may be bob’s birth place but it can never be bob’s spiritual place and the place he called “our fathers land”. love you bob. your name will always lives one. your name will never be forgotten in the minds of every black people particularly in africa. your songs will keep on changing lives throught out the world. rest in peace brother.

  7. ginnie hughes

    I am saddened to think of bob marley,s body being moved after all these years,even though he sang of going to the father land ,he should remain in jamaica with his brother is,also his roots .Think also of the millions of people who loved him and his music wanting to pay their respects,myself and children for one,wanting to go to jamaica this year to pay their respects to this great man,his music will go on and on and on.please please please let him continue to rest in peace in jamaica,he was worshiped and loved by the jamaican people who have looked after him very well to date so why move him where it is not certain how respected he will be.we love you bob.

  8. kakileili koma

    Bob was the best thing to ever happen to music be it reggae rock or jazz. no one can ever come close to as great as he was. he made people see happiness and love in his words and he revolutionized music into something beautiful.
    WE LOVE YOU BOB and rita is a stupid bitch for moving you. throughout his life he lived in jamaica sang about jamaica and was jamaica she has no right to move him from his rightful spot

  9. RobbyC

    We are to be very careful when we speak or criticized others. Not because things might happened or suggest to hurt our feeling, but Black people must get back into themselves and remember how we were taken to the new world. Our true home is Africa which most blacks now tend to forsake because more civilized and faster going countries are around in which we can build houses or get rich faster, but they don’t remember that riches is just for a little time, they are spoiled and become a disgrace and a curse to there black nation. A firm black man who new his history will always speak different from those blacks who are not firm and only live to see vanity and vexation of spirit, and those on firmed black is causing a grouse problem when decision should be made to show our love for Mother Africa. nothing really wrong in Taking Bob to Mother Africa our mother land that would help to show that what we speak during the years of Africa we means it, because we only speak of love for Mother Africa and mean not that’s why we are so dangerous and aggressive to our one another because of such aggression we don’t have the patient to understand why some times serious and strange decisions are made. And because we are so aggressive we speak any abusive and aggressive words about our one another, when things could have turn out better with more decent words. We must not forget that Africa is where we came from.
    If Bob remains were to go at some luxurious white are well rich recognized countries I bet the situation are remarks would be nicer and pleasant, but because the suggestion was for Mother Africa which is considered by many as dull poor and dark Things is so abusing to any who benter.

  10. Disagreeing with moving Marley to Africa is not about forgetting or forsaking “Mother Africa”. The reality is there are millions of Africans in the Diaspora. Millions in Jamaica alone who have over centuries developed their own culture and have their own history which yes is intertwined with that of Africa but it is still Jamaica.

    “If Bob remains were to go at some luxurious white are well rich recognized countries I bet the situation are remarks would be nicer and pleasant, but because the suggestion was for Mother Africa which is considered by many as dull poor and dark Things is so abusing to any who benter”

    I do not agree with this at all. First there would be no chance that his remains would go to a “white” country” and secondly Black people all over the world would be outraged. As for those Black people who think Africa is “dull, poor and dark” clearly they need educating but that is a different matter to moving Bobs remains from Jamaica to Africa

  11. fadia halim


    Would it be possible for me to copy some of the pictures on your website, as i am doing a website project on Bob Marley at college and would love to place some of your images on my site.

    The reason i am asking is because i have to upload the site to the Internet and i know that they will be copyrighted by your selfs.

    My thanks

  12. carl doyle

    I think if bob’s music is regga and if he has so meny people in jamacia that love him and think hes a legend then i think that his true burial place is jamacia

  13. carl doyle

    hi all av looked all over the internet for a site to see if theres any chace of visiting bob marleys grave so if someone could email me on some info please

    thank you