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
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.