Remembering Marley: The Chains of Mental Slavery – still ringing in Kinshasa! One Love in Ethiopia

Rastafarians  from Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean gather together  (a sort of global NYAHBINGI RASTAFARI) in Addis Ababa to celebrate the memory of Bob Marley under the spirit of “Africa Unite“.  Unfortunately Africa is even more disunited than it was when Marley first sang the words “Africa Unite” more than 25 years ago


Africa, unite
Unite for the benefit of your children
Unite for it’s later than you think
Africa awaits it’s creators, Africa awaiting it’s creators
Africa, you’re my forefather cornerstone
Unite for the Africans abroad, unite for the Africans a yard
Africa, unite
(From the 1979 album “Survival”)

In my interpretation Marley  is calling for a union of Black people from all over the world “Africans abroad, unite for the Africans a yard” – Africans in Africa unite with Africans in the diaspora.

As a celebration of Marley and Black Consciousness one has to question why only the only  Jamaican artists invited are  Luciano and Mr Lover Man, Shaggy,  hardly an expression of Africa Unite (plus her two sisters in the I-Threes Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths)  while  todays voice of Black Consciousness, Sizzla (who in spite of his rampant homophobia is today one of the great reggae artists) and Mr Roots & Culture – Burning Spear, are absent!

Also present at the Marley Fest are returning members of the Ethiopian royal family (The Emperors body was “laid to rest”  in Addis Abba in 2000)  – forgotten by some are the crimes against the commons, the tyrant, the vulgar ostentation and elitism but then I suppose if you are worshiped as a God all things will be forgiven or at least excused!  On the positive side Haile Selassie abolished slavery in Ethiopia and in 1955 introduced universal suffrage and of course was a founding member of the OAU.  For more on the “greatness” of the Emperor……Selassie Family Web

What I don’t understand is why there is this sudden desire to reinvent Marley as an “Ethiopian” and literally discard his Jamaican identity and in doing so undermine the people of Jamaica.  Marley could have gone to live in Ethiopia at any time during his life but he chose to stay in his home in Kingston which is were he should remain in death.

“Think you are in heaven, but you living in hell
Time alone, time will tell,
you think you are in heaven, but you living in hell”…………..Time Will Tell 

It’s only a celebration of music!

Other events planned for the celebrations are include art and photography exhibitions to raise funds
for Somali victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami, a youth centre and a
museum….BBC News

A celebratory  exhibition of Bob Marley photos is being held at London’s Proud Gallery in Camden Town.