The remains of highly respected reggae artist Bob Marley are going to be exhumed from Jamaica to Ethiopia where he will be able to finally rest in peace.
The remains will be moved sometime in February because Rita Marley, widow of Bob Marley, and other family members have planned a kind of welcome home celebration in Ethiopia. The event will be broadcast both in Jamaica and Africa.
According to the Washington Post, Rita Marley told the Associated Press she wanted here husband’s remains in Ethiopia because that is his “spiritual resting place.”
Bob and Rita Marley are of the Rastafarian faith, which some sources estimate make up 700,000 of world’s population. Rastafarians believe in a strict oneness with nature, eating only certain foods, growing their hair into dreadlocks, and ingesting ganja (marijuana) as a sacrament.
They also believe that Haile Selassie, the black Emperor of Ethiopia, was the living God for the black race. In 1948, Selassie left over 600 acres of land in Shashemani, Ethiopia blacks in the African Diaspora who desired to repatriate. The Rastafarian religion states that Ethiopia is the Heaven on Earth and the supreme place to be.
Although the word of Marley’s removal has been released to the public, not many Howard University students are knowledgeable on the subject. “I just knew Bob Marley was a singer and his music was good,” said senior psychology major Danielle Palmer.
When Kofi Owusu, a senior acting major whose family hails from Ghana was informed of the news he said, “I heard about it, but I was not familiar with the entire story. I heard that it was true then it was not true. I do not know how to feel about it.”
The indifference of students may be due in part to their age. During the Bob Marley era student’s parents were young and spry. Vincent Stevenson, a 45-year-old Jamaican who resides in New York said, “Marley is ours. He from there he stay there. He is a Jamaican legend not Ethiopian. I fully understand Rastafari, but what is the point of moving him now because if him not resting in Jamaica by now him not going to rest.”
Marley’s remains have rested in Jamaica since his he passed away of cancer in 1981. Marley’s 60th birthday anniversary celebration is set for February in Ethiopia and according to The Washington Post, Rita Marley, the African Union and the U.N. children’s agency are the celebration organizers. The celebration will include a concert and singers reproducing the artist and revolutionary’s songs on his birthday, Feb. 6.
Despite where his remains finally rest, Bob Marley will always be a reggae legend and an inspiration to people across the world. He was a symbol of peace and the epitome of strength, love and oneness with life. He taught the world through his music and for that he will always be remembered.
Ashley Broughton, a senior exercise physiology major said from Yonkers, New York, “If his religion calls for him to go back to Africa so be it. His music will never change and his family will be pleased.”