Bob Marley’s eldest son says their visit to Zimbabwe is top of his special moments with late reggae icon




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ZIGGY Marley, legendary reggae icon Bob Marley’s eldest son with wife Rita has listed their visit to Zimbabwe in 1980 as the most special moment he had with his father.

Speaking on the American cable channel CNN, Ziggy who is still basking in the glory of successfully producing his father’s biopic, narrated how upon checking in at a local hotel they were visited by armed guerrilla fighters who told Bob his music inspired them to continue fighting.

Bob travelled to Zimbabwe in April 1980, financing himself, his equipment, and band, including sons Ziggy and Stephen to perform at an event that marked the end of colonialism in the former British colony.

Some 40,000 people, including British Crown Prince Charles and late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, watched Bob belt revolutionary tunes and his then-latest release Zimbabwe which was part of Survival, his 1979 album.

Another 100,000 who missed his initial appearance, were treated to his performance the next day, according to TRT World Senior Editor Brian Okoth.

Zimbabwe was released in support of the country’s 16-year-long fight for independence alongside Africa Unite, another revolutionary anthem for pro-independence struggles across the continent.

According to Dwayne Wong Omowale, a Pan-Africanist activist, historian, and author, Bob profoundly impacted Zimbabwe’s raging war of liberation, with songs such as Get Up Stand Up, becoming anthems in the jungle.

On CNN Ziggy was speaking of his father’s music, life, and lessons while promoting the Bob Marley: One Love biopic which focuses on how the Could You Be Love hit-maker overcame adversities to become the most famous reggae artist in the world.

“All of my memories are special moments (but) one of the most memorable things we did is we took trips with him. We went to Zimbabwe, him and my brother Stephen to celebrate their independence from British rule,” said Ziggy.

“It was our first time in Africa. When we were in the hotel the guys that were fighting for freedom came to visit him and they brought him guns and grenades and were telling him how his music motivated them to fight the colonial power.

“As a kid that made an impression on me as to how music could be so powerful.”

Bob died on May 11, 1981, succumbing to cancer just over a year after his iconic performance. He passed on a legend, a pan-African, and one of the world’s most popular musicians.

His global influence, arguably unmatched, capital Harare’s city council has in the past considered building a statue of him and placing it at Rufaro Stadium, one of only three venues he sang at in Africa.

Bob’s biopic was released on Valentine’s Day this year and has already surpassed US$14 million, a figure higher than what British Pop Legend Elton John’s Rocketman registered. – NewZim