It is important for us to come to this realization: At a specific point in the lives of a people afflicted with the darkness of enslavement, be it mental or physical, help was always provided from Above.
Reggae prophet is Africa's greatest freedom fighter
"Don't let them fool you, or even try to school you. We've got a mind of our own..."
However, the provision of liberation is always left for the concerned people to recognize and embrace. And if they fail to do so, the heavens will not force them to do otherwise.
So it happened that to the Jews, Moses was sent. To the Indians, it was Gandhi.
Muhammad was there to birth fulfilment to the longing of the Arabians for a higher knowledge. And when the chains in the mind of the despondent peoples of Africa sounded too loud, help was also sent.
But this time, the message of freedom would not be sermonized like before...instead it would be proclaimed with rhythm and rhymes.
Bob Marley was not a singer; he was a messenger. And the content of his songs explains this with clarity.
Pan-African consciousness, progressive political ideologies, and deep spiritual conviction are the three pillars on which his pulpit was raised.
Unarguably, the beautiful race of Africa has not made many gains in terms of mental advancement. Our political system is a disappointing structure raised on the foundation of brainlessness and colonial imposition.
The spirituality of African history was erased from our memory and with time our consciousness became empty.
Religion was deceitfully introduced; and as we practice, we gradually let go of our cultural values and sacred mysticism.
Thus Bob Marley cried in his 'Rat race:"Don't forget your history. Nor your destiny. In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty."
It is true that education is paramount in the evolution of a people; however, lest we deceive ourselves, it is essential to state here that what we've been so far taught to learn as education is nothing close to it at all.
According to S.S. Mackenzi, education is explained as a process that goes throughout life and is promoted by almost every experience.
And as John. A Comenius puts it, "education is the development of the whole man."
Upon these ethical revelations, it becomes rational to understand that a people who cannot employ their inner potentials for the productive advancement of their society is not in anyway close to being educated.
Unfortunately, this is the present state in which the dispirited children of Africa now exist: The chosen continent has been deluded, dissuaded and misled.
It is for this reason that Bob Marley counseled in his could you be loved: "Don't let them fool you or even try to school you"
Explicitly, the messenger of freedom gospelled his message with countless numbers of songs. And how he managed to do so considering his short stay on earth still remains a marvel.
Bob Marley's songs were so that not one of his works is wanting in decency; even the love songs he composed for the lovers were romantically truthful.
This is why till this day, the profound depth of Bob Marley still accords wisdom and knowledge to those who are willing to take heed.
And for those entrapped in the misery of pain, the sweetness of his rhythm will make them forget their sorrows and dance if they would listen with receptivity.
It is important to state here that Bob Marley’s fearlessness was ever made bold as he ceaselessly waged warfare against this Babylon system of mind control.
He courageously assured the orchestrators in his song, "Guiltiness" that: "They eat the bread of sorrow. And drink the wine of sad tomorrow"
The dauntless legend, who is also known as "Tuff Gong," would pass for an activist; a freedom fighter, a reformer, a poet and above all, a prophet.
Born February 6, 1945, Bob Marley spent his childhood days in the rural community of Nine Miles. At the age of four, Bob Marley could predict a person’s by reading the palm of their hand. The proverbs, fables and various chores that are associated with rural life were infused into Bob’s childhood.
Owing to this, a deeper cultural context and an aura of mysticism found room to flourish in his adult songwriting.
This is why it is believed that the greatness of Bob Marley cannot be expressed with the shallowness of words. It’s depth will not permit it.
On 17 April 1980, when the former British colony of Rhodesia was liberated and officially renamed Zimbabwe. Stories have it that the first words officially spoken in the new nation were "ladies and gentlemen, Bob Marley and the Wailers".
Obviously, It is no coincidence that Bob Marley tributed their struggle with a classy piece, titled: 'Zimbabwe.'
And to headline Zimbabwe's official liberation celebrations, Bob Marley and the Wailers were invited.
Zimbabwean police were forced to used tear gas to control the crowds that stampeded through the gates of Harare Rufaro Stadium just to steal a glimpse of Marley onstage.
As several members of Marley’s entourage fled for cover, 'Tuff Gong' remained on stage to perform 'Zimbabwe.'
With a greater urgency, Bob Marley’s words resounded amidst the ensuing chaos: "to divide and rule could only tear us apart, in every man's chest, there beats a heart/so soon we’ll find out who is the real revolutionaries and I don’t want my people to be tricked by mercenaries."
"There was smoke everywhere, our eyes were filled with tears so we ran off," Marcia Griffiths recalls. She was one of Bob Marley’s backup singers who sang alongside Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt, as the I-Threes. With calmness, she went on to say that: "when Bob saw us the next day, he smiled and said now we know who are the real revolutionaries."
Sadly, on 11 may 1981, Bob Marley passed away in Miami at the age of thirty-six. His body was flown back to Jamaica for burial.
Unlike anything witnessed in the country, forty thousand people filed past his coffin as his body lay in state in Jamaica’s National Arena.
Known to be the only third-world performer to be elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Bob Marley's "One Love" would be voted BBC song the millennium in 1999.
In the same year, his 1977 "Exodus" would be voted by Time as the Best Album of the Twentieth Century; stating that "every song is a classic, from the messages of love to the anthems of revolution. But more than that, the album is a political and cultural nexus, drawing inspiration from the Third World and then giving voice to the world over."
Voted the third-greatest songwriter of all time in a 2001 BBC poll (behind Bob Dylan and John Lennon), Bob Marley is estimated to have sold 200 million records worldwide.
Undoubtedly, Bob Marley was a prophet of God... this is a truth known to those who listens to the lyrics of his songs. But to the many who dances to the sweetness of his vibe, he is the greatest reggae musician of all time.
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