January 18, 2023
ASHE’S performance of Bob Marley and Wailers’ Who Feels It Knows It perfectly summed up the mood of those in attendance at the private funeral of reggae singer Joseph “Jo Mersa” Marley. It was held on Tuesday morning at Bob Marley Museum on Hope Road in St Andrew.
The ensemble also did Haile Selassie and Guess Who’s Coming Home in their medley.
From as early as 6:00 am, members of the Marley family — clad in white — and close friends began arriving at the former home of Jo Mersa’s grandfather Bob Marley, for an Ethiopian Orthodox farewell to Jo Mersa, who died suddenly in Florida on December 27.
Mourners included several members of the entertainment fraternity led by Jo Mersa’s father Stephen Marley. In attendance were Marcia Griffiths, Sean Paul, Tarrus Riley, Nadine Sutherland, Jesse Royal, Wayne Marshall, Bounty Killer, Spragga Benz, and Alton Ellis Jr.
Minister of Entertainment and Culture Olivia “Babsy” Grange, and Consul General of Jamaica, Southern USA Oliver Mair were also in attendance.
After the service, which was replete with drumming and Ethiopian Orthodox chants, the funeral procession left the Marley Museum and made a stop at Culture Yard in Trench Town.
Culture Yard is a former tenement which was once home to Bob Marley.
The procession then left for Bob Marley’s birthplace in Nine Mile, St Ann. Like Marley, Jo Mersa was interred there.
On January 10 a private, all-white vigil was held for Jo Mersa at Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens in Coral Gables, South Florida. That occasion saw several Marley family members and close friends in attendance.
American singer Lauryn Hill, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley, Etana, and members of the Inner Circle band were spotted at the afternoon function.
Reports are that officers from the Pinecrest Police Department in Florida found Jo Mersa unconscious inside his vehicle in a shopping centre’s parking lot. Paramedics at the scene later pronounced him dead. No foul play is suspected.
Jo Mersa made his debut in 2010 with My Girl, which features his cousin Daniel Bambaata Marley. He was featured on his father’s album Revelation Part 2: The Fruit of Life in 2016.
Jo Mersa leaves behind his wife Qiara, six-year-old daughter Sunshine and 12 siblings.
Bob Marley died on May 11, 1981 of cancer. He was 36.
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