February 8, 2023
The crowd making the annual pilgrimage to Bob Marley Museum in St Andrew on Monday morning was considerably smaller compared to previous years. Those who did were steadfast in their intention — celebrating the ‘earthstrong’ of the reggae legend.
Marley — who died on May 11 1981 at age 36 — would have celebrated his 78th birthday on Monday.
The morning’s programme was replete with students from Corporate Area schools honouring Marley in song, words, and music.
Trench Town Primary School did a medley of his songs, including the apt Trenchtown Rock. Ten-year-old Natavia Davis was among the performers.
“Bob Marley is a like a famous singer from where I live in my community. He inspires me to love music and listen to music, and do my best,” she told the Jamaica Observer after leaving the stage.
Her schoolmate Leahh Barrett, 11, said Marley made Trench Town a respected place.
The community of Trench Town is part of Jamaica’s pop culture and was home to several ska, rocksteady, and reggae musicians, including The Wailers of which Marley was a member, Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, The Abyssinians, and The Heptones.
Marley, as a youth, lived on First Street. In addition to Trenchtown Rock, he paid tribute to his community in Trenchtown, Natty Dread, and No Woman, No Cry.
Austrian Andreas Benkoe and his Kenyan wife, Anna, were among those soaking up the vibes at the museum. They are also celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary this month.
“It is the first time in the Caribbean and it is the first time in Jamaica. We came in yesterday (Sunday), straight from Montego Bay. We made the trip to be here and we will visit Emancipation Park in the evening for the concert. I enjoy reggae… I wake up, it’s reggae; I go to sleep, it’s reggae. It’s perfect,” he said.
Other schools on the programme included Boys’ Town All-Age, Papine High, Holy Trinity Basic, St Isaacs Basic, Allman Town Primary, St Andrew Prep, and Kingston Technical High.
The Nyabinghi Drummers brought the curtains down on the occasion.
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