Bob Marley 73rd birthday celebration was in full swing at the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road in Kingston yesterday but cops ended the bash prematurely.
On February 6, a host of reggae artists and fans turned up to the reggae legend’s former home which is now a museum on Hope Road. Among the celebrity guests were Bob’s son Stephen Marley and grandson Skip Marley. The celebration is the first of many events planned for Reggae Month. The Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, announced a month-long affair for the reggae community.
Moments before 12 o’clock on Tuesday night, law enforcement officials pulled the plug on the celebration. Bob Marley’s granddaughter, Donisha Prendergast, took to Instagram fuming about the situation saying four decades later her grandfather can’t sing his freedom songs. “We Give Thanks for the gathering of souls from all around the world on Grandpa’s Earthday,” she wrote. “So much light and positive vibrations. But tonight also showed me that the government of Jamaica has so much more to learn about how to truly respect and honour Reggae music and the legacy it has created that Jamaica has inherited. If there is one day in the year when Reggae music should be shared without reservation and without a time limit is Feb 6.”
“Tonight @andrewholnessjm @hon.oliviagrange, we witnessed the police turn off the music so it wouldn’t disturb the neighbours,” Prendergast continues. “Decades later and we still can’t sing our redemption song freely. The hearts of many were broken tonight because of an oversight of our culture and a lack of protection of our sacred space. Brand Jamaica will continue to fly our colours, use our language, brand our image and identity, play the songs from my Grandfather’s rebellious catalogue in all inclusive hotels on the coast with beaches that exclude people who can’t afford the US rates for a night of luxury. A media house asked me what I thought about all the violence happening in Jamaica and if I thought Bob Marley should be a National Hero… Lol. I think it’s evident what these post colonial governance systems think of Reggae and Bob Marley. Reggae frees the people with music, but the music can’t be free. #somuchtrouble Find a way to make it work. The world is watching.”
Donisha Prendergast is the daughter of Sharon Marley.