Sharon Marley opens up about Rita Marley deserving to be National Hero of Jamaica alomg with Bob Marley
With all the recent talk of honoring more individuals both deceased and alive with the nation’s highest honor of national hero, singer Sharon Marley has weighed in on the whole debate and has thrown in her own set of names into the hero pot. Her choice, however, came as a surprise to many. According to the eldest child of the King of Reggae, not only should her father Bob Marley be made a national hero, but his wife Rita Marley should be made one as well.
Marley’s revelation came on Saturday’s episode of the weekly entertainment television program ‘Onstage’ where host Winford Williams asked about her views on people calling for her father to be so recognized. A cool and collected Sharon replied, “Why not? And then of course the queen has to be with him so my mother should be a hero too. You know the King and Queen of Ethiopia are crowned at the same time so you can’t have a king and not think about the queen.”
Her response intrigued Williams enough for him to ask her to further elaborate as he wanted to know if she meant for the honor to be a joint one, to which she replied, “Why not? You tell me why not? They have done so much for Jamaica. Is just that the light don’t shine on Mummy like how it shines on Bob for whatever reason. The groundwork is still there. The information is there to show how much my mom has done not only for Jamaica but the African Diaspora and this is what Bob’s dream was. I mean she also raised us from she was like 35-years-old all by herself. I think that deserves some kind of recognition.”
She explained that it was also part of Marley’s mission to carve out their own place on the African continent, and Rita took that as her mission after his passing, which she has since accomplished.
Sharon Marley, who was adopted by Bob as a child, is Rita Marley’s first child. Her appearance on ‘Onstage’ was part of the promotion of her music video “Just One More Morning,” a cover version of her mother’s original song first released in 1998. The song was re-recorded in August 2021 in tribute to her mother’s 75th birthday. The video was directed by Rita’s granddaughter Doneisha Prendergast and premiered recently on Tuff Gong Television.
Born Alfarita Anderson in Cuba, Rita was taken to Jamaica as a small child and settled in Trench Town, where she met Bob when she was a teenager. The couple tied the knot in 1966 and went on to have three children, Cedella, Ziggy, and Stephen, all of whom went on to have their own careers in the music and the fashion industry.
The whole national hero debate was sparked once again in the last few weeks after Barbados named singer and philanthropist Rihanna as a national hero in late November. While many in Jamaica have expressed the sentiment that this small nation does not need any more national heroes, Opposition Senator Floyd Morris has given notice that he will be leading a motion in 2022 to have Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Usain Bolt, and Louise Bennett-Coverly to all be made National Heroes in time for Jamaica’s 60th year of independence which will be celebrated on August 6th of next year.