Where Is Bob Marley's Grave ?
of reading - words
Big fan of this Reggae Roots legend, would you like to know where he is buried? You've heard rumors about his burial but you don't know all the details? Would you like to know if his body was really moved? Would you like to find out where Bob Marley's grave is?
Many fans of the king of reggae admire him, listen to his hit songs and find inspiration in his journey as a musician and world star. But few really know how his life ended and where he lies now. We have summarized all these events for you to make you know everything about it.
Robert "Bob" Nesta Marley was buried in 1981 in the cemetery of the parish of Saint Ann in Nine Miles, Jamaica. It is still possible to visit his mausoleum in his hometown despite the controversy created by the fact that Rita Marley, the last wife of the singer, expressed in 2005 want to exhume him to bury him in Africa, in Shashamané, the promised land of Rasta in Ethiopia.
Through this article, you will dive back into :
- The journey of "Tuff Gong
- The burial of an international star
- The idea of changing Bob Marley's final resting place
- The controversies that arose
Young rasta get ready to go back in time, here we go!
1- The legend of reggae music
Bob Marley, whose real name is Robert Nesta Marley, is a singer-songwriter and musician. He has influenced a whole generation with his songs and his reggae style music. The Jamaican artist was born on February 6, 1945 in Nine Miles and has contributed enormously to the music especially between 1962 and 1981. No less than 200 million albums of the king of reggae are sold worldwide. Thanks to Bob, the globe discovered the originality of Jamaican music. After a brief but rich career in music, he died on May 11, 1981 in Miami at the age of 36 years following a generalized cancer. Let us quickly return on his extraordinary rise.
a) The beginnings of a star
Nesta Marley was born into a mixed marriage and his young life was very difficult, marked by the absence of his father and poverty. After spending his childhood in his native village, Bob Marley decided to explore other horizons. That's why, as a teenager, he headed for the Jamaican capital Kingston to settle down.
With other young people like him he will record ska covers, which will not meet the expected success. But everything will change with the foundation of the group The Wailers in 1963. With this group, B. Marley will record several hits like Simmer Down, which will be the number 1 in the country. However after a few years the group will be dissolved (1973). But Marley will keep the name the Wailers to designate the musicians who accompany him. The lord of roots reggae will marry Rita, who was a chorus girl in the group. He will make several trips to the United States before returning to Jamaica to join the Rastafari movement. Over the years, he has become one of the most influential Rasta symbols in the world.
b) International recognition of reggae
During this period, he will launch his own label, under which he will release several hits such as Bend Dow Low. He will also collaborate with Johnny Nash and will even perform in Sweden and England. In the early 70s, he signed with Island Records, with whom he will make successful albums, including Catch a Fire and Burnin, released in 1973 and which will make him famous in Europe. His song No Woman No Cry, released in 1974, made him known all over the world. But Bob Marley's international career was only really launched with the hit Rastaman vibration, released in 1976. Many young people at the time wore Rasta braids (or dreadlocks) like their idol Bob Marley.
After several months of terrible suffering and extreme loneliness, our international hero unfortunately lost his fight against the disease, a widespread concert, on May 11, 1981 in Miami.
2- The death of Bob Marley, the choice between Jamaica and Ethiopia
Even if it seems logical that the remains of the Reggae legend should return to his native land, not everyone shares this opinion. His wife in particular, expressed the desire to have his coffin moved to Africa. Why such an initiative and why the choice of Ethiopia as the host country?
a) Bob Marley's funeral at Nine Miles
After his death, the artist of reggae music was buried on May 21 in his native village of Nine Miles and more precisely in the cemetery of the parish of Saint Ann. Afterwards, his wife Rita announced that he would be exhumed from his grave and that his remains would be moved to Africa. Indeed Rita chose to organize a new funeral for her late husband in preparation for his burial in Ethiopia. Destination the village of Shashamené, which is located 251 km south of the capital Addis Ababa. The news was unexpected and was announced before the sixtieth anniversary of Duppy conqueror.
b) Why Shashamene?
Shashamene is a small town in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. It is located in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. This town is considered as the crossroads of Rastafarians. Indeed, Rastafarians from all over the world have settled here. There are African-Americans and Caribbeans of Pan-Africanism and obviously Jamaicans. For these people called "rastaman", the installation in Shashamené corresponds to a repatriation or a return to the house after an involuntary absence. It is also a way to reconnect with King Haile Selassie I of the tribe of Judah and the chosen one of God.
c) Moving Bob Marley's grave to Ethiopia
The announcement made by Rita Marley is shocking and it triggered a great controversy. Indeed, nobody understood the reason behind this decision, nor the consequences that may result from such an initiative.
But for Rita Marley the decision is made. She is in charge of the foundation dedicated to her husband as well as all family interests and copyrights. While some did not appreciate this initiative, others applauded it as a way to connect with the roots (or origins).
These include the Rastafarians, who consider Ethiopia their Zion or promised land. This attachment is due to Ras Tafari Makonnen or Haile Selassie I, Jah, the Almighty God of the Rastafarians. He is the emperor of Ethiopia who aspired to a prosperous and free Africa. He became a symbol for the Rastafarians, who saw in Ethiopia the incarnation of peace and freedom. As opposed to Babylon, which symbolizes modernity, perversion and corruption.
Moreover, a good part of the Jamaican population is composed of descendants of slaves from Africa. Bob Marley was also a Rastafarian advocating freedom, tolerance and union with nature. He was adept at values such as sharing, collective spirit and solidarity.
3- A move that is not unanimous either in Jamaica or for the Rastas
Moving Bob Marley's remains from his native village, where a proper funeral was held, to a distant destination is a source of divergence. If the Rastafarians consider this initiative as a way to reconnect with their origins, some fans of the master of reggae express doubts about the real motivations ...
Rita Marley justifies her choice by Bob's dedication to Africa, much more than to Jamaica where he lived a difficult life. She declares that she cannot imagine abandoning a whole continent for an island. In a way, it is a matter of making the dream of the deceased come true, by burying him where he really wanted to be.
Doubt persists in this regard, especially since Robert "Bob" Marley never expressed such a desire during his lifetime. Moreover, it is thanks to this star that Jamaica has gained notoriety throughout the world.
Until now, the body of Robert Nesta Marley still rests in peace on his native land, and it seems that this never changes ...
4- Keep the spirit of Bob Marley alive
Now you know the real story behind the theories and controversies surrounding the funeral of our international reggae legend. Marketing stunt? A real desire to reconnect with Africa? We will probably never know what motivated his widow to propose this, but what seems certain is that Bob would have wanted above all a place of peace and freedom for all.
After reviewing Bob's enormous yet short career, you discovered that his burial was still not a done deal for everyone and you are now aware that there are still two camps fighting over the final resting place of one of the Rasta prophets. But the most important thing is that you now know where Bob Marley's grave is.
If you have read this article to the end, it means that you are a true admirer of this legendary artist and that he has probably given you a lot of good vibes throughout your life. The good news is that he will continue to do so, again and again.