“Revelation, reveals the truth” – Bob Marley
“Bob Marley isn’t my name. I don’t even know my name yet,” a famous quote by this legendary reggae singer. He started the Rastafarian culture, which spread throughout the world due to the interest he generated in reggae music. Now considered a rasta legend, Marley’s adoption of the characteristic Rastafarian dreadlocks and famous use of marijuana as a sacred sacrament in the late sixties were an integral part of this legend’s persona.
Brought up in Trench Town, a small town in Jamaica, Marley has left an indelible mark on the minds of several people. I came across an article recently, which is the prime reason for writing this post, that his hometown is actually a hotbed of corruption and rampant violence. In fact, its difficult to reach the place without getting approached by people asking for money or getting bullied by them. That certainly, sounds unsafe. When at one point in time it evoked a sense of pride and elation, at present, it elicits a sense of fear and insecurity, keeping tourists away from the legend’s hometown.
However, his house still stands tall, though, its in a dilapidated state and tourists aren’t allowed inside, but can only take a tour of the backyard, where he has composed some famous songs. There’s a Marley’s statue, a medium-sized construction erected form plaster of Paris, with a guitar in his hand and a football at his feet. Marley was also considered as a talented footballer, who could play anywhere. At the base of the structure are drawings of Haile Selassie I, the Ethopian emperor who was a strong advocate of Rastafarianism, and Marcus Garvey, also often regarded as a prophet, whose political and cultural vision helped inspire a new world view. Marley was also an icon of inspiration, urging men and women to dare to dream.
Though the walls bear caricatures of Marley and resonate sounds of his lyrics, as he put it, “My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.” It’s a pity that once a pride of the country, Trenchtown is in total shambles and locals live in a state of poverty and hardship.
But hopefully, Rastafari can live on forever, because “Rastafari not a culture, it’s a reality.”
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