Small heartfelt tribute to Bob Marley

by Ashok Silwal

40 years ago, on 11th May 1981, died the legendary reggae singer BOB MARLEY, at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami, aged 36.

Robert Nesta Marley was born in the impoverished city of Trenchtown, Jamaica, to a middle-aged white father and a teenage black mother.

In 1955, Bob was 10 years old, his father died of heart attack at the age of 70. Difficulties were not lacking…

But he began playing music professionally at sixteen, discovered by record producer Coxsone Dodd.

The single ‘Simmer Down’ with his group the Wailers, became Jamaican No1 in February 1964.

He married Rita Anderson in 1966 (but he has a record later …!! 3 babies from 3 different women in the same year!!!!)

He became interested in Rastafari beliefs and converted formally, beginning to grow dreadlocks.

In 1977, he was found to have a type of malignant melanoma under the nail of a toe .. but he turned down his doctors’advice to have his toe amputated.

Quickly his cancer spread to his brain and lungs.

His final words to his son were ‘Money can’t buy life.’

Though dreadlocks and reggae music are the familiar symbols of the Rastafari religion, mostly they stay healthy and spiritually connected to the earth and eat a natural diet.

They believe God ( Jah) instructed them to never cut their hair. ( when Bob died … a lot of lices were found in his dreadlocks !!)

The Rastafari religion and political movement was born in Jamaica in the 1930s.

Maybe the most famous song is : ‘One Love/ People Get Ready’

And also : ‘Get up, Stand up’ and ‘Three little birds’

He is known as a hero for his courage helping to fight for justice and peace in ‘third world’ countries.

He gave hope to millions not only in his home country but all over the world


Bob Marley wrote and sang about poverty, oppression, violence and injustice .
But he was not angry.

His music showcased themes of social justice, human rights, peace , love .. on a rhythm that enters your belly.

He is quoted was saying: ‘One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.’

He used his Reggae music to spread the message of Rastafari.

The point of music is that it brings people together and, for him, music was the key instrument to make the masses aware of injustices of the world.

His music is infused with sense of spirituality too.

A true legend……. His soulful lyrics are so affective that even today his songs remain a favorite for generation alike.

‘We missed you dearly Bob !’, a fan wrote 40 years ago on the day of his death……

Take a moment today, dear Namcha reader, and listen to some songs ! It is good and meaningful!


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