Tue | Dec 1, 2020

The Gong, G.O.A.T, for national hero... Stephen Marley says not for him to say

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 2:09 PMStephanie Lyew
The Gong, Bob Marley
Usain Bolt, referred to as G.O.A.T (The Greatest Of All Time)



The family of the King of Reggae, has shaped many talented musicians and business-minded savants. And the spirit and creativeness of Robert Nesta Marley, continues to live on through his family.

This legacy along with his contribution to placing Jamaica on the global map, is constantly examined by the world, so much so, that Jamaicans and foreigners alike, have expressed their beliefs that he should join the list of National Heroes for Jamaica.

Similarly in just under 10 years, Usain St Leo Bolt, who still holds the title of the World’s Fastest Man, has been touted as a hero by many Jamaicans. Now being referred to as G.O.A.T (greatest of all time), his contribution to the advancement of Jamaican track and field, is definitely one that deserves to be acknowledged.

“But is it everyone that is a hero deserves to be a hero amongst the people named?” asked Stephen Marley (in a tone that bore an uncanny resemblance to his father’s) during an exclusive interview with The Gleaner.

Over many years there have been numerous propositions to erect a statue of Bob Marley inside the National Heroes Park, to preserve his honour. 

Nonetheless, Stephen says, “That is not for me to say, mi nuh tink him inna di hero ting in that way, but any way the people see fit to honour the 'Gong' they can, although he was not into the hero thing.” “That is like placing him into a category and Gong lived a certain lifestyle and have a certain belief,” he continued.

The question of what makes a man or woman a hero/heroine, should always be in forethought. Contributions to economic and social gain do not outweigh the concrete revolutionary actions or the phenomenal impressions that the current national heroes have made.

“The contributions of Bolt are different to Gong, can’t compare Bolt to the Gong,” said Stephen. “Bolt helps with the progress of our country being placed on a global level, but Gong was about a struggle where people all walks of life can relate to,” he continued.

So while both ‘Goat’ and ‘Gong’ are appreciated worldwide, whatever is to be, will be, when the time is right.