Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Make Marley a national hero

Published:Monday | April 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM


When I heard that President Obama detoured to the Bob Marley Museum as the first place he visited after arriving in Jamaica, I felt very proud to be a Jamaican and proud also of the far-reaching effects of the life and achievements of Robert Nesta Marley.

This has inspired me to renew my call for Bob Marley to be given the honour of national hero of Jamaica. For many, he is just a musician who, in their view, has done very well for himself and, by extension Jamaica, but has not done anything that could be seen as heroic.

There is, however, a significant difference in the dictionary definition of hero and the requirements of receiving the honour of national hero of Jamaica.

The honour of national hero gives the recipient the title of 'the Right Excellent' before his or her name.

Robert Nesta Marley, for many decades, has been a pioneer for reggae music and the Jamaican culture and he has not just gained national but international recognition.

In 1976, his band was chosen Band of the Year by Rolling Stones magazine. He received the United Nations' Peace Medal in 1978. His album Exodus was named Album of the Century by Time magazine in 1999. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001, was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004, and a few days ago he was given the nod of approval by Barack Obama, president of the United States of America, when he visited the museum.

Why is it so difficult for Jamaica to recognise his worth? I am, once again, calling on the powers that be to truly recognise him and his achievements and bestow on him the honour of national hero so he can be referred to as the Right Excellent.