Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Zimbabwe Remembers Bob Marley

Scores of reggae lovers thronged the Kebab Centre at the weekend in commemoration of the death of the legendary Robert Nester Marley, who passed away on May 11, 1981.

Marley is credited with bringing the Caribbean beat to the world’s attention, various shows were held around Harare.

The genre has since grown in leaps and bounds and it is only fitting that the man should be remembered especially for the fact that he came and performed at the country’s independence celebrations and penned a hit song called ‘Zimbabwe’.

The first show was held at The Kebab on Friday and it attracted almost a full house with revelers being entertained by the likes of Winky D, Sniper, Yagga and Daddy Distress among a host of other artists.

The concerts were organised by the effervescent Trevor Hall, popularly known as Ras Jabulani, with the weekend proving to be a good one for the followers of reggae and dancehall.

Harare Gardens played host to Saturday’s family show were the focus was more on bands with live instruments and the Crucial Mix band doing most of the instrumentals for the artists who performed.

“There was a real nice dancehall feeling and I must say big up to all the artists who came to perform and to Crucial Mix for their work on the instruments. The Kebab was live and exciting so were the gardens but it was unfortunate that not all artists performed,” said Ras Jabu

He added that the commemorations are also an opportunity for the upcoming artists to get an opportunity on stage to market themselves. He singled out entertainers like Badman whom he said had serious potential because of his versatility and stage presence as well as Unity Vibes.

Ras Jabu moaned the lack of sponsorship for reggae and dancehall saying most promoters are keen to promote the likes of Macheso and company.

“Most sponsors are not attracted to dancehall because of the type of artists you find who are freer to speak out what they think but it is the nature of this genre, they are bound to denounce all the wrong they see in society yet sponsors see them as promoters of violence which is not the case,” he said.

The lack of sponsorship on the hand has seen the growth of ghetto dances which in turn has actually made the general dancehall community grow and if sponsorship was to be made available the genre would further grow in Zimbabwe.

“We should not be Eurocentric in our thinking but Afro centric, people should accept dancehall since it is the way the youths are expressing themselves, their influences and experiences,” he said.

The final commemoration gig was held at Sports Diner were Crucial Mix was the focal point since they had not managed to perform because they were mostly backing fellow artists in the previous shows.

Bob Marley’s spirit still lives 26 years on.


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