A month of events are set to celebrate what would have been the late singer’s 60th birthday…
The late Bob Marley’s 60th birthday is to be marked by a month of events in Ethiopia.
The annual celebrations are being held for the first time in the country, as they have always previously taken place in the reggae star’s native Jamaica.
Thousands of Rastafarians and music fans are gathering in Ethiopia in preparation for the events. The country was chosen as Rastafarians – such as Bob Marley – regard the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie as their spiritual leader.
According to BBC News, Ethiopia’s minister of state for information Netsanet Asfaw said: “Bob Marley put Ethiopia on a pedestal and it is in his honour that this festival is going to take place here.”
Concerts, a film festival, seminars and a gala fundraiser using the themes of Bob Marley’s songs (including ’War’, ’Exodus’ and ’Get Up Stand Up’) will all be included in the month’s events – which will go under the name of Africa Unite.
The legend’s 80-year-old mother Cedella Marley Booker will kick off the celebrations tonight (February 1) with a concert.
The capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, will host another concert on February 6 – Bob Marley’s birthday – featuring performances from three of the star’s children as well as Quincy Jones, Baaba Maal, Angelique Kidjo and Youssou N’Dour.
Celebrations will then move to Shashmene, 250km south of Addis Ababa, where a Rastafarian community has settled on land left to them by Haile Selassie.
A dedicated Rastafarian, Bob Marley was a strong believer in one of its central beliefs, which was the importance to return to Mother Africa.