The Bob Marley Museum filled with a buzz on Bob Marley’s birthday. Surprisingly, the buzz was not about the King of Reggae but for his Queen, Rita Marley. With so many years under her guidance, the Bob Marley Group of Companies has realized considerable success. The matriarch, entertainer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist now has a permanent showing at the museum.
The private viewing of the exhibition allowed special guests to hear from close friends and family about the impact of “Nana” Marley. The Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Most Honourable Andrew Michael Holness, shared the moment with the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding. Member of the I-Threes, Marcia Griffiths, also attended the private viewing. Another special guest was the Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport. Many other dignitaries arrived for the viewing and to celebrate this momentous occasion unfolding at 56 Hope Road.
Short and Sweet
The welcome to the exhibition aimed to make us feel at home and empowered. However, the occasion was short. Whoever attended experienced the true meaning of Marley. We listened specifically to an impassioned introduction from the granddaughter of Bob and Rita, Ms Donisha Prendergast. The message was one of unification of all Africans and honour for the hard work and dedication of Rita Marley. In her speech, she stated, “Many are called, and few are chosen, but I always add that even fewer answer. My grandmother Rita Marley is one of the ones who answered that call to action.” She pointed out that Rita Marley “has shown us grace, kindness, royalty, beyond measure. From that little ghetto girl ‘Blackie Tutus’ … To ‘Queen Nana Afua Adobea the first’, is not no easy stretch.” We heard Donisha’s passion for her grandmother in every word she uttered.
The Rita Marley Exibition
The exhibition, aptly dubbed Mystic of a Queen: Rita Marley, represents a snippet of the life’s work of the matriarch. The collection represents how Rita Marley “used all her tears to fertilize the earth”. The mystique of a woman whose hard work is seen worldwide by all who remember Bob Marley. Correspondingly, Donisha said, “One love is an action, not just a song that my grandparents sang.”
What a perfect statement to end on and cut the ribbon to open the exhibition publicly.