Okayafrica Digs Into "Zimbabwe" + More For 'Bob Marley In Africa'
Photo by David Burnett for TIME
Bob Marley's pan-Africanist approach to life and music is explored in a new retrospective from Okayafrica. Digging into the personal, political and spiritual impact of the reggae icon's catalog on what would have been his 71st birthday, OKA breaks down the science behind a few of the songs and significant periods in Marley's life that best demonstrate the strength of his relationship with the continent of Africa. Looking back at tracks like "Zimbabwe," "Selassie Is The Chapel" and the infectious "Africa Unite," we are reminded that Marley was and always will be a champion of the people in Africa and across the diaspora.
Bob Marley was a pan-Africanist. His Rastafarian faith influenced a belief in the unity of African people across the globe—a perspective that’s prominent in all of his music. Throughout his years, the reggae legend wrote numerous songs against European imperialism and spoke out in support of the movement for Zimbabwean independence and against South African apartheid.
Marley first traveled to Africa in 1978, when he visited both Ethiopia and Kenya. Later, and more famously, he went to to Gabon and performed at Zimbabwe’s Independence Day celebration in 1980.
Today, on what would have been Marley’s 71st birthday, we look back at a brief history of Marley’s time in Africa.