When the struggle for freedom, equality and emancipation is spoken of in the terms of music, Bob Marley’s name easily comes to mind. His music traversed races, religions, genders and had a lot of impact in his home country, Africa and in the whole world. With such reverence and high regard for this music legend, Zimbabwe has been given the greenlight to erect a Bob Marley statue.
An arts consultant for the Zimbabwe government, Martin Chemhere has been involved in negotiations with the Marley family over this remarkable plan and he has been granted the go-ahead to erect a statue of the music legend in the country. He was engaged in talks with the legend’s representatives and said that he received the confirmation via email on 17 January 2018.
“I’m thrilled to have finally succeeded in this project for our beautiful country. The approval is a great achievement for Zimbabwe… as the statue will attract tourists.”
Mr. Chemhere is proposing that the statue must be built at Rufaro Stadium in Harare where Bob Marley performed. Chemhere also added that the statue would be an eight-metre life-size bronze work, to be created by two South African artists, the same who created Nelson Mandela’s statue in Pretoria, South Africa.
Out of all the countries in Africa, Bob Marley only performed in Zimbabwe. He came to the country in 1980 when Zimbabwe attained its independence. As he came to perform at the independence celebrations, he did not ask for a performance fee.
Bob Marley also covered his own expenses to charter planes carrying loads of band equipment from Kingston, Jamaica to Harare, Zimbabwe and back. It was a solid show of solidarity with the struggle and subsequent independence of the Zimbabweans. He also performed the song “Zimbabwe” he had penned down for the country in 1987.
There are however conditions to be met in creating the statue. The statue must be for the public and pre-approved by the Marley family. Zimbabwe, or a private sponsor, must also cover all the costs of erecting it.