The first time I met Ziggy Marley was at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa back in 2010. I recall it was a beautiful sunny summer day. It was also my son’s first time seeing one of the legendary Marley’s play live. We arrived early and were walking around the outside of the amphitheater; when not far off in the distance, we could see his tour bus. He grabbed my hand and looked at me. I nodded, and off we went.
As luck would have it, as we casually strolled past the bus, the door opened and our jaws dropped. My son’s grip on my hand tightened as Ziggy himself walked out the door and down the steps. Being the good mom that I am, I straight-armed my son right into Ziggy Marley! My toe head blonde 10-year-old looked up into his soulful eyes and said, “Hi, Ziggy!” He looked down at my boy and smiled, “Hi, little man!” he said in his thick Jamaican accent. The generosity of heart that Bob displayed clearly had clearly transcended to his children.
Few have lived a life committed to changing the world. That is precisely what Bob Marley did. he did it so genuinely and effortlessly. Just as he sang in the song One Drop, “Fighting against ism and scism,” Marley took a stand against poverty and advocated for the oppressed. His messages were ones of peace, justice, and love. He gave back to people in need, never forgetting his humble beginnings and the people he left behind.
Marley lived with no fear, truly embracing impermanence, equality, and equanimity. He also instilled in his family the same core values.
In continuation of my series on the life and heritage of Bob Marley, in this article, I will be sharing with you how the Marley family has honorably and successfully carried on the life long message and legacy of the legendary Robert Nesta Marley.
The Marley family has come together, creating several organizations to support his legacy. The Bob Marley Foundation was established to address health, education, social welfare, culture, community development, and sports in Jamaica.
For Information the BOB MARLEY FOUNDATION
Marley for Education was created nine years ago and provides financial assistance to school-aged children between the ages of 3-17 years of age. Through this annual tradition, thousands of scholarships have been granted to lend financial aid to Trench Town parents, with priority given to single-parent homes, or those with physical disabilities to aid in the ever-increasing costs of education.
The Bob Marley Foundation partnered with A.A. Joseph Limited to grant a five-year scholarship to a well-deserving student in pursuit of a degree in Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies. They also have an organization called WHOA, Women Helping Others Achieve, which is set to mentor, educate, and support women living in the Caribbean.
In 2018, the family began a bi-annual free Health Fair in the Nine Mile community in St. Ann benefiting over one hundred and fifty residents. Partnering with Integrated Clinics International, the organizations provided medical services to residents. Adults and children were able to see doctors and receive prescriptions at an onsite pharmacy. The organization also made home visits to those that could not make it to the health fair.
Recognizing the needs of elders in the community, The Marley Social Welfare Support Programme was created. The organization gives monthly financial support to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church Home for the Elderly and the Eira Schrader Home for the Elderly in Trench Town to assist in paying its caregivers.
In an interview, wife Rita spoke about Bob, she said; “His work didn’t die with him; his legacy continues through his family. There is no end to Bob Marley’s reign. He will always be part of the existing world. Times change, generations change, but Bob Marley stays with the world. His work lives on.”
Rita Marley on Bob, his youth and family
Another aspect of the icons legacy is the support his Foundation gives to the arts and culture. Consequently, the Foundation created the Bob Marley Earthstrong Celebration, a celebration of Bob’s life. They also support Music in Schools by offering schools the opportunity to record their school song at the Tuff Gong International Recording Studio. Continuing to support the youth, One Love Youth Camp in partnership with Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Partners for Youth, they offer a five-day residential camp for at-risk youth.
The Foundation partnered with The Bigg Socially Aware School Tour to raise awareness about the proper usage of the internet and social media to students, encouraging them to carry on Bob’s message of positive vibes. To further carry on the word of inspiration, perseverance, empowerment, the Bob Marley Museum, and Tuff Gong international joined forces with the Foundation.
The Foundation also recognized the environmental need to support the community with a beach clean-up group, and Cedella Marley’s passion project the Reggae Girlz as they helped them on their road to France. And, in 2014, Cedella, the eldest daughter of Rita and Bob Marley and namesake of her grandmother, launched the Marley Natural, a craft cannabis line. Additionally, there is a line of coffee and beverages.
As you can see, the Marley family has generously carried on with Bob’s life work. Check-in next week to catch my review of the newly released EP “Iron, Lion, Zion” and to take a peek at their exclusive new merchandise commemorating the celebration of the legends 75th birthday.
The LYNNE CHRONICLES
Won’t You Help To Sing These Songs of Freedom| BOB MARLEY