Zimbabwe honors Marley with statue

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A report by Vinette K. Pryce for Caribbean Life.

A monument to Robert Nesta Marley has been approved by the Marley family and will be erected in Zimbabwe, the only African nation he performed during his brief lifetime.

Reportedly permission was granted by the Marley estate to erect a statue in honor of the singer, musician and cultural icon acclaimed to be the first Third World superstar.

Marley performed at Zimbabwe’s independence celebrations in 1980 when Robert Mugabe replaced the all-white governance that ruled for generation.

Prior to his arrival and performance, the Rastafarian icon 1978 and in honor of the long struggle to self-rule by the Southern African nation composed a song called “Zimbabwe.”

“Natty dread inna Zimbabwe” chorused an anthemic reggae hit which was reportedly echoed during the war by soldiers who fought against British colonial rule.

The statue whose design is still not decided will be placed at the Rufaro stadium in the capital city of Harare where Marley performed..

According to an article in Africa News, the statue will be bronze, eight meters and constructed and sculpted by two South African artists, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse Van Vuuren. The pair also created a Nelson Mandela statue which is located at the Parliament-Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa.

Allegedly, before construction the Marley estate will have to approve the plans.

Marley died of cancer at age 36 March 11, 1981.

His 73rd birthday was marked on Feb. 6 by numerous concerts in Jamaica and cities throughout the world.

Also making news is the Feb. 6 birth date announcement that a new film described as “an animated musical love letter to Marley is in the works.

According to a press release, the animated film will feature many of the reggae icon’s music and will be written and produced by Kenya Barris, acclaimed for the hit television show “Black-ish” and the box-office movie “Girls Trip.”

The project is being written and produced by Barris and intended to be “an animated musical love letter to Marley’s legendary music and to the people of Jamaica.”

Producer of the film include Cedella Marley, the eldest daughter of Bob and Rita Marley.

“My father has inspired art and artists around the world and I’m excited to embark on a new creative venture that highlights his incredible music.”

“We are thrilled to work with Kenya Barris and David Blackman on this project as well as a Fox Animation who gave us this platform to introduce a new generation to my father’s music.”

Now in its development stages, the film is still untitled but will be released in collaboration with Universal Music Group’s Polygram Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

“As we continue to ramp up and diversify our slate of films at Fox Animation, we are thrilled to be working with Cedella Marley, Kenya Barris and Polygram Entertainment on this project,” Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird, co-presidents of Fox said.

“In doing so, we not only have the opportunity to build new relationships for the studio, but we get to tell a story, inspired by the music of Bob Marley, one of the greatest music legends of our time.”

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