Nine Miles still salutes their ‘king’ Bob Marley - Says national hero honour long overdue
Over 40 years after his death, Bob Marley's life and legacy are still influencing how the people of his birthplace in Nine Miles, St Ann live today.
As the community celebrates Marley's 77th birthday, calls for the musical legend to be made a national hero are once again awoken. Long-time resident Yellow Star told THE STAR, "Mi woulda like if the king turn national hero still. But me nah know wat dem a do fi di king, if dem ago gi him one a di hero position or wah, or chu di king smoke weed dem nah wah gi him a hero position."
He added "I think that is something that should've been done already enuh, because many tourists travel from all over the world to come here to see Bob. They don't come here to see anybody else. And I see nuff other countries having heroes which, to me, they aren't recognised. For us to have the king in our presence, I think we should move forward to that."
Residents also commemorate the legend's life by continuing to live by the 'instructions' he left in his music. Yellow Star said that he is grateful to walk the roads that Marley trod.
"Mi feel good fi live inah the 'king' community you know. Mi feel upfull and lively right a di king gate siddung a hol' a meditation and hol' a vibes," he said. While not as popular as the Bob Marley Museum on Old Hope Road in St Andrew, the Nine Miles museum holds special power for some, as it houses the mausoleum where the legend is buried.
"A di king make we deh yah a eat food so we give thanks," Yellow Star said. Like many in the community, his income comes from his farm, but also from the tours and entertainment he provides for tourists who visit the area.
"A we take care them enuh," he said. "We gi dem a tour of the community if them want it. We sell dem some ganja soap and other product and just make sure seh dem have a nice time inah the king place."
Anthony, who runs the Cool Stop Shop across the street from Marley's first home, told THE STAR that he endeavours to keep Marley's message alive by supplying his shop with 'natural things'.
"We just try to keep it real. If you notice, some of the carvings here are natural works from natural talents. For us, is not about the money, it about the fun and the joy of the people," he said.
While strumming the guitar he says he does not know how to play, the shopkeeper said "Sometimes you just relax your brain and pick a one string. I cyah really play to a dimension but I just pick a one string make me mind comfortable."