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In Warri, Upswing Beat For Bob Marley 34 Years After

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Ras Clark Orbada, organiser of Bob Marley Day in Warri

Ras Clark Orbada, organiser of Bob Marley Day in Warri

Rasta and Rootmen in Warri and environ are planning a big remembrance day for the late reggae legend, Bob Marley, who died of cancer in a Miami hospital, US, on May 11, 1981. He was only 36 years. 

May 11 is now globally recognized as Bob Marley’s Day. A day observed by playing only the songs of the reggae maestro and showcasing the rastafarian root culture.

To show a rekindled rastafarian spirit in Warri, all rootmen, as rastas are fondly called, would in the morning of May 10, 2015, a day before the D-day, don the rasta attires and march through major streets of the city preaching the message of Haile Selassie I who they call Jah.
Most rastafarians see Haile Selassie I as Jah or Jah Rastafari, an incarnation of God the Father. 

Bob Marley died of malignant melanoma, a dangerous type of cancer that was found on his toe in May 11, 1981. His physician, it was learnt, recommended amputating the toe to stop the spread of the cancer but Marley refused due to his strong Rastafarian belief that no part of body should be cut off including the hair and beard.
A Bible verse that Rastafarians hold as very important is Leviticus 21:5 – “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard, nor make any cuttings in the flesh.” 

Bob Marley eventually allow for a skin graft in place of a full amputation. It seemed ineffective or simply too late.

By the late summer of 1980, the cancer had spread throughout his body. 

While he was in New York City performing, Marley collapsed during a jog through Central Park. He performed for the last time in September of 1980 in Pittsburgh, a performance that was remastered and released in February of 2011 as Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Forever.

Intending to fly home to Jamaica, he became even sicker while in transit, and the plane stopped over in Miami, where he died on May 11, 1981. According to some reports, his final words were spoken to his son Ziggy Marley “Money can’t buy life.” 

Conspiracy Theories persist that Bob Marley was murdered by the CIA. The most common version of the story is that the CIA had an operative give Marley a pair of boots as a gift, and the boots had a radioactive wire hidden in them, which caused the cancer on his toe 

At the heart of the Bob Marley day celebration in Warri is a Brazilian based Nigerian from Effurun, Uvwie council, Delta state, Ras Orbada Clark, a hospitality guru and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bem Vindo Hotel and Suites. 

He disclosed that all was now set for the 34 th remembrance of reggae legend, Bob Marley on May 11, 2015.

The venue of the show, Bem Vindo Hotel, is already getting facelift, the fence and adjoining structures are being given a delicate three strip colours of red, green and yellow, the rasta colours. 

Ras Orbada said, “I came down from Brazil to plan the 34th remembrance of Bob Marley and now we are good to go.” 

He said Rastafarians from far and near would gather at Bem Vindo on May 11, 2015 for the big celebration of Bob Marley, adding that the occasion would be used to bring on board new members who are desirous to joining Reggae Club International.

“We want to revive Reggae music in Delta State. On Monday, May 11, 2015, we will march through major roads in Warri, Effurun, Osubi and environs for procession as part of this year’s celebration of the exit of Bob Marley 34 years ago. There will be no dull moment on that day for Rastafarians at Bem Vindo Hotel. The African hall of the hotel that was opened recently will be used for the big event.” Ras Orbada said.


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