by Howard Campbell
[KINGSTON, Jamaica] – A motion was moved in Jamaica’s parliament here April 5 to make reggae legend Bob Marley a national hero.
The motion was moved by opposition member of parliament Lisa Hanna who called on governor general Sir Patrick Allen to take the necessary steps that would make Marley his country’s eighth national hero.
She pointed to the timeless nature of Marley’s music and his global appeal among all races, to boost her argument.
Hanna said it would be fitting Marley be made a national hero in 2022 when Jamaica celebrates its 60th anniversary of independence from Great Britain.
Marcus Garvey, Sir Alexander Bustamante, Norman Manley, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Nanny and Sam Sharpe are Jamaica’s national heroes.
Marley was awarded the Order of Merit, Jamaica’s fourth highest honour, in February, 1981. He died from cancer in May that year at age 36.
This is the second call in four months by a Jamaican legislator to make Marley a national hero. Senator Floyd Morris urged authorities to give such recognition to Marley and singer Jimmy Cliff. In addition, folklorist Louise “Miss Lou” Bennett-Coverley and athlete Usain Bolt.
In December, Barbados prime minister Mia Mottley declared pop superstar Rihanna that country’s eleventh national hero in a ceremony marking Barbados’ transition to a republic.