Dr. Ikenna Onwuegbula, a speaker from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), has said that reggae music legend Bob Marley inspired and liberated millions of people around the world with his music.
Onwuegbula, former Head of the UNN Music Department, said this Friday in Nsukka during the sixth international symposium honoring Bob Marley, tagged: “Bob Marley: 40 Years Later – Black Civilization and Pan-Africanism.”
The event was organized by the Research and Development Initiative (RDI), the Institute for African Studies, the UNN and the UNN Department of Music to honor Bob Marley, whose death recorded 40 years on May 11, 2021.
He said that Bob Marley will continue to live in the minds of music enthusiasts from generation to generation.
“Bob Marley left a lasting legacy in the music industry, especially reggae music, as the message of his music had inspired and liberated millions of people around the world.
“Every Marley music album has a message as well as a meaningful one.
“His music has provided inspiration for those who feel abandoned and a comforting balm for those who are depressed and downtrodden,” he said.
He said that Marley had left no one in doubt that he was from the African continent, but was taken to America as a slave.
“If you listen to the lyrics of his album Buffalo Solider, you will hear him say:” I am just a Buffalo Solider in the heart of America, stolen from Africa. “
Don urged current and future musicians to emulate the deceased icon by ensuring that the lyrics of his music carry an important message that will positively impact society.
In a comment, Professor Florence Orabueze, director of studies at the Africa Institute, said that Bob Marley, Rask Kimono and others were freedom fighters who used their music to condemn the evils and oppressions in society.
“His music not only provided relaxation to enthusiasts, but served as an opium for the oppressed and abandoned in society,” he said.
Speaking with Oge Kimono, the daughter of Nigerian Raggae icon Ras Kimono urged students and youth to always listen and understand the content of the message in a piece of music before dancing.
According to her, reggae music continues to be a music to preach liberation gossip, fight injustice, oppressions and defend equal rights.
“Bob Marley was a freedom fighter and a great philosopher who saw things before they happened.
“My father, Kimono followed in Marley’s footsteps by using his music to condemn oppression, injustice and bad government in our country.
Oge received a posthumous award on his father’s behalf from the event organizers and entertained the audience with his father’s hits such as Under Pressure, Rastafari Chant, among others.
Earlier in his welcoming address, Dr. Uche Okonkwo, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies at UNN, said: “Today we are witnessing the era of lyrical hopelessness that dominates the airwaves, television, social media and other entertainment platforms.
“As the convenor of this conference, I choose to honor Bob Marley 50 years later with an engaging academic theme: Non Marley, Black Civilization, and Pan-Africanism.
“The essence of the conference was to expose much younger people to the need for songwriting and creativity that will withstand the taste of time,” he said.
He further said that “we must look at Bob Marley’s ‘Mental Slavery’ and ask again why Africa is gradually deviating from the philosophy established by Kweme Nkruma and Julius Nyerere.
“What role does music in doses play in raising people’s awareness of how to do things right? If Africans understood Bob Marley, why is Africa’s debt profile rising?
“We need to start thinking about new ways to handle our students especially as partners in progress, considering suicide cases and suicide attempts registered at this university in recent times, and redeploy music as a weapon to combat social injustice,” he said. .