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By: Oiboh Peter, Samuel Abulude, Kola Niyi-Eke , Achor Abimaje—-

Last weekend was the 32nd memorial of the late reggae legend, Bob Marley, which was celebrated worldwide. The celebration was mostly associated with smoking of Indian hemp globally. OIBOH PETER, Abuja, SAMUEL ABULUDE, Lagos, KOLA-NIYI-EKE, Asaba, and ACHOR ABIMAJE, Jos, recount the celebration.

The sky was full of celebrations with music in the air as people sat  at different locations and under the shade of trees  with raps of hemp while smoking and dancing to the tune and lyrics of the departed reggae legend on top of their voices like any other celebration in the world.

Some of the spots in Abuja where Bob Marley was celebrated penultimate week include Nyanya, Karu,Kubwa, Gwagwalada  and  Mararaba in Nasarawa State. Indian hemp smokers in these areas displayed their skills in smoking  the illicit substance as they partied with Marley songs.

It was gathered when LEADERSHIP WEEKEND visited some of the spots of celebration that the sales of Indian hemp significantly increased to a point of scarcity. One cannot help but wonder why the celebration of Marley should be  synonmyous with  smoking of Indian hemp, especially in Nigeria.

According to Alex TJ., Marley Day is a worldwide celebration not only in Nigeria but all over the world. Well, to the celebrants, Indian hemp adds inspiration to reggae music, especially that of Bob Marley.

While hoodlums in Asaba, Delta State, allegedly hijacked the event staged in a popular hotel leaving some persons injured as they celebrate and vowed to continue to patronise Bob Marley’s reggae music.

Eyewitness said while the late reggae fans thronged the sprawling halls of reputable hotels for the celebration, the hoodlums suspected to have been hired by aggrieved organisers, scared and stabbedthe celebrants with broken bottles leaving many of them to scampering for safety.

Asaba and its environs are known for cult related activities and in most cases witnesses uproar during organised parties where various cult groups showcase their evil powers.

However, the organisers of the event who did not want their names in print, said security agents were later invited to the event which made the hoodlums take to their heels.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley

An Asaba music maestro, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue, however, condemned the act of the hoodlums which he described as cult activities and called for improved security system to avert disruption of Marley’s day celebration subsequently.

In Lagos, the music of Africa’s finest reggae icons notably Majek Fashek, Lucky Dube, among others blared on loudspeakers from different clubs scattered all over Lagos. The latter had died a couple of years ago in his homeland, South Africa. Lucky Dube who was named Best Selling African Recording Artist in 1996 was murdered in Rosettenville, a suburb of Johannesburg on October 18, 2007 after dropping two of his seven children off at their uncle’s.

Popular hangout and haven of Afro beat music, The Shrine played host to a galaxy of artists who took their turns in singing various  reggae and dance hall fusion track.

As if the crowd at the venue in Ikeja anticipated this as the day is annually celebrated every May 11 and being a weekend, it was quite massive as the shrine owned by the son of Afrobeat legend, Femi Kuti received Nigerian ambassadors of Reggae Music such as Ras Kimono, General Pype, Majek Fashek and King Wadada. The ecstatic crowd gave a deafening noise each time any of the music icons takes to the stage to perform their hit tracks like ‘Rumba Stylee,’ ‘under pressure’ by Ras Kimono,

‘Holy Holy Holy Alleluyah’ and award winning track, ‘if men were God’ by King Wadada was also rendered. Other songs from reggae artistes who were unavoidably absent at the show were played as lightly-clad babes and men holding cigarettes and weeds in their mouths moved to the rhythm of the music. Music of Ghetto singers like Daddy Showkey and African China blared from the speakers.

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