Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, Opposition Leader, Mark Golding, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports (MCGES), Olivia Grange, and Reggae legend Ms. Marcia Griffiths O.D. (former member of the I-Three) were among a selection of delegates at the private viewing of the Rita Marley: Mystic of a Queen exhibition on Bob Marley’s 77th Birthday, February 6.
The Bob Marley Museum‘s newly established installation debuted to considerable commendation and admiration during the Bob Marley Roots 77 Earthstrong Celebrations. Designed to pay tribute to a living legend’s legacy, it honours the Honourable Dr. Alferita Marley O.J, O.D, LITT, also known as ‘Rita’ (or ‘Nana’ by her family) for her magnanimous and multifaceted contributions to the world of culture, entertainment, and business.
The exhibition spearheaded by Cedella Marley with support from members of the Marley family was curated by Berette S. Macaulay and provides greater insight into the many facets of the Marley family matriarch’s work as a businesswoman, philanthropist and, of course, recording artiste.
“February 6 is always a special day for us, and as many may be aware, my mother is the founder of both the Bob Marley Museum and the annual Bob Marley Birthday celebration. It’s only fitting that we honour her and open this exhibition as part of our celebration this year,” shared Cedella Marley, CEO of the Marley Group of Companies.
The gallery includes images, costumes and artifacts from Nana Rita spanning her career as a member of the I-Three to her solo career as a Grammy nominated artiste with hits like “Who Colt the Game,” “Harambe” and “Just One More Morning.” There is also a multimedia presentation featuring snippets of Nana Rita’s life and testimonials from her beloved community.
“It was an honour to undertake this work, and I am eternally grateful for Cedella’s confidence in the process,” curator, Berette S Macaulay stated.
The team of government officials, other dignitaries, special guests, and close friends of the family who were in attendance praised the display for its comprehensiveness and soul.
In a statement released on his official Instagram account, the PM stated:
“This afternoon, I toured The Rita Marley art exhibition ‘Mystic of a Queen’, a central feature of Bob Marley’s 77th birthday celebrations. We celebrate the living achievements of Dr. Rita Marley O.J, O.D, LITT whose resilience, strength and vision helped to build Tuff Gong International, establishing the Bob Marley Museum.
Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange also shared feelings of pride in a similar post after the event, saying:
“It was my honour to be at the opening of my sister, Rita Marley’s Exhibition, “Mystic of A Queen” today as we celebrate her husband Bob Marley’s 77th birthstrong. Love you, Sista Rita.”
The installation was truly a family affair, with film director and actress, Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley, introducing the exhibition and extolling the merits of her grandmother’s life’s work.
“Many are called, and few are chosen, but I always add that even fewer answer. My grandmother Rita Marley is one of the ones who answered that call…One love is an action, not just a song that my grandparents sang,” she said.
The Rita Marley exhibit, The Mystic of a Queen, will become a permanent fixture at the Bob Marley Museum at 56 Hope Road and will be integrated into the current daily tours for visitors. Considering the many facets of Rita Marley’s life, the items on exhibit are expected to be rotated to maintain a sense of freshness with each visit.