Zimbabwe Tour:In April 1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers Were Afforded the Highest Honor of Their Musical Careers!

Bob Marley

Bob Marley Zimbabwe Tour

"Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny." - Bob Marley, 'Zimbabwe'

In April 1980, Bob Marley and the Wailers were afforded the highest honor of their musical careers. On April 18th, the country Rhodesia which would now be called Zimbabwe was to celebrate its independence from England and Bob Marley and The Wailers were invited to perform at the ceremony.

Officials from Zimbabwe's government-elect invited Marley and the band to perform at the Independence ceremonies. Marley’s "Zimbabwe" tune had proved inspirational to the ZANLA (Zimbabwe National Liberation Army) freedom fighters. He would be playing amidst the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, an enormous pyramid built by Solomon and Sheba.

What no one had thought to inform Bob and his team of was the precise nature of the first show they would be playing. The concert was scheduled for the slot immediately following the independence ceremony, and was to be performed for an exclusive audience of assembled dignitaries and media. As well as the ZANLA party faithful, the international luminaries included Zimbabwe's first Prime Minister Robert Mugabe, Britain's Prince Charles and India's Indira Gandhi.

The general population would not rest until they got the chance to here their hero belt out the tune that had earlier inspired them, hence the unrest.

Bob Marley and the Wailers' first performance in Zimbabwe was marred by tear gas and chaos, yet Marley returned to the stage to perform "Zimbabwe" and prevailed the next day, as over 100,000 people gathered for the second show on April 19, 1980.

Marley’s dream of African liberation was subdued by the chaos and reflected in the lack luster performance that he gave in the second instance.

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