From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Dr Ikenna Onwuegbula, the Orator of University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) has said that late Reggae Music Legend Bob Marley inspired and liberated millions of people across the globe with his musics.
Onwuegbula, a former Head of Department of Music UNN said this on Friday in Nsukka during the sixth international symposium in honour of Bob Marley, tagged: “Bob Marley: 40 years after -Black Civilization and Pan Africanism”.
The event was organized by the Research and Development Initiative (RDI), Institute of African Studies, UNN and the Department of Music UNN to honour Bob Marley whose death clocked 40 year 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 enduring legacy in Music Industry especially reggae music as message of his music had inspired and liberate millions of people across the globe.
“Every music album of Marley has message as well as loaded in meaning.
“His music have provided inspiration to those who feel abandoned and soothing balm those who are depressed and oppressed,” he said.
He said Marley had left no one in doubt he was from Africa continent but was taken to America as slave.
“If you listen to lyric of his album titled Buffalo Solider, you will hear him said,, “I am just a Buffalo Solider in the heart of America, stolen from Africa.”
The don urged present musicians and upcoming ones to emulate the late icon by ensuring that the lyrics of their music have important message to that will impact the society positively.
In a remark, Prof Florence Orabueze the director of Institute of Africa studies said Bob Marley, Rask Kimono and others were freedom fighters who used their music to condemn evils and oppressions in the society.
“their music did not only provide relaxation to enthusiasts but served as opium to the oppressed and abandoned in the society,” she said.
Speaking Oge Kimono, the daughter of Late Nigeria Raggae icon Ras Kimono urged students and youths to always listen and understand the message content in a music before dancing.
According to her reggae music remain a music for preaching of
gossip of liberation, fight against injustice, oppressions, as well as advocate for equal rights.
“Bob Marley was a freedom fighter and great philosopher who saw things before it happens.
“My father, Kimono fellowed the footstep of Marley by using his music to condemn oppression, injustice and bad governance in our country.
Oge received a posthumous award on behalf of his father from the organizers of the event and entertained the audience with his father’s hit songs such as Under Pressure, Rastafari Chant, among others.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Uche Okonkwo a senior lecturer in Department of History and International Studies, UNN, said “today we are witnessing the era of lyrical hopelessness that dominate the are waves, TV, Social Media and other entertainment platforms.
“As the convener of this conference, I choose to honour Bob Marley 50 years after with academic inviting theme: Non Marley, Black Civilzation and Pan Africanism.
“The essence of the conference was to expose much younger people on the need to do songs and creativity that will stand the taste of time,” he said.
He further said that “we need to look at Bob Marley’s ‘Mental Slavery’ and ask ourselves again why is Africa is gradually derailing from the philosophy established by Kweme Nkruma and Julius Nyerere?.
“What role dose music play in raising the consciousness of the people in doing things right?, if we Africans understood Bob Marley, why is Africa’s debt profile increasing?.
“we need to start thinking of new ways of handling our students especially as partners in progress, considering cases of suicide and suicide attempts recorded in this university in recent times, and redeploy music as weapon for fighting social injustice,” he said.
(In the attached pictures: Group photo of participants during the event. And Oge Kimono performing at the event)