40. Exodus
Written by Robert Nesta Marley
Performed by Bob Marley & The Wailers
From the album Exodus (Island, UK 1977)



Open your eyes and look within:
Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?
We know where we’re going,
We know where we’re from.
We’re leaving Babylon,
We’re going to our Father’s land.

2, 3, 4: Exodus: movement of Jah people
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
(Movement of Jah people!) Send us another brother Moses!
(Movement of Jah people!) From across the Red Sea!
(Movement of Jah people!)


3. ‘he hugged his family and wept’

The Italian invasion of Ethiopia did more to ignite Pan-African sentiment than any other event in modern times. In the folklore of Africans in and outside of Africa, Ethiopia was the bastion and symbol of African freedom and independence. In the Bible, Blacks read that Ethiopia was the land of Queen of Sheba and its Monarch represented a direct genealogical link to the Solomonic and Davidic Throne. Ethiopia was the sacred land that the Greek historian Homer wrote about as the ‘land where the gods loved to be.’ Now Italy’s threat to the Divine Motherland’s Sovereignty, the subsequent invasion and occupation of Ethiopia and exile of its Sovereign, sparked a tremendous mass movement of international demonstration and support by Blacks for Ethiopia and its Emperor in the war of resistance. Rallies and fundraising events were carried out by Blacks throughout the United States and the Caribbean to help Ethiopia the last remaining free African Nation to regain her independence.’

- The Shashamane Settlement Community Development Foundation, Inc., USA


Merkel Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tuesday, 1 February 2005: Marley’s fans gather in Ethiopia

Italian Rastafarians have come to Ethiopia to participate in a month of festivities. The celebrations will pay tribute to Marley’s advocacy of African liberation. Thousands of Rastafarians and music fans are gathering in Ethiopia to begin a month of events to mark what would have been Bob Marley’s 60th birthday.

It is the first time the annual celebrations are being held outside the reggae legend’s native Jamaica. Ethiopia was chosen because Rastafarians, such as the late singer, regard the late Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie as their spiritual leader.

Marley’s widow Rita Marley has said one day she wants him reburied in Ethiopia. She has distanced herself from initial comments she made last month that Marley would be reburied as part of this year’s celebrations. ‘It was a dream of Bob Marley and it is a dream of the family to bury him in Ethiopia. As we believe in what is to be, must be, it will happen in due course,’ she told AFP news agency.

Netsanet Asfaw, Ethiopia’s minister of state for information said Ethiopia was pleased to be hosting the events. ‘Bob Marley put Ethiopia on a pedestal and it is in his honour that this festival is going to take place here,’ she said.

Under the banner Africa Unite, the month-long events will include concerts, a film festival, seminars and a gala fundraiser using the themes of Marley’s songs including War, Exodus and Get Up Stand Up. […] Marley became an icon of the 1970s with his music catching the imagination of millions. He received a United Nations Peace Award, in recognition of his attempts to calm the warring factions of Jamaican politics and played at Zimbabwe’s independence celebrations in 1980, where he discovered more Zimbabweans knew the lyrics of his song than knew the words of the national anthem.

Aged 36, he died of cancer in 1981 and was buried with his Gibson guitar and Bible beside him.’

- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4225239.stm


Undated entry. Ref. Kingston, Jamaica, 1966 & Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1970

Selassie made a momentous trip to Jamaica in 1966, where for the first time he saw people -Rastafarians- worshipping him as God. The emperor was reportedly deeply dismayed. At a Kingston news conference he attempted to dispel the belief in his divinity with his response to a pointed question from Jamaican Minister of Education, Edward Allen. ‘I am a man, and man cannot worship man’ are perhaps the most oft-quoted word the Emperor has ever said. Despite the famous disavowal, the Archbishop relates that many continued to maintain, ‘He is our God, even if he doesn’t say he’s God.’ In 1970, still distressed, the Emperor announced to the priest: ‘There is a problem in Jamaica…. Please, help these people. They are misunderstanding, they do not understand our culture…. They need a church to be established and you are chosen to go.’ He arrived in Jamaica shortly thereafter and began building the first Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Kingston. Later, ‘Rasta churches’ would dot the island, in fact, the whole English-speaking Caribbean, and various locations in North America, including New York and Toronto.’

- Dub Missive interview with Abuna Yesehaq, by Carol Amaruso, Dub Missive


Jamaica, 25 November 1984: Interview with Abuna Yesehaq who Baptised Bob Marley

In a newspaper interview with Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq by Barbara Blake Hannah, November 25, 1984, in the Gleaner’s Sunday Magazine (pages 2,3,11), titled ‘Abuna Yesehaq Looks Back on 14 Years of Ministry in Jamaica’ the following was said about Bob Marley’s baptism.

‘Bob was really a good brother, a child of God, regardless of how people looked at him. He had a desire to be baptised long ago, but there were people close to him who controlled him and who were aligned to a different aspect of Rastafari. But he came to Church regularly. I remember once while I was conducting the Mass, I looked at Bob and tears were streaming down his face…When he toured Los Angeles and New York and England, he preached the Orthodox faith, and many members in those cities came to the Church because of Bob. Many people think he was baptised because he knew he was dying, but that is not so…he did it when there was no longer any pressure on him, and when he was baptised, he hugged his family and wept, they all wept together for about half an hour.’

- Bob Marley’s Baptism in Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Posted by: King David, 30 November 2004, in response to: Rastafari And The Ethiopian Orthodox Church http://www.rastafarispeaks.com/cgibin/forum/archive1/config.pl?noframes;read=47421


4. ‘the victory of good over evil’ (reprise)

Banatski Sokolac, Serbia, 25 August 2008


The troubled Balkans could probably learn a few lessons from Bob Marley and the Wailers’ enthusiasm for laidback, earnest lovin’. And at least one group of Serbs and Croats seems to agree, this weekend erecting a statue to the reggae legend.

The event took place on Saturday in the village of Banatski Sokolac, in south-east Serbia. In a symbolic gesture, both Croatian and Serbian musicians were on hand for the event; Croatian rock star Dado Topiç and Serbian musician Jovan Matic together unveiled the statue. ‘Bob Marley promoted peace and tolerance in his music,’ explained Mirko Miljus, an organiser of the event.

It is claimed that this statue is the first European monument to Jamaica’s most famous son. Created by Croatian sculptor Davor Dukic, the statue depicts Marley with a guitar, raising his fist. It is, we are sure, a peaceful and tolerant fist.

The statue is part of a trend in the former Yugoslavia, as war-scarred communities honour foreign celebrities instead of local figures.’

- Bob Marley statue unites Serbs and Croats, by Sean Michaels, The Guardian, 25 August 2008


Banatski Sokolac, Serbia, 25 August 2008

It is interesting to point out that the monuments to victims of World War One and Two are also erected in the same schoolyard. The magnificent fireworks was organised on this occasion after which the crowd hurried to the monument to immortalise that moment.

Banatski Sokolac belongs to Plandiste municipality and it has only 300 residents, while its elementary school is attended by about 20 students from the first to the fourth grade. Answering the question why the monument is built exactly here, Mirko Miljus, the ‘Rock village’ festival organizer and the initiator of this idea, says that it is not by chance and that the whole story about the monument dedicated to Bob Marley has much broader meaning. Bands that play at this festival bring a lot of positive energy, they are not aggressive, but invite people to spread love, peace and tolerance.

‘Bob Marley is my personal choice, because residents of this place emit exactly the same energy like Bob Marley used to spread. People of about 20 nationalities live here and we have never had any problems. We all have some kind of feeling of longing for our roots, just as Bob Marley had for Africa. My friends who visit Banatski Sokolac cannot believe how gentle, relaxed and welcoming people we are,’ Miljus explains.

This is the fourth time that the ‘Rock village’ festival takes place here.

The festival organizers explained on their website reasons for building the monument to Marley. ‘Actually it is not the classical monument, but the sculpture dedicated to the reggae icon, expression of admiration to his artistic work that he left behind and a sign of gratitude for his contribution to the fight for freedom and equality. We think that he promoted non-violent musical fight for equal rights. He was a man who managed to become a part of world music elite out of the Jamaican ghetto. The United Nations awarded him a medal for the peace in the Third World and he deserves that his image always reminds of universal values.’

The Ministry of Information of Jamaica directed the following message to the festival organizers: ‘It is our great pleasure to know that there are people in Serbia who respect reggae music and Bob Marley to such a large extent that they have become the first European citizens who in this way paid respect to this great reggae musician…’ The Jamaicans are very proud of Bob Marley and his mission of spreading peace and love.’

- Blic Online. Culture & Showbiz – Monument to the reggae icon set up in Banatski Sokolac. Bob Marley along with war heroes, by Ljiljana Stupar
25 August 2008



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