THE family of late reggae icon Bob Marley this week confronted organisers of the Zimbabwe Music Awards (Zima) for not engaging them in their plans to honour the legend with a Lifetime Achievement award.
Calling from Jamaica on Monday, the muso’s family and image management told this newspaper that they had learnt of the accolade through Jamaican media and were now pursuing the issue with organisers of the awards ceremony.
“Damian Marley wanted to know about the award as the family doesn’t know about it. They only got to know about the award through a story in the Jamaica Observer,” said Bob Marley Music manager, Doreen Crujeiras.
Last week, Zima chairman Joseph Nyadzayo announced that they had postponed this year’s awards ceremony to next year as they wanted to honour Marley with a Lifetime Achievement award. According to organisers, Marley’s family had said they would only be free to travel to Zimbabwe early next year to receive the award.
Marley, who died in 1981, is meant to be honoured for supporting Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence and performing at the country’s first Independence Day in 1980.
A concerned Crujeiras said they feared Zima organisers could have been dealing with impersonators as no one had approached the Marley family with such a request.
“Since we aren’t aware of the award, maybe the organisers have been dealing with the wrong people. We’re now frantically trying to establish who they’ve been dealing with,” said Crujeiras.
Quizzed about the issue, Nyadzayo said they were in talks with Crujeiras who has since requested them to send a formal letter to the Marley family, stating their request.
“Marley’s management spoke to us and we’ve sent a letter officially asking them to honour Bob Marley. We’re now waiting for feedback from them on whether they’ll accept the award,” said Nyadzayo.
He said they had, however, been communicating with one of Marley’s sons’ Julian “Ju Ju Royal” Marley.
“In all our dealings, we were working with Julian Marley and his manager Michael Campbell, who agreed on everything.”
Nyadzayo said if by any chance the Marley’s reject the accolade, they would resort to an alternative plan.
“We’ve also asked members of i-Three comprising of Martha Griffiths and Judy Mowat to accept an award and if push comes to shove, we’ll award them instead,” he said.
i-Three is a Jamaican reggae group that was formed in 1974 to support Bob Marley & The Wailers after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer – the original Wailer backing vocalists — left the band.
“However we don’t see anything wrong with honouring Bob Marley judging by the connection Zimbabwe has with him as he sang for us when we got independent,” said Nyadzayo.