If Bob Marley were alive today, he would have been 70 years-young. Courtesy of Loop News

Happy Birthday Bob Marley!

Today, Loop News is sharing some fun facts you probably didn’t know about the late King of Reggae.

1. At birth Marley’s name was, Nesta Robert Marley. However his first name and middle name were switched around because the name ‘ Nesta’ was thought to be a girl’s name, in order to ‘preserve his masculinity’ his name became Robert Nesta Marley.


2. Bob’s birthday was original listed in his birth certificate as April 6, this is because his mother took a while to officially register him. However, his birth certificate was later corrected to reflect Bob’s actual birthday, Feb 6, 1945.


3. As a pupil Marley excelled in Mathematics.

4. Bob as a child discovered that he had the skill of reading palms. His mother first thought was that his newely found skill was a joke-it turns out she was  wrong . In his early adult years many people visited Bob to have their palms read. However,with his transition into music he gave up the practice, once telling a lady who had asked him to read her palm, “ I’m not reading no more hand, I’m singing now.

5. Bob left formal schooling early to pursue a career in welding. However after a piece of metal flew into his eye he quit the job.

6. The singer once cited that his experience interacting with jailed inmates, while being incarcerated for the possession of marijuana, lead him to write songs with a more political messages.


7.In 1963, a then 18-year-old Bob Marley penned his international debut, “Judge Not”. Unfortunately the single due a misspelling on the tape’s label was credited to Bob Morley.

8. Bob is said to have been very kind with his money. Often using his own funds to sponsor community projects and homes for friends and family.

9. Bob was named ” Robert” in honour of his father’s brother- Bob’s uncle.


10. In Bob’s mind, guess what the abbreviation BMW stood for. Yep, you guessed it. BMW is the abbreviation for Bob Marley and the Wailers.


Loop News Service


256px-Maleficent-SBPoliticians..they never fail to amaze me. They are tone deaf, people deaf, senseless and self opinionated creatures that exist on planet earth. Someone could be the nicest person , like the charming Miss Hanna, past Miss World and a toast of the nation but somehow when they become  a politician they are transformed into a political Maleficent, that evil and sinister character everyone loves to hate.

“Maleficent doesn’t know anything about love, or kindness, or the joy of helping others. You know, sometimes I don’t think she’s really very happy.”―Fauna about Maleficent

Miss Hanna seems to fit that description. How can a lady with such beauty and apparent intelligence, become such a terror and territorial  in such a short time? When a politician publicly responds to an opinion expressed by someone on how they see their government’s performance, a government  elected to eliminate bureaucracy, manage the economy efficiently, create jobs, and  manage investments and social programs , that politician is either scared of criticism, trying to cover there A** or quietly saying “help, I need some ideas.”  Responding is not the problem, it’s how they respond that matters and it is here that the lovely  Miss Hanna has erred once again. Instead of using the criticism as an advantage and use positive language to solicit a remedy, she has opted instead to throw  some of her colleagues under the bus when she says..“stop blaming and lumping all politicians together…’  and literally trying to start an argument on social media,  one that she will never win.  Here is the criticism and response.


She ended by tweeting

      I think we should always be fair in our judgement of others.

You almost feel sorry for her, at least I do. Miss Hanna lesson # 1 as a Minister of Government . Use every criticism as a       positive. Take the high road. Politicians rarely win the cruel atmosphere of  social media. It is something they all need but so often fail as it amplifies their weaknesses. Miss Hanna here is how I expected you to respond.

Response 1 : “OK, so you’d like to see a better link with culture and tourism– what would you say is the main thing that ought to be different?”  Throw it right back at Chronixx and offer to meet him to discuss further.

Or if you must defend your pitiful ministry’s efforts then here is an appropriate response #2.  “I can see what you are saying, Let me tell you why I did it this way.”

Or if you can be someone who listens and intuitively discern the sense out of the criticism, then here is another response # 3 “I’ve thought about what you said and what I’m going to do is…”

Miss Hanna instead of using the usual way of dealing with everything in Jamaica as a personal vendetta  I and by extension the people of Jamaica, including your suffering supporters, expect you to turn your words into action to show that you can listen to feedback, respond in the correct way and still get the job done. Is that too difficult Miss Hanna? Apparently it is,

Let us get one thing straight Miss Hanna. The only reason why you and your government is in power is  the fact that good and sensible people did not vote. Let me remind you of the figures Miss Hanna. The last local government election the projected turnout was 28% of the electorate the lowest in history. Nobody cares Miss Hanna, not even your party faithful. They see local government as the biggest ponzi scheme since taxes were invented. It is not working and no one is trying to fix it.

The national election was no better. In 2011, 1.8 million people reached the age of eligibility to vote (Voting Age Population) 1.6 million people registered to vote. Usually its the younger generation that decide to forego their rights, a difference of over 250,000.  Of that 1.6 million only 46% actually cast a vote or in real numbers just over 870,000. (Data:The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance)

This government, like the other previous idiots on the other side, has achieved what every politician is very good at – demotivating an entire nation with so much political hogwash that the best form of protest by the voters is not to vote.  Our politicians are blind to this protest. Call it what you will  Miss Hanna, but politicians  use this as their opportunity to use the national resources to take care of party faithfuls, that number of people that actually vote for them. Sista P, by her actions only speak to her faithful, even more recently at her convention when she said “Jamaica is in a better place.” Her interest as leader of the country is only for ‘poor people’ for which she is always working, working, working. So Miss Hanna your kind is not popular in Jamaica right now and as Chronixx subtly puts it he is laughing at the Jamaican Government and the poor people who wave their flags and living on captured land, and yet you do not see behind  what he is saying.



Miss Hanna, Chronixx is talking beef and you pork. What Chronixx is saying  is with the exception of  your suffering supporters, he is laughing, like everybody else in a sensible world,  at a clueless government that continues to fool themselves and their faithful that ‘Jamaica is in a better place.” What Chronixx is saying Miss Hanna is as far your Ministry is concerned, it does not have the foresight or the creativity to use our culture, not just reggae music,to create, promote and establish cultural tourism where there is a large market, and move away from the old , mundane 80s way of marketing this country, like the rest of your millionaire friends in tourism, as a cheap all inclusive destination offering second class entertainment, sun, sand and beach. Our tourism product Miss Hanna is as old as the constitution, outdated and irrelevant. What has your Ministry done for tourism lately? What new innovative cultural event  has taken place in the last 12 months that has brought  in thousands of visitors to the island organized and/or endorsed by your Ministry?

What Chronixx is saying Miss Hanna is our Reggae is not just music that our artist create for people’s listening pleasure on Ipods, but like Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Switzerland and other European and countries to which he has travelled, have used Reggae music to boost their economy creating jobs and other industries, something your Ministry as he as mentioned, has not  even erected a state of the art venue for live reggae performances.

Miss Hanna, let me be frank. The few tourist that visit this ‘bankrupt country’ are suffering from an overdose of Dunn’s River falls, Rick’s Cafe  and jerk pork at Scotties. Where are our historical and national monuments in every parish , not just Kingston ? Do you know how many they are and why aren’t they protected by law? Have you taken a drive in any of the parishes and see the state of monuments or historical and cultural artifacts? You go to a city like Washington D.C USA and you see a city beaming with pride on its historical heritage. You visit the Sam Sharpe Square monument in Montego Bay or the Paul Bogle monument in St. Thomas and you wonder is this it? Is this what Jamaica has to offer? In every parish there is something to be proud about, something to sell, something to market, something for locals and visitors to see. Yet they are either left to decay or given to some wayward historical restoration committee that has no clue of restoration much less the economic value of these artifacts. And you wonder why Chronixx is laughing at the government Miss Hanna?

Miss Hanna, stop throwing the rest of the government under the bus and stop covering your A**  You can’t pick a petal from a rose and say that petal is beautiful but the rose is dangerous as it pricks you. If you are a part of it, you are in it.  Now is not the time to duck criticism but use it constructively and move forward.

The development of cultural tourism is increasingly important to the centrality of any modern society. We prefer to see you use $54 million dollars for the construction, exchange and movement of attractions to not only promote our heritage but create jobs and indexing Jamaica’s modernisation.  The 54 million dollars you wasted on the epic disaster called the Grand Gala would have been better spent if your ministry had  promoted and created the biggest Cultural Festival in Jamaica the world has ever seen from the Maroons to Chronixx , a festival like no other, a festival simultaneous in all 14 parishes on Independence day, covered by the large networks of the USA and Europe , showcasing our heritage, our music ,our food, our heroes, our people, an event so big, the Olympics opening will look like a summer picnic.

The pilgrimage called Tourism has changed Miss Hanna and your Ministry has not done anything in modern times to do something different. France has the Louvre, Britain has Big Ben. Egypt has the Pyramids. Japan, China, Switzerland all have their cultural masterpiece. We have, amongst other things, Reggae. Build on it. Transform it. Market it. Own it. Your ministry is at the centre of changing the perception of Jamaica’s existence as a modern island proud of its culture and using it at the centre of urban and rural development and image enhancement.  Work with the innovators in the industry and make Jamaica proud, not just your flag waving party supporters.  That is what Chronixx is saying. Now lets see you make the right move now, Madame Minister.

© 2014 Paul Tomlinson



The music industry, notice I said Industry, is  big business and it has changed like everything else over the years and  is still evolving.

Has it got everything right? No. Like most things it’s a hit and miss, today for me, tomorrow for you. Reggae may have started from the shores of Jamaica but it cannot claim its exclusivity anymore just like the US claiming creativity.

Has Jamaica perfected the music genre in the last 50 years? The jury is still out on that but frankly we have not done ourselves any favor by not significantly and effectively managing and marketing our music and again that’s not entirely a fault of ours. We did not have the resources, the know how or connections to bring any international standard to the genre . The music at the time was localized to Jamaican musicians experimenting with the new ‘sound’ and soon others jumped on the reggae wagon and used it. Chris Blackwell comes along and took a chance and it paid off and guess what , the world started to listen to reggae through Bob. The movie ‘Harder they Come’ with Jimmy Cliff made one of the biggest introduction of reggae music to the world. The lyrics  of reggae music promoted love, friendship, a higher well-being and joy. The point is not until the music got into the hands of foreign resources and capital did it get any worldwide recognition and became a part of the music industry.

Jamaica’s music has evolved and seems to be focusing on  what I call “Sex Hall”  much to the disadvantage of persons like Tessann, Beres, Dianne King, Third World, the Marleys and all those  musicians  that we candidly call “Reggae Artiste” , whose voice  and music can only be appreciated by an overseas market , bigger than the Jamaican market, with a more eclectic taste of music. So Tessann taking the leap is no surprise. She, like so many others, do it for survival , show me the money.

At best she gets a recording contract and at worst she gets the promotion for a talented reggae artiste and a female one too. Remember there is sexism in the business as well.  Our reggae artiste do not and cannot make any real living here at home they all have to go abroad where the industry plays to a much wider market. The industry thrives on networking, experimenting and promotion and Jamaica , whilst it may think of itself as hip with culture, is still a texting society. Technology is gathering knowledge faster  than how the Jamaican society gathers wisdom.

How can we improve this? It starts with education from the homes to the school and to the business places. It involves a clear commitment on the part of Government through its new Ministry of Entertainment & Culture to have a vision and working with all sectors of the economy use the talents and resources to give reggae its rightful place in our culture.

It means the JTB through its marketing machinery using Reggae, the brand, as its marketing tool and not just sand , sun and sea; It means the JMA and the PSOJ think outside  the box and put in their budgets consistent opportunities for local reggae artiste to perform ; It means the local artiste understanding the art of writing and executing the art of performance; It means employing technology  to promote the music worldwide; It means understanding that music , like everything else requires discipline of thought and purpose and protecting the creativity is as important as performing. How can you protect your industry without enforcing the laws of copyright and intellectual property? Finally it means a paradigm shift in Jamaica’s culture of mediocrity. That may be a bigger challenge than Tessann winning The Voice.





These may make you go…hmmm I didn’t know that. Well for me i was surprised in a few of the information. One thing’s for certain- Bob in his latter years became almost prophetic in his words, his lyrics only to  be manifested as truth after his death. Good read. Hope you enjoy it as much I did.

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Janet Silvera from the Gleaner wrote this piece on the recently concluded Reggae Sumfest. Whilst I do not want to review the mega festival I think Janet did a good job in describing the performers who quite frankly tanked or shined. Have a read. Another chapter in the books has ended. Hope there are changes in 2014.