Rohan Marley’s Homecoming
It was Bob Marley who first popularized the idea of ‘repatriation’ for the Jah people in the Caribbean and the North America. The 1997 hit ‘Exodus’ has stirred the imagination of the black people as powerfully as any call to arms. Some responded years ago, though they never found the rosy “Zion’ they came looking for. But not his own children, save to their occasional visit to Ethiopia.
But now four decades later, Rohan Marley made an exception by choosing to settle here for good.
In a live interview with FM 98 Ethiopica Link’s ‘Wisit Awaki’ (The insider) last night, Rohan said he has made Ethiopia his ‘home’ since the past three months, where he says could be ‘free’ and live ‘from the origin of life.’
The smooth–talking Rohan who has only picked up some Amharic words requested officials to grant him his citizenship, speaking in English. Saying that he has a plan to export Ethiopian products with the Marley brand , Rohan stated: “I want to represent Ethiopia to the fullest, not by word or dead. I need Ethiopian passport, citizenship.’ And he inquiringly asked what more could he ask.Even though he said that he has a one year residence permit, Rohan doesn’t feel it is good enough. Being here, he told interviewers, is a joy. “Every day I wake up in life, I give thanks, about my time here in Ethiopia and the opportunity to fulfill my father’s prophecy, which is to live in Ethiopia, physically.” Said Rohan who didn’t take up his father’s profession.
His father visited Ethiopia in 1979 in quest of of a genuine Ethiopia experience and a year later was baptized to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as Berhane-Selassie (Light of the World).
Rohan said he considers Ethiopia to be ‘light of the world”. With a simplistic message, he told Ethiopians to ‘set the example. Keep teaching them the righteous way’ referring to the people of the West.
It is common for Rastas to speak of Ethiopia in superlatives but there are critics who say their loyalty is to King Haile selassie, not to the country and simply want citizenship to acquire property.