Bob Marley and The Wailers were invited to perform and received a warm welcome from Zimbabweans for celebrating their independence from British imperial rule.

April 18, 2020

Bob Marley and The Wailers were invited to Zimbabwe because the song “Zimbabwe” was considered to be the cry of the people fight for their independence:

On this day (April 18) in 1980, Bob Marley & The Wailers performed live at the inaugural Zimbabwe Independence celebrations as the nation gained its freedom from British imperial rule. They were the only foreign musical act invited, but the government felt their presence at this historic occasion was paramount, considering Bob’s song “Zimbabwe” (and the #Survival album as a whole) had become the battle cry of the rebel soldiers fighting for the sovereignty of their land. As a new government, however, they could not afford to pay the band, nor the equipment needed to put on the show. So Bob decided to fly out the band and crew at his own expense, along with a second plane just for the stage and sound equipment.

Bob would go on to say of the event, “That one was good. Well, it was so good that you know it was one of the best I ever enjoyed. Really meeting the people that fought in the war, sit down with the generals, talk to the generals. One general say to me say I hear you are going, you really going back to Jamaica? I said yes. Him say Why? I say I got a lot of work over there to do. Him say Work, what, you are at home! Him say I tell him that I have work to do in Jamaica. Him tell me Foolishness. This is Africa, you are in Africa, stay in Africa! You know what I mean? And this is a big general. That was the best invitation you could get. Man who fight for the land tell you stay it’s your home. Him risk him life, him was fighting. Plenty people shoot after him and him still live. Come tell me stay. In Zimbabwe. It’s the best.”

Watch the video Here