I’ve spent the last few weeks learning everything I could about the Village of Nine Mile in the Saint Ann Parish of Jamaica. This small village where people live on mountain slopes in rural Jamaica is hallowed ground. It is the resting place of Cedella Marley-Booker and her two sons, Nesta Robert “Bob” and Anthony.
Life is simple here, people eat what they kill and when they’re not feeling well they drink bush tea. Cedella Marley-Booker stopped going to school shortly after her mother died because she didn’t like it; she wasn’t even 10 years old. She joined her father in the planting fields, she went to work everyday and she cooked on an open fire for the laborers under the shade of a tree.
Like many, Cedella Marley-Booker gave birth to Bob when she was young. Regardless of age, most people are not prepared to parents, but Mama Marley didn’t let her youth be the end of them. She battled, she fought, she persevered.
She would send little Bob went to the market to get things they needed, Cedella cooked and instilled a strong work ethic in her children. Later Mama Marley and Bob would move to Trenchtown in Kingston and as they say… the rest in history.
I thought Bob Marley was a relaxed person and laid back – I was wrong. He was an extremely hard worker and he was intense. When he told a fellow band member, “just five more minutes,” he meant five more hours. In his teens he worked odd jobs to make a few extra bucks, his coworkers were amazed at his ability… little did they know.
Nesta Robert Marley’s career has been well documented and he’s a genius beyond words. However, to know the whole story, you must start with Cedella Marley-Booker and you have to start from their humble beginnings in the Village of Nine Mile.