40 years ago, Bob Marley paid his own way to play Zimbabwe’s iconic independence concert

Just before midnight 40 years ago on April 18 at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare (then called Salisbury), Robert Nesta Marley stepped on to the stage with his band, The Wailers, as culmination of the official Independence Day ceremonies for the new nation-state of Zimbabwe.
Tens of thousands of people paid to join dignitaries from Africa and around the world to watch the performance of this revolutionary pan-Africanist, then at the height of his status as a global music superstar and cultural ambassador.
Many more thronged the streets around the stadium, heady in their jubilation and desperate to be a witness to this incredible moment.
That Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, was free was remarkable—that Bob Marley was there to mark the occasion made it all the more special.
After decades of warfare, the revolutionary forces of the Zimbabwean people had prevailed over brutal white colonial rule and their supporters in the international community.
. Quartz Africa

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