Today is heroes day in Jamaica, which by coincidence, or what some might say is divine timing is also the great reggae icon Peter Tosh’s birthday.
The legend was born in the year 1946 and would have been 76 years of age today, however, due to his unfortunate passing on September 11, 1987, the “Bush doctor” did not live past the age of 42.
The memories and works of the great Tosh, still live on however as he is regularly celebrated as one of the best reggae artists ever and now there are even calls to the government to bestow the icon with the title of National Hero.
Senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Dr Michael Barnett, who specializes in sociology, social work and psychology is one of the persons who are strongly advocating the move.
Dr. Barnett says the synchronicity of the dates is somewhat of a “National Mystic”, and the government should certainly be considering Tosh, as well as Bob Marley and Louise Bennett with the honourable title.
He mentioned that the legend had put in immense work alongside the wailers and others to fight against the ills that were plaguing the world at that time.
One such thing was Apartheid, that shook entire South Africa. Peter Tosh was one of the driving forces of anti-colonialism as he used his music as an instrument of advocacy for equal rights.
In Jamaica, he was a man way ahead of his times as he was one of the first persons to publicly stand up for the legalization of Cannabis, something that is now happening rapidly throughout the world.
The government was shocked in 1978 when the “legalize it” singer lit a ganja spliff on stage and went on to speak about the loosening of the laws concerning the sacred plant.
In the year 2012 the government of Jamaica awarded Peter Tosh with the coveted Order of Merit title, however, Dr Barnett and others are advocating the upgrade of the legend’s title to National hero with the mystical date alignment, hoping the relevant authorities will take the step to make it a reality.
Peter Tosh, is also one of the artists from the island who has gotten a grammy, even though this achievement sadly came after his death for the “No nuclear war” Album.
On Friday, October 18th, 2019 at the Peter Tosh Symposium held at the U.W.I. a bombshell was dropped by Native Wayne Jobson, the double Grammy award-winning producer, radio personality, and producer of the Canadian Academy Award-nominated Peter Tosh film Stepping Razor/ Red X.
He revealed that the driver of the getaway car at Peter Tosh’s murder is now a preacher in Spanish town who gets his congregation to sing Peter Tosh songs.
The name of the pastor is Steve Russell who went to jail with Peter Tosh’s murderer “Leppo” but when he got to court they made the mistake of charging him for Murder instead of accomplice to murder, so he walked scotch free.