There are thousands of Africans in the Diaspora. Many hate to be called Africans, some love the continent but never had the chance to visit there, while others frequently visit Africa. One of them was the legendary Peter Tosh, one of the founding members of the original Wailers trio.
The fearless tough man, whose vicious wit marked militant tunes made him an international figure, visited Africa including Nigeria on many occasions. I never had the opportunity to see Peter Tosh performing but I had a glimpse of him when he visited Nigeria and followed his activities in the country through ‘The Punch Newspaper.’
Peter Tosh was in Nigeria in 1982. During his visit, he stayed in the house of Sonny Okosun, another great Nigerian musician interested in the well-being of people. It’s like the two had something in common. In Nigeria Sonny Okosun’s ‘Fire in Soweto, Papa’s Land’ etc, became an international hit, for his concern for the suffering of South Africans under the Apartheid regime.
While in Jamaica, Peter Tosh recorded ‘Apartheid’ on his ‘Equal Rights’ album. “Inna me land digs out me gold, pearl, diamond, we gonna fight against Apartheid.” It’s not surprising that the two musicians were great friends. In 1983 while still in Lagos, Peter Tosh revisited Nigeria. This time, he cemented his love for his dear Africa by composing the song he named ‘Mama Africa.’
“Two thousand years of history can’t be wiped away so easily, sings Bob Marley in ‘Zion Train.’ Definitely, the achievements of Peter Tosh in the field of music can’t be easily forgotten. On April 20, 2016, Jamaica celebrated the second official International Peter Tosh Day. Like the sons of Bob Marley, Andrew Tosh is carrying on the works of his father.