Bob Marley – Africa Unite – A Rasta song about the black Rastas returning to their homeland in Africa.

Bob Marley – Africa Unite – A Rasta song about the black Rastas returning to their homeland in Africa.

I like this song even though it is rather daft. One of the tenets of the Rastafarian religion was the migration of all black people back to Africa. It’s a very naïve idea and will never happen. Most black people are quite settled and integrated into the cultures of their own countries. They would find Africa a very different place to what they are used to. Then there are the numbers to consider.

It is however a nice romantic idea to have a spiritual affinity to the land that your forefathers came from. Ultimately all human beings came from Ethiopia so we, black, brown, red, yellow or pink, can all identify with the sentiment. I, as a white man, felt a tremendous affinity with Africa. We can’t, all 7 billion of us, all live there though.

From my perspective Rastafarianism was quite a hotch-potch of various religious, political and secular aspects brought together to create a rather strange new ‘religion’. The sacrament of ganga, the politics of Marcus Garvey, the dreadlocks, the deification of Haile Selassie and idea of Ethiopia as a homeland, reggae music, the old testament and black god. I could see the value for black self-esteem and cultural identity, it gave the poor blacks of Jamaica something to adhere to, it also proved attractive as an image to many blacks outside of Jamaica, but it was all so contrived. It is probably how all religions emerge.

“Africa Unite”

Ziya-po ya-ya, pa-pa-ya-pa!
Ti-da-lee, na po-po pu-du-loo!
Ste-na-peh na-na po po-ro po!
Africa unite:
‘Cause we’re moving right out of Babylon,
And we’re going to our Father’s land, yea-ea.

How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man, yea-eah! –
To see the unification of all Africans, yeah! –
As it’s been said a’ready, let it be done, yeah!
We are the children of the Rastaman;
We are the children of the Iyaman.

So-o, Africa unite:
‘Cause the children (Africa unite) wanna come home.
Africa unite:
‘Cause we’re moving right out of Babylon, yea,
And we’re grooving to our Father’s land, yea-ea.

How good and how pleasant it would be before God and man
To see the unification of all Rastaman, yeah.
As it’s been said a’ready, let it be done!
I tell you who we are under the sun:
We are the children of the Rastaman;
We are the children of the Iyaman.

So-o: Africa unite,
Afri – Africa unite, yeah!
Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) for the benefit of your people!
Unite for it’s later (Africa unite) than you think!
Unite for the benefit (Africa unite) of my children!
Unite for it’s later (Africa uniting) than you think!
Africa awaits (Africa unite) its creators!
Africa awaiting (Africa uniting) its Creator!
Africa, you’re my (Africa unite) forefather cornerstone!
Unite for the Africans (Africa uniting) abroad
Unite for the Africans (Africa unite) a yard! [fadeout]

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