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Celebrating Tosh

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 19, 2020

TODAY'S celebration in observance of the 76th birthday of reggae legend Peter Tosh is going virtual this year, which is now the way of all such events, due to the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus.

Tosh's youngest child and head of the Peter Tosh Foundation Niambe McIntosh told the Jamaica Observer that given the current situation the decision was taken to stage the festivities online on the Peter Tosh's YouTube channel.

“One of the great things to come out of this whole COVID-19 crisis is that our celebrations can be accessible to a lot more people. Previously, not everyone was able to journey to Jamaica to be at our live events in Kingston and Westmoreland. Now with this virtual staging we can reach so much more people all over the globle and share our father's message through his music and teachings, which are still very important today as they were when they were first written decades ago.”

“This year we are teaming with YouTube music to celebrate his 76th earthstrong in a safe manner. It's still about edutainment so throughout the day we will be having panels, rare interviews and of course performances . In these times, with all the stress caused by COVID, we see this as great way to just relax and be entertained,” she continued.

McIntosh noted that the family decided to push forward with the celebrations despite a bad year with the passing of Tosh's son Jawara, also known as Tosh 1 in July of this year. Tosh1 succumbed to injuries he received after being beaten while in police custody three years prior .

“His death was a real blow to the family, but there is that Peter Tosh spirit within us, so we understand that this is not the end. He has just transcended and so he is still amongst us. The reality is this is what a lot of families go through so we have to stay strong. That spirit comes from our dad who faced police brutality and other forms of injustice. So everyday we fight and push for justice it is continuing the work of our father. We are just using our voice to speak out and share our brother's story…it's something in our DNA,” said McIntosh.

The online tribute and celebrations will commence at 1:00 pm local time.

Peter Tosh was born in Westmoreland on October 19, 1944. He rose to prominence as a member of the iconic trio The Wailers, which also featured Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer. Following a split he went on to a successful solo career in the late 1970s and 80s. On September 11, 1987 Tosh was murdered inside his upper St Andrew home by a gunman who demanded money. He was 42.

Tosh was an advocate for the legalisation of marijuana, fought injustice at all levels and was outspoken against global issues, such as apartheid in South Africa and nuclear disarmament. He is known for tracks such as Mama Africa, No Nuclear War, Glass House, Can't Blame the Youth, Johnny B Goode, Stepping Razor and Buckingham Palace.



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