Mia makes a standMonday, September 27, 2021
BY KEDIESHA PERRY
IN her recent address to the United Nations, Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley pulled on the lyrics of Jamaican reggae singers Bob Marley's and Peter Tosh's Get Up, Stand Up to hammer her point home.
She was, last Friday, making a plea to the 193-member body to act decisively on climate change, COVID-19 vaccinations, poverty, and education.
“In the words of Robert Nesta Marley, who will get up and stand up?” she asked members at the UN General Assembly in New York, United States.
“If we can find the will to send people to the moon and solve male baldness... we can solve simple problems like letting our people eat at affordable prices,” she continued.
Get Up, Stand Up was recorded in 1973. It was co-written by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and appears on The Wailers' Burnin' album, released in 1973 by Island Records.
Tosh also recorded the song for his 1977 album, Equal Rights. Get Up, Stand Up is recognised as one of pop music's great protest anthems.
In 2005, Barbadian pop star Rihanna also covered the track as part of her This Is Rihanna mixtape.
In June, American singer Nakkia Gold did a remix of the song titled Justice (Get Up, Stand Up). She had described it as a “rebirth of the militant anthem that played an integral role in the fight for equality and human rights”.
The song has since acquired 3.8 million views on YouTube.
Meanwhile, Mottley, 55, who has been the prime minister of the Caribbean island since 2018, stressed the importance of action, instead of “nice words”.
“How many more leaders must come to this podium and not be heard before they stop coming? How many times must we address an empty hall of officials and an institution that was intended to be made for leaders to discuss with leaders?” she said.
“Who will stand up in the name of all those who have died during this awful pandemic? The millions. Who will stand up in the name of all those who have died because of the climate crisis?” the impassioned leader added.