If Bob Marley was alive he would be pleased to see Rastafarian singer Nana EQ, who along with nine other members of the Nyabinghi family, performed at the spectacular historic premiere of the Bob Marley One Love movie. This took place at the Carib Five Cinema, Cross Roads, on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
“This is a dream come true. I love every moment. I am so grateful to the Marleys to be a part of this premiere. They have made my dream come true,” she declared after she walked across the heavily policed streets for a short interview.
Her attire, a floor-length multi-coloured dress with a matching turban and shoes, was amazing. The picture-perfect scene gained Nana EQ one of many candid photographs for the day. After all, considering the media attention given to the movie premiere, Nana EQ was a big character in Tuesday’s script.
“Wow! That outfit is something to talk about,” a nearby fashionista declared. Her eyes were heavily glued on Nana EQ’s perfect fit.
“I got it for this special occasion,” Nana EQ gleamed. “I mean it’s fresh from my colourful wardrobe,” she added.
Earlier, she had met a high-spirited Marley fan who, having complimented her classy look, invited her to his art studio. “This will take a lot of consideration,” she surmised.
Nana EQ and her assembly arrived at Cross Roads straight from a New Kingston hotel at about 4:00 pm. The stage, which was set a day before, had the international Stone Love sound system entertaining the crowd, including a host of celebrities, meeting and greeting each other.
“We were led straight to our tent backstage where we greeted many delicacies to whet our appetite. I had some pineapple juice which is my favourite and spring water. Salutations continued as our stage coordinators did last-minute sound checks.”
The overseas press, which was countless, was on the spot when Nana EQ struck the first note. Local and international journalists never missed a moment.
“We opened with the song, ‘Rastafari Know what This Gathering For’. Then moved on to others including ‘Four Hundred Years’, ‘Neither The Gold Or Your Silver’, ‘Hail Jah’, ‘Yad Away Home To Zion,’ and ‘Inna Di Ammagideon’. Thunderous applause came with many persons wanting more of our blessings.”
She again caught the attention of the international press when a female journalist commended her performance as simply ‘magnificent’.
The premiere of the movie had many pleasantries. The biggest was Nana EQ spotting Duke of Sussex Prince Harry and his wife Meghan. She could not hold back her excitement which gushed out like spring water.
“Prince Harry and Meghan!” The couple looked her way and smiled with Meghan saying a royal “Hi” as she climbed the steps to the cinema.
Others passing were Andrew Holness, Prime Minister of Jamaica, Opposition leader Mark Golding, Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Marlene Malahoo Forte, Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, and the Marleys.
She also met entertainers Spragga Benz, Jahshii, and Nadine Sutherland. According to Nana EQ, “The movie, based on a true life story, mirrors the struggles of survival. For me what stood out most in the movie is that no matter how great a man is, a caring woman is important in his life. Rita was a tower of strength around Bob. Also, the corruption in the music business where artistes unaware of the business can be unfairly treated.”
“Many people know a lot about Bob Marley’s music, but there is much more to Bob’s history which fashion his music. His passion to get his message across the world met with many obstacles, but he did not allow anyone or any force to stop him. Generations to come will realize that greatness comes with fight and hard work, and this is what we need in society. That we must work hard like Bob to achieve success.”
The Marley biopic is due to open in cinemas worldwide on February 14, 2024. It made its debut for a Jamaican audience with film’s director Reinaldo Marcus Green, lead star Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Paramount Pictures President and Chief Executive Officer Brian Robbins, among the Who’s Who for the premiere.