For many residents in Nine Mile, the presence of the Bob Marley Mausoleum in the community has helped them to provide for themselves and their families.
Marley, the global superstar, was born in the community in 1945. He was buried there in 1981.
Aside from those who are employed as tour guides, security guards, customer service representatives in gift shops on the property where Marley’s remains now rest, other persons in the community have created their own way of earning from Marley’s association with the community.
Some of these residents gather outside the gates daily in a bid to earn some cash from tourists who regularly visit the community.
“The people dem ova Bob Marley museum, dem gi di people dem inna di community work, but di yute dem out yaso, dem self-employed, suh wi affi do likkle thing fi wi self,” Akeem Wilson told THE STAR.
Some residents in the farming community provide what they call ‘village tours’, while others set up stalls and restaurants where they sell food, snacks and other products.
NO SPECIFIC COST
Wilson says there is no specified cost that is attached to the tour, which includes visiting a cave in the community as well as a nearby school.
“We nuh really charge dem, we just mek dem donate whatever they have, because yuh know wi nuh want fix no price ’cause yu know a nuh no official thing,” Wilson told THE STAR.
The visitor experience is enhanced by travelling on either of the two Zion buses that take tourists from the resort areas to Nine Mile.
AndrÈ ‘Breezy’ Brown, 36, has been doing village tours for the last 14 years.
“When di tourist dem come and dem good, dem tek care a we and we tek care of dem. Sometime is not really the money, but we just love to see when the tourist dem come in, because we know it benefit the village because other people weh a do dem likkle thing can sell dem likkle ray-ray,” he said.
With a concert slated for today to celebrate the 73rd birthday of Bob Marley, he is anticipating an influx of visitors.
“Up yah nice … is a blessed day … . Nuff whitey come in, suh di yute dem can do dem thing. Man a sell dem jelly, man a sell dem cane,” Brown said.
Source: Jamaica Stars