“I am that I am”: The legendary Peter Tosh
There are thousands of Africans in the Diaspora. Many hate to be called Africans, some love the continent but never had the chance to visit there, while others frequently visit Africa. One of them was the legendary Peter Tosh, one of the founding members of the original Wailers trio.
The fearless tough man, whose vicious wit marked militant tunes made him an international figure, visited Africa including Nigeria on many occasions. I never had the opportunity to see Peter Tosh performing but I had a glimpse of him when he visited Nigeria and followed his activities in the country through ‘The Punch Newspaper.’
Sunny Okosun, one of the giants of Nigeria’s contemporary music
Peter Tosh was in Nigeria in 1982. During his visit, he stayed in the house of Sunny Okosun, another great Nigerian musician interested in the well-being of people. It’s like the two had something in common. In Nigeria Sunny Okosun’s ‘Fire in Soweto, Papa’s Land’ etc, became international hits, for his concern for the suffering South Africans under Apartheid regime.
While in Jamaica, Peter Tosh recorded ‘Apartheid’ on his ‘Equal Rights’ album. “Inna me land dig out me gold, pearl, diamond, we gonna fight against Apartheid.” It’s not a surprise, that the two musicians were great friends. In 1983 while still in Lagos, Peter Tosh revisited Nigeria. This time, he cemented his love for his dear Africa by composing the song he named ‘Mama Africa.’
Andrew Tosh, son of the legendary Peter Tosh and writer Joel Savage
“Two thousand years of black history can’t be wiped away so easily,” sings Bob Marley in ‘Zion Train.’ Definitely, the achievements of Peter Tosh in the field of music can’t be easily forgotten. On April 20, 2016, Jamaica celebrated second official International Peter Tosh Day. Like the sons of Bob Marley, Andrew Tosh is carrying on the works of his father.