Profile: Rohan Marley

Matshidiso Madia Matshidiso Madia

He’s Bob Marley’s son – he doesn’t shy away from it. In fact this is a label Rohan Marley carries with pride.

When you see the legendary reggae artist’s child, there are certain unmistakable Marley traits: the distinctive long dreadlocks, the charismatic smile, a keenness to chat about his life principles and the mischievous glimmer you often catch in his eyes. The spirit of Bob Marley, who passed away 31 years ago, is alive and well and is being shared with the world by his children, as they trot the globe spreading his teachings.

The Marley family

Although most of the Marley clan are primarily focused on music, Rohan dabbled in football and from then his path has led him into business, farming and philanthropy.

Marley moved from his fashion brand Tuff Gong Clothing to coffee farming when he bought a piece of land in the Blue Mountains area in Jamaica. “The people there said they were coffee farmers, so I went to Ethiopia to learn how to farm coffee beans. That way I help sustain people’s careers and families. My duty is to humanity - it stems from our family’s principal.” Marley’s coffee brand went public in 2011 as Jammin Java Corp.

The Jamaican native is one of eleven of the reggae icon’s children. He says family means everything to him. They live only a few kilometres away from each other and get together as often as possible for Sunday lunches.

Rohan, well equipped with his father’s swagger, isn’t fazed by mutterings of those who believe his only claim to fame is being one of many of the reggae icon’s children. This coffee farmer, who lives by the mantra ‘live, love, learn’, is more focused on sustainable and organic living, in keeping with the Rastafarian way he was brought up.

Having established and House of Marley with his family, he says, “We want to have a presence here in Africa, to work with local charities and make an impact on the ground.”

Marley admits his mission in South Africa is far from over. He’s decided to put the Marley backing behind a few bands and companies and the family has also asked him to find a ten bedroom home in this country before jetting off to Miami to celebrate the eldest of his seven children’s birthday.

For more on his thoughts about his dad, his visit to South Africa and Lauryn Hill click the image below:

 Legendary musician Bob Marley