Reggae legend Bunny Wailer, a devout Rastafarian, reportedly left a “significant” percentage of his estate to the Rastafari community, the first major Reggae artist to have made such a bold stipulation in his final will and testament.
The Blackheart Man singer passed away on Tuesday, March 2 at the age of 73, and will reportedly be buried at his Dreamland Farm, a 142-acre estate located snugly on the border of St Thomas and Portland.
Maxine Stowe, close partner of Bunny Wailer, told DancehallMag that “when the COVID-19 pandemic and other dust settles with the burial of Bunny at his estate, the various beneficiaries will be satisfied.”
Stowe continued, “Bunny stayed true all his life towards addressing the plight of the Rastafari Community that he holds so dearly to his heart will benefit. The community continues to suffer cultural misappropriation and marginalization. The fight continues.”
Stowe is also the widow of Dancehall legend Sugar Minott, and the niece of super producer Clement ‘Sir Coxsone’ Dodd.
Stowe and Wailer both invested in setting up institutional structures and companies in the arenas of intellectual property rights, trust funds, and ganja to assist the Rastafarian community’s overall development.
“We have aligned with national and international organizations to manage appropriately benefits to the community, particularly in the area of professional representations in the legal and accounting areas, to properly navigate the corporate world. One of the themes of Bunny Wailer’s music was repatriation. This estate is structured to benefit communities in South Africa, Ghana, and Ethiopia,” she said.
The star, whose real name was Neville O’Riley Livingston, had been the last surviving member of The Wailers, following Bob Marley‘s death from cancer in 1981, and Peter Tosh‘s murder during a robbery in 1987.
Born on 20 April 10, 1947, Livingston spent his earliest years in the village of Nine Miles, where he was raised by his father, Thaddeus, who ran a grocery store.
In August 2012, Bunny Wailer received Jamaica’s fifth-highest honour from the Government, the Order of Jamaica, and in October 2017, it was upgraded and he was awarded the Order of Merit. In February 2019, the Government again recognized his contribution to Jamaican music again, with a Reggae Gold Award from the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association.