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02.03.2021 – An obituary for Bunny Wailer from Ethiopia
by Mulugeta Haile
(23.06.2013 according to the Ethiopian calendar)

Bunny Wailer Bunny Wailer (Fisseha-Tsion), the last jewel in the crown of Reggae remembered in Ejersa Goro, and Kombolcha, Harar.

Fisseha-Tsion (the Joy of heaven), who passed away last week, in Jamaica, on March 2, 2021, was reminisced this morning by special prayers in Ethiopia. His contribution towards Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, when established in Jamaica, was praised. Bunny Wailer not only helped the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church, but was also baptized and took the baptismal name Fisseha-Tsion.
Let the souls of his friends: Berhane Selassie (Bob Marley), and Fikre Selassie (Peter Tosh) welcome him to be united with their god father, His Eminence Abuna Yesehaq, who fulfilled the mission of the Ethiopia Tewahedo Church in Caribbean Island.

Bunny Wailer

Image 2: Bunny Wailer - More about this show: here

It is to be noted that in 2011 when Ejersa Goro, the birth place of Emperor Haile Selassie Ist, sought to be the rendezvous of Rastafarians, Bunny Wailer and his chief secretary, Maxine Stowe, were at the forefront to make this happen. Bunny and Maxine had a plan to make an international tour to announce the gospel of Ejersa Goro. Emperor Haile Selassie’s proposed museum, which will be the size of a giant stadium, with state of the art design, was on the top of their agenda. Harar would have been the No 1 tourist destination in Africa.

Ejersa Goro - HIM Museum

Image 3: HIM Museum Ejersa Goro - More about this: here

This mission did not materialize because, the foreign minister, information minister, and cultural minister of Ethiopia were unwilling to collaborate with this effort. Only the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was willing to help. The funds that potentially could have been generated by Bunny Wailer’s International performance, probably could have surpassed the annual budget of these three ministries, combined together.

Ejersa Goro - HIM Museum - gate

Ejersa Goro - HIM Museum - Wall

Image 4 + 5: HIM Museum Ejersa Goro - More about this: here

Throughout his career Fisseha- Tsion, unlike the other Wailers, had never been to Africa. Ten years ago, he attempted to come to Harar, to Emperor Haile Selassie’s birthday celebration in Ejersa Goro. He said, “I’m coming, not just for the birthday celebration, but as a son of Africa returning home.” However circumstances beyond his control prevented him from following through.

Like Bob and Peter, Bunny walked the walk and talked the talk in fighting racism through his songs. In the 1980's, when Ethiopians abroad felt ashamed and lost pride in their country because of the great famine, Bunny was in Europe and saw the news on the front page of a major newspaper. The next day on stage while performing, with the Ethiopian flag in hand, he proudly declared himself as an Ethiopian Rastafarian. No matter what, his allegiance to Ethiopia’s cause was uncompromised.

1985, in Los Angeles, the US’ super stars including Michael Jackson gathered around and sang, “We are the World”, Bunny said, “Singing for Ethiopia is Rastas’ duty, but for now, let the Babylonians sing once in their life time.”

From an unpublished book, entitled 'Abuna Yeshaq, the Pan Africa Archbishop', the following story described the character of Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley, and Peter Tosh: “In the 1970s, Abuna Yesehaq in his mission to Rastafarians, was after Bob, Bunny, and Peter. The Abuna said, ‘If you had these three stars in your hand, the rest would easily draw to the Tewahedo Church. At the beginning they were very tough on me. Bob said, ‘Teach us only the teaching of Emperor Haile Selassie, Peter would say, ‘ Rasta don’t baptize by water but by fire,’ and Bunny would say, ‘ Show us evidence that you have been sent by His Majesty for us.’ As time went by they realized that I was in Caribbean to decode the Eurocentric interpretation of the Holy Bible. Especially after I baptized their wives, they began to respect me. One day when I showed them a gold cross that have an insignia of Emperor Haile Selassie the First, their faces widened with big smile.’

Abuna Yesehaq

The Abuna’s experience with the three pioneers was different when he met them together and individually.
After this unique observation, he named each according to their character.
He called Bob “water”, Peter “fire”, and Bunny “wind”.
Bunny, characteristically, was always in the middle of Bob and Peter, blowing their energies together.

Image 6: Abuna Yesehaq

In 2005, Jean Watt, (Wolete Kidan) Bunny’s partner for over 40 yeara, said, “ Jah B (Bunny Wailer) was the first to know if Abba Laike Maryam Mandefro (Abuna Yesehaq) would be in Jamaica for either Sunday Mass or special Holy day service. Jah B would wake me up early in the morning to go to church. He would also ask me what I learned from Abba’s teaching.”

Alvera Coke, mother of Peter Tosh, said, “My son never liked church, but always said good things about the Ethiopian Tewahedo Church. Abuna Yesehaq loved my son despite my son giving him hard times. When he died, the Abuna came to my house to pay his condolences. He ordered to decorate Peter’s cemetery, located in my compound, with Tewahedo symbols. A short distance from this cemetery, he helped to establish St Rafael Orthodox Tewahido Church. Before Abba left my house, he posthumously named my son Fikre-Selassie (Love of Selassie) and said when I pray for him I should remember him by this name.

Peter Tosh Memorial

Image 7: Peter Tosh mausoleum in Belmont / Jamaica - More about this: here

Bunny, Bob, and Peter left this world a much better place than they found it. The demise of Bunny, the last pioneer, is a big loss, when we remember the reaming tasks of Ejersa Goro. “To live in hearts we leave behind is immortal.” RIP

Mulugeta Haile

Bunny Wailer - Berlin - 2015

Image 8: Bunny Wailer

Text: Mulugeta Haile
Images 1, 2, 7 + 8: Peter Joachim /
Image 3: Mohammed Ahmed Taha Architecture and Engineering Consultants
Images 4 + 5: Mikiyas Mengistu
Image 6: From Mulugeta Haile


Bunny Wailer - Reincarnated Souls - 2013Bunny Wailer - Cross Culture - 2009Bunny Wailer - Black Heart Man - 2009Bunny Wailer - Rub-A-Dub - 2007Bunny Wailer - Rock-N-Groove - 2007Bunny Wailer - Combination Vol. 1 - 2007Bob Marley And The Wailers - Soul Revolution Part II - 2004Bunny Wailer - World Peace - 2003Bunny Wailer - Communication - 2000Bunny Wailer - Dubd'sco Vol. 1 & 2 - 1999Bunny Wailer - Hall Of Fame - 1995The Wailing Wailers - 1994Bunny Wailer - Crucial Roots Classics - 1994The Wailers - The Never Ending Wailers - 1993Bunny Wailer - Dance Massive - 1992Bunny Wailer - Gumption - 1991Bunny Wailer - Time Will Tell - A Tribute To Bob Marley - 1990Bunny Wailer - Just Be Nice - 1990Bunny Wailer - Liberation - 1988Bob Marley And The Wailers - Soul Revolution 1 And 2 - 1988Bunny Wailer - Rule Dance Hall - 1987Bunny Wailer - Rootsman Skanking - 1987Bunny Wailer - Marketplace - 1985Bunny Wailer - Roots Radics Rockers Reggae - 1983Bunny Wailer - Live - 1983Bunny Wailer - Hook Line & Sinker - 1982Bunny Wailer - Tribute - 1981