Influenced by His Uncle Bob Marley, a Filmmaker From St. Petersburg is a Health Advocate

If Bob Marley were living today, he would be 78 years old and most likely would have stopped using marijuana. That’s what his health-conscious nephew Charles Mattocks feels, even though the plant is a spiritual element of the reggae star’s Rastafarian faith.

“He would have discovered an alternative method,” stated Mattocks, a 48-year-old inhabitant of St. Petersburg. “Not that there is anything inherently wrong about marijuana, but given his current age, it may not have been the most suitable choice for him.

The film “Bob Marley: One Love” will debut on February 24.

Mattocks is unaware of its contents and has only encountered his uncle twice. 

Still, he wishes that the video would motivate individuals in the same way that he has been emotionally affected by his mother’s accounts of Marley.

The stories gave Mattocks the bravery to abandon his showy profession as a rapper and actor and transform himself into a self-proclaimed “health advocate.”

Mattocks discussed maintaining good health on “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.” Additionally, they create documentary films and docuseries centered around this theme.

In his streaming docuseries “Reversed,” Mattocks explores the keto and carnivore diets over two seasons. 

Additionally, his streaming docuseries “Eight Days” documents the journeys of five individuals who are pursuing alternative medicine as a means to treat their cancer.

His film “Trial by Fire” recounts the story of his mother’s long battle with complicated regional pain syndrome. This uncommon neurological disorder can result in sudden and frequently intense agony triggered by even the slightest touch. His documentary, titled “The Diabetic You,” explores the illness that Mattocks was diagnosed with approximately 15 years ago.

Coming up next, Mattocks will be doing a series about menopause.

“We will invite some of the leading specialists in their respective fields who will explore the physical, emotional, and psychological changes women go through during this important period in their lives,” stated Brandi Kasperski, co-producing it alongside Mattocks. “We will also gather a group of women ready to share their experience with menopause.”

According to Mattocks, his profession centers around assisting people. Bob used to express that if this existence is solely for him, he does not desire it. I have the same feeling.

Mattocks’ mother, Constance Marley, is the musician’s sister, who is 82 years old and resides in Ocala. They did not grow up together but are linked through their father, Norval Marley, who, as stated in the 2012 documentary “Marley,” had limited involvement in parenting.

“He is the Marley,” Constance Marley states in the documentary, referring to her brother’s greater significance than their absent father.

Mattocks, born and reared in New York, was around 5 or 6 years old when he first encountered Marley. At that time, Marley was already a famous worldwide figure, advocating for political reform in Jamaica and also dealing with cancer he was diagnosed with in 1977.

“He mentioned that he stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in New York,” he stated. I entered a room, and it was filled with smoke. He was seated in the corner. I was perched on the edge of the bed. He approached me, and we began conversing … and later, we walked outside and started playing soccer football in the hallway.

He cannot remember when or where they met again, but he does recall it after Marley lost his famous dreadlocks because of cancer treatment.

“All of his hair was inside a brown paper bag,” Mattocks stated. “The locks symbolized all aspects of his identity, including his rebellious nature, musical talent, adherence to Rastafarianism, and his commitment to fighting for freedom and supporting others … so I can infer that he intended to retain them.”

Mattocks did not accompany his mother at her final hospital visit with Marley, but she did share the experience.

“My mother is a Jehovah’s Witness,” Mattocks remarked. And my mother was discussing her paradise with him. Despite his Rastafarian beliefs and unusual perspective, he was curious to further his knowledge. Bob was constantly changing. He was very receptive to acquiring new knowledge.

Marley passed away in 1981 when he was 36 years old. It was during the funeral in Jamaica that Mattocks initially realized that his uncle was well-known.

“The streets were filled with people,” he claimed. Before that, he was my uncle. While at his residence, which had been transformed into the Bob Marley Museum, I entered the premises and proceeded to the studio. I sensed a presence. And at that moment, I realized that this was something extraordinary. And when I returned home to New York, I truly began to appreciate his music and understand who he was and what he truly stood for.

At age 20, Mattocks was ready to achieve his musical success. With the mentorship of musician and actor LL Cool J, he put out a rap album called “Eddie Bone” via Tommy Boy Entertainment, a label that helped launch the careers of Queen Latifah and De La Soul.

Hollywood reached out next, offering him a significant opportunity when he was chosen to act alongside James Woods in the lead role in “The Summer of Ben Tyler.” The film tells the story of a Black man with Down syndrome who is taken in by a wealthy white couple in the racially discriminatory South of the 1940s.

However, Mattocks, a father of four, departed from Hollywood for Tampa Bay approximately 15 years ago to raise his family in what he refers to as a more secure location. It was also around the same time that Mattocks received a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes as a result of his unhealthy way of living. Therefore, he started engaging in physical activity more frequently and acquired the skill of preparing nutritious meals.

“I didn’t encounter anyone similar to me, a young Black man, serving as a representative for diabetes,” he expressed. “I felt it was necessary for someone who resembled us to address us.”

He authored “The Affordable and Locally-Sourced Cookbook for Diabetes,” which focuses on cost-effectively managing the disease. Subsequently, he started appearing on television, first with local programs and eventually on major shows like “Dr. Oz” and “The Martha Stewart Show.”

He left his pursuits in music and acting behind to focus solely on advocating for health.

“We are all here for a limited time,” Mattocks stated. However, we can only arrive and depart. Bob was aware of what he did. Like him, I aspire to create an impact that positively influences the lives of others for an extended period.

Leave a Comment