Lets be frank, normalcy is another word for boring. What we call normalcy is too plain, grey and simple for creative geniuses that give us jaw dropping art. See, art is crazy. Art is different. The moment it becomes normal then it lacks that pizzaz, zing and oomph that ferments plain old boring normalcy into intoxicatingly amazing creations we call art. So if you expect maestros and virtuosos to be as plain as your Joe Next Door, then you will be greatly disappointed. Dambudzo and Saul were crackerjack masters of their crafts who were as unpredictable in creations as in personality. They both were bravura players that rarely separated their art from their lifestyles.
As a way of paying homage to Soul Jah Love, in today’s write up, I juxtapose and prove that CHIBABA was to music what Dambudzo Marechera was to literature. These are my 2 cents
THE GREAT DIE YOUNG
Bob Marley died aged 36. Leonard Dembo died aged 37. The greatly talented surely die young. Dambudzo Marechera was aged 35. The crazy creative genius, Soul Musaka died aged 31. What gives solace to art aesthetes is that they would have accrued a sizeable amount of creations that can outlast some who live into their 90s.
Dambudzo at the time of his death had published House of Hunger, which is described by Zena Fuleihan as a writing that is unmoored, cyclical, shocking with graphic scenes of beatings, rapes, and “gut-rot”—a term for both the effects of alcoholism and a cheap alcohol used to keep workers dependent on the oppressive mechanisms of colonialism.
Soul Jah love when he passed on had albums like Zviri Pandiri Zvihombe (August 2019), Naka Dhula Dhaka (September 2018) and a plathora of countless singles. His message was Ghetto in every sense. Like Marechera wrote , he sang of ghetto ills, not with a victim mentality, but as way of motivating rising above the pain. Dambudzo had books, the Black Insider and the Black Sunlight published post humously and I know it’s not a crazy call to say there is more music that we will here from SOUL JAH LOVE even with him having been gone.
Dambudzo’s House of Hunger was awarded the 1979 Guardian Fiction Prize. Marechera was the first and the only African to have won the Guardian Fiction Prize in its 33 years (it was replaced in 1999 by the Guardian First Book Award).
DRUGS , BOOZE and PARTIES
He is noted as have a cycle that included drugs, meditation and writing. His world was dense, thus his writings were thus. Soul Jah Love on the other hand was a creative cog that never hid his drug habit from fans and the media. He sang about Mutoriro as much as he was caught up in the habit. It’s not an overstatement to say his life was music drugs and fun. He sought Irie feeling so much that his craft suffered as much as it benefited. Someone in these streets asked, would we talk of Soul Jah luv the creative giant without him being an addict? Did the drugs fuel the music as it did the writings for Dambudzo? It’s anybody call.
TROUBLED LOVE LIFE
Dambudzo had a colorful love life that bordered on notoriety. He is noted for have been a client of the UKs red light light district and also for dating older women. One of his ex lovers Veit-Wild has came out in the open recently telling of a complex witty and tricky Dambudzo who sought to emmerse his heart and body in multiple relations. Soul Musaka was a dancehall maestro who was for length married to chanter Bounty Lisa though rumors of his shenanigans were always afloat. DAMBUDZO is a said to have succumbed to HIV AIDS while Sauro succumbed to Sugar diabetes complications
Art hardly blossoms in briddled and chained environs. These two lived life in the fast lane. They lived to the dot and when it was time to go, they went living their name firmly written in indelible ink in our hearts.